Working Abroad

Each of us has a comfort zone, a zone of behavior that is familiar to us and where we feel comfortable and safe. But to achieve your goals and realize your potential, you must be willing to be uncomfortable – to do things that push your limit or afraid to do. That’s how you develop your potential!

To work abroad you need determination to go out of your comfort zone to get a valuable work, life and cultural experience. You will expose yourself to new culture, language, and thinking. You will have to make new friends, new colleagues and new environment. Well, all this might be exciting or a little scary, but it is another chance to stretch you. Confront your fears and be willing to expand your comfort zone. The courage muscle can be developed just like any other muscle – with exercise. And when you do an activity outside your comfort zone a few times, you know what happens? That same activity becomes part of your comfort zone!

There is another bonus when you’re willing to expand your comfort zone. When you push through fear and take action in some areas of your life, you’ll develop confidence in other areas as well. It is true, as you become more comfortable with meeting new people and interacting with different cultures, you will  also became a better salesman, a better businessman, a better listener… the list goes on and on. You can try to dance around it all you want. But you will not develop your abilities to the fullest unless you are willing to be uncomfortable. Life does not reward those who refuse to expose themselves to difficulties and challenges.

25323950542_8f1285063b_o

 

The best place to put you in this challenging environment and grow as a person and professionally is AIESEC. Being part of our Global Talent opportunities abroad and working in different Multinational and Startup companies after your graduate is the best way to challenge yourself with an intense experience and start or activate your professional life with valuable carrier experience. You will discover a new way of life and make friends that you will have for a lifetime. AIESEC offices in Norway and in the country that you go to will help you in every step of the way, will and follow your development.

It is true that doing an internship in another country is of enormous value, interning abroad and living in another culture is also something that is very attractive to employers seeking to hire new people. You proved that you are willing to learn and do what it takes to educate yourself and improve your skill set. That increases your marketability and lets you stand out from the crowd.

AIESEC internship abroad will lead to personal life enrichment and fulfillment that will ultimately stay with you for the rest of your life. You will discover a new way of life and make friends that you will have for a lifetime.

It is important that you put yourself in a position to win, and that means taking action despite fear. Confront your comfort zone and you’re on the way to developing your potential and leading the exciting, fulfilling life you deserve. Working abroad is a decision you’ll never regret!

 

Global Talent logo-02

 

Making a career out of making a difference

The best thing about volunteering abroad through AIESEC is that it is a road for career discovery, professional networking and skills development, besides the fact that you are making a difference in someone else’s life. For the individual, offering time and energy through volunteering can be one of the best ways to gain on-the-job experience, and develop a career. It also shows your character, interests and motivation. You can leverage your volunteer experience abroad as a stepping stone to work to international development work also to.  Find out more how you can make your career by volunteering abroad.

 

Leadership Development

AIESEC’s exchange products are focused on developing leadership on every single Exchange Participant. For AIESEC leadership is based on 4 qualities: Self-awareness, Empowering others, Solution Orientation, and World Citizen.

If you look for an experience that will make you become not just a better person, but a better leader, then you should consider getting to know more about AIESEC.

 

Show dedication

Volunteering through AIESEC Global Volunteer program is something you do voluntarily and it shows your dedication. Employers’ value dedication and volunteering abroad is a very good sign that you have what they want. For potential employers it also shows that you have taken the initiative to develop relevant skills.

 

Get credibility

Are you afraid that you might not be on the top when you apply for a job after you graduate? Well, when you volunteer on a project with AIESEC, you will get an official certificate for your experience which includes the project description of the project you worked, the time you spent, and you can add this experience to your CV, and make it go to the top of the pile.

 

Become a better person

Living in another country has many hurdles to overcome, from language barriers to unfamiliar social customs. There will be several occasion where you have to step outside of your comfort zone. This will significantly benefit you as a person and your career. At the end of your Volunteer experience abroad you will be a better problem solver and more resilient.  

 

Focus on particular career fields

Are you interested to volunteer abroad in a specific area that is related to your field of study in University? Do you want to add some volunteering work experience of what you are studying? Then you came to right place. In AIESEC, whether you can be working with the management of a NGO, volunteering in hospitals, teaching English, or working with whatever your specific interest is, you can find the project that fits you and impacts your life, and the life of many others.

Take a chance. Your leadership experience can be one click away! Find your project here

 

AIESECers’ Stories #1

By: Kine Torp Ellingsen

My name is Vyni Nguyen and I study Culture and Communications at the University of Oslo. From a young age I knew I wanted to help people and work with society issues to improve the world. Half a year into university I remember talking with my sister on the phone and she said that AIESEC would be a good fit for me. She told me that AIESEC was about developing ourselves both personally and professionally and