AIESEC

AIESEC

About

AIESEC, the largest student-run organization, has been running programs in more than 100 countries for 60 years. AIESEC programs allow students to make a positive impact on the world around them while gaining valuable work experience. These youth leadership development programs help students become better global citizens. There are a wide range of internships types available all over the world!

Website
www.aiesec.org

Reviews

Asiri
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This is My Review about Penang Internship. First I am gonna thanks for the AIESEC. I became AIESECer before I went on this Internship then I realize to apply for this project Few month back, because I was in the starting edge of my summer break. I have to Say truly, no one help me to do the paper work when it Needed ( visa and all preparations ). My parents were always busy with their wok . I had to go and figure out all by myself ( I was busy with my final during that time but I manage to do it somehow). I made my plans to Apply the Exchange before it break the Match. When I reach to the Penang Airport I had to wait for few hours but that is Ok, I was so hungry back then I had only dollars with me. I decided to eat something by giving dollar’s and that idea ended up with losing some money. Then one of my EP buddies came to pick me up from the Airport. He Teach me to survive with the New Environment. I was so tired after a 6 hours flight. I had to go the Their University which is My LC ( USM in Penang ), I feel like to rest somewhere then TN said some points about the project and I had to note it down which is nice. Then we went to the NGO. And I had most awkward moment because there was no one to talk but I manage to stay chill. I am the only one EP for that project. That was a really fight in the beginning but I manage to overcome my fears when time goes on.

So i Planned my First Week by checking my work load and my free time available. For Every Free time that i have, i made to go some where, meet people, Explore. Luckly i Completed my 6 week work with in 3-4 weeks. So i Had time to Explore Around and do any Stupid thing. Ha haa...

I think. i am the only one who had this much of experience for the first time in Sri Lanka. Because No one had a chance to visit other universities other than your university that you are staying. I went on mid night solo rides, i did everything. Most of them are so dangerous. well um not writing them in here. if you need to know them contact me. ha ha.

My Advice for every single traveler is, make sure your belongings are always with you. Always bring your passport wit you. Have some amount of money and also separate your money to shares and hide them in several places that you remember. Make a Travel Plan. Try to learn local language. Hangout with local community. Try to Explore outside from the Community. Get a good camera. Shoot everything because you gonna miss everything after some few weeks. Enjoy every single second.

What would you improve about this program?
Need more man power to Develop the Quality Software products with in Short time period. Need at least 5 Developers who has basic Programming Skills.
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Gloria
1/10
No, I don't recommend this program

AIESEC is one of the WORST organizations I have been trying to work with, in the last few months. When I first contacted them, they answered me quickly and I had a skype interview with them. The girl told me that I could start my internship within the next 3 months. To keep with my application, I had to pay 30 euro, which would be fine if I got an answer. After I paid, there was silence. They said that what I asked for wouldn't be possible, and after that, they never contacted me again. I am still waiting for their promised answer , after 4 months.

I wouldn't recomend AIESEC at all, they will just keep your money. It is better to save it and spend it on other serious organizations.

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Daphne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I spent roughly seven weeks in the beautiful but small country of Montenegro. I was working on a project called Enter Your Future where we taught some skills to help inspire their youth to achieve more in their careers. Personally, I taught graphic design and my students were very enthusiastic and willing to learn from someone who doesn't have the credentials which was amazing to me. Everyone was very welcoming and took care of me very well. I stayed in a dorm with the other 9 interns on the project with me and we became family instantaneously. We still skype and keep in touch!
The Montenegrins who were in AIESEC took wonderful care of us. They picked us up from the airport with a big welcome sign, were always on call in case we needed anything, and showed us the best parts of their culture and country. When we weren't working they took us out on excursions such as going to the seaside, river rafting, and hiking up gorgeous mountains. Not a lot of people know about this small country but it's definitely worth the visit because it's absolutely gorgeous! They are also all very hospitable people. I was treated with the utmost respect and kindness. When my friends and I were lost, they were there to help you out even if you didn't know them. I love AIESEC and how it's connected me with friends all over the world and I would relive that summer a hundred times over!

What would you improve about this program?
I lucked out in that my particular chapter I was working with made sure we were well taken care of. I've heard of other chapters in other countries where their interns weren't really taken care of or they cancel their project a few weeks before or as the intern arrives.
This isn't necessarily a program concern but a local chapter concern for some particular areas.
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Christine
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My AIESEC exchange was truly a life-changing experience for me. Where else would I have had the opportunity to work in a refugee camp and blind school? (Both social projects that I am passionate about!) Having returned from my exchange, I have continued to find ways to contribute to the greater community e.g. volunteering in a refugee integration related programs and organisations. AIESEC's network of students are truly an amazing bunch of people who genuinely care about making a positive impact on the world. AND because they're students and recent grads, they're all super friendly and understanding. They just want to help you find the right program and opportunity for you! Key recommendation: keep an open mind! Things may not always go to plan but sometimes, spontaneity gets you an A+++ experience.

What would you improve about this program?
More fluid communication between the hosting entity and the home entity: sometimes there were delays.
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Jimmy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I went on my first internship in the summer of 2012 for 7 weeks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Initially, it was scary. I never traveled abroad alone without my family for such a long period of time. But that is what made my experience so amazing. I worked with 11 other interns from 10 other countries. The 7 weeks were challenging, and really changed and helped me develop myself as an individual. It was so great I decided next summer to go on another internship with AIESEC.

In 2013, I went to Budapest, Hungary. This time for 10 weeks. It was the MOST amazing experience I've had. Coincidently, I had worked with another 11 interns. And this was when it hit me. Working abroad is great, but being able to have that work abroad experience whether its your first or second time with other people from all over the world; now thats fantastic.

Going to these countries through AIESEC not only allowed me codevelop professionally and personally but also allowed for me to engage in multiple cultures, not just that of the country I went to.

I'd rate it 11/10 if I could!

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Jimmy Ngo

Jimmy Ngo is a first generation college student attending Baruch College in New York City. Being a Chinese-Vietnamese American, he never had many experiences in countries outside of China, Vietnam and the United States.
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Why did you decide to intern abroad with AIESEC?

I decided to intern abroad with AIESEC because of three main reasons. The first was that study abroad programs at my college didn’t really have an extensive amount of locations available. AIESEC has opportunities in 124 countries.

Secondly, I couldn’t spend an excessive time abroad or take a semester off from college because I wanted to graduate on time and take internships in NYC before graduation. AIESEC allowed me to do both of those things, since the minimum duration for an opportunity through AIESEC is 6 weeks.

The last reason and also probably the biggest reason is the cost. The cost of a work abroad program through AIESEC is significantly less costly as any study abroad program or work abroad programs. AIESEC’s work abroad program fee is only $500 without including airfare but room and board and meals were included in that fee on my internship.

What did AIESEC do for you and what did you need to do on your own?

Once I entered into the program, AIESEC assigned a “buddy” who was responsible for guiding me through the entire process of finding an opportunity through AIESEC’s internship database. There were so many opportunities I didn’t know where to start.

Luckily, my buddy was there to get to know me as a friend and offer suggestions based on conversations we had throughout the process. About 4 weeks later, I found my dream-internship, applied, got interviewed and I was off on a plane to Budapest, Hungary!

I arrived a week earlier than my program start date, so they picked me up at the airport, hosted me in their homes, showed me around the city, and took me out every single night. For the program itself, they found me my accommodations, and arranged trips for me when I wasn’t working. I felt so accommodated that I didn’t have trouble adjusting to Hungarian culture.

Describe your favorite must-have food that you tried abroad.

So there’s this giant piece of fried dough. Sounds delicious? Not really. Is it delicious? By far the most simple, creative and unique foods I have had in my travels. They call it Lángos. It’s a rolled out piece of dough that is deep fried. After frying it, sour cream is spread on it and cheese is sprinkled over the top to melt.

Followed by this, you can add whatever other toppings available. I tried this in the Central Market of Budapest and there were so many other possible toppings including Hungarian sausages, a variety of vegetables, other sauces and so much more. It was probably the biggest struggle for me to decide what I wanted on my Lángos. It was delicious, and for 2-3USD you’ll be bloated.

Do you feel you got a chance to see the city from a local's perspective?

Because I was on a program through AIESEC, the network of AIESEC members and employees in Hungary really showed me what it is like to be a Hungarian in Hungary and not a tourist in Hungary. We went to all the local stores, restaurants, markets and bars.

I was taught basic Hungarian in my first week in Budapest and throughout the entire internship program I was learning more and more while communicating with the AIESEC members there. I was taken to other cities that tourists normally wouldn’t have on their agenda, where food was cooked over a fire outdoors, and families hosted me for weekends.

Only two weeks into the program, I knew all the local storeowners, chefs and bartenders by their names and they never treated me like I was not Hungarian.

Do you think your program changed you as a person?

My program has really allowed me to become more independent. Prior to taking my program through AIESEC, I’ve never traveled abroad on my own before.

But with AIESEC, I spent 10 weeks working abroad without being able to go home to have my mom’s home-cooked dinners. I’ve learned to be a lot more independent and self-sufficient and grew as a communicator.

On the contrary, while I did learn to be independent, I also learned how to be more dependent and trust others around me. And it was only because I was able to learn to be independent and to be dependent that I really enjoyed my experience abroad.

Coming back to NYC, I walk more confidently and I am able to share my experiences and really have conversations about my travels because I found that this was something I was extremely passionate about.

What made this intern abroad experience unique and special?

What made this opportunity so unique and special was that although I went abroad alone, when I got there, there were 11 other interns working for the same company I worked for through AIESEC. They were all living similar experiences.

These interns were countries across 6 continents, which made my experience phenomenal. Not only was I able to immerse myself into Hungarian culture, but through AIESEC I was able to learn about Portugal, France, Turkey, Indonesia, Australia, India, Mexico, Hong Kong, Egypt and Canada and I did all of this in Hungary.

The interns I worked with really challenged me to understand cultural differences, embrace them and finally make the best of all the experiences we shared.

Staff Interviews

Staff interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Please provide me with a brief summary of your business.

Mark: The Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange is the collective voice of the U.S.-based international exchange community. We're a nonprofit membership association representing 82 NGOs around the country, all of which are committed to providing life-changing international educational and cultural exchange experiences for their participants (both Americans going abroad and international participants coming to the U.S.). At the Alliance, we support the work of our members through a range of advocacy, policy, and information services.

Tell me about your role at the Alliance. What has been your career path so far?

Mark: The Alliance has a small staff, so my role as Assistant Director is varied and touches on all aspects of the services we provide to our members. I'm engaged in Congressional advocacy, both in DC and at the state and district levels; I work closely with the Department of State on the exchange programs we partner on; I speak at a variety of conferences on the policy climate surrounding exchanges; I help plan and execute a number of events for our members, including advocacy days and best practices workshops; and I help keep our members informed through our Policy Monitor.

We get to work with an array of fantastic people and organizations, so our days are always interesting. My career path is directly related to my own international experiences—first studying in France, then teaching in China. I got hooked on all things international during my undergrad years and when, after coming to DC for grad school, I found the international education and exchanges field, I knew that's where I wanted to be.

If you could study abroad, where would you go and why?

Mark: In some ways, I'd like to re-do my college study abroad experience in France—not just because I had such a great time and love that country, but also so I could make even more out of it. You know, do all of the things I know now and I wish I'd known then! If given the opportunity to have another study abroad experience, I'd learn Arabic. Maybe in Jordan or Egypt. That's a part of the world I've never been to and want to know more about.

What are some of the most important global issues that you believe every study abroad student should be aware of?

Mark: Advocacy is essential. That is important for everyone involved with global engagement and international education to know: every student who's been abroad, every study abroad or international education organization, anyone who cares about U.S. engagement with the world. While the number of Americans studying abroad continues to rise, it's still less than 10% of all enrolled American undergrads.

And while more and more policymakers are beginning to understand the necessity of global competence in all Americans, we still only spend 0.016% of the federal budget on international exchange programs. This will change only if we—the broad community in support of global engagement—raise our voices in support of international programs. And it's more important now than ever—not only as the stakes for engaging globally continue to rise, but also as political pressure to cut federal funding increases.

What aspect of Alliance do you believe your members find most useful?

Mark: The community. The ability to network, share best practices, collaborate, and innovate. The Alliance has grown significantly over the past decade—both in the number of members we have and in the services we provide. We've seen tangible and significant successes in improving programs and influencing policy through our combined efforts, and I think our members greatly value working together as a community.

Do you have some advice for how international educators can make a difference in Washington in the coming years?

Mark: Continue to lobby for increased global engagement. And not just lobbying your elected officials, though that is important. Lobbying of other potential influential supporters of international exchange in other key sectors.

What are the guiding principles of the Alliance-Exchange?

Mark: The guiding principles by which the Alliance operates were formed more than 20 years ago, when key leaders in the international education and exchanges field came together with the goal of creating a membership and policy association that could represent their collective interests in Washington. Simply put, the Alliance and our members believe that mutual understanding, international cooperation, economic prosperity, and the growth of knowledge that comes from international exchange programs are essential to activities in a global 21st century. We believe it is our responsibility to conduct exchange programs that embody the highest standards of quality, integrity, and safety, as well as to advocate for public policies that support the growth and well-being of international exchange programs and U.S. global engagement with the world.

Where is there room for improvement in the field of international exchange?

Mark: Some of the challenges we're looking to tackle include creating opportunities for more and more participants to have a significant international experience, no matter the constraints (financial, geographic, course of study at college/university, etc.), and increasing the number of policymakers and other influential people who we can call true champions of exchange and global engagement.

What are the best resources to stay abreast of international exchange trends?

Mark: I'm probably biased, but the Alliance Policy Monitor and Twitter feed are excellent resources! Following the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) is a great way to stay on top of U.S. government international exchange activities. The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) provides excellent information on political developments as they relate to U.S. global engagement and foreign assistance as a whole. The ICEF Monitor is a useful resource for international education trends. Additionally, very useful publications for education and political trends include Congressional Quarterly (CQ), the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed. I also recommend following (Twitter is the most useful, I find) any organization that you're particularly interested in or passionate about!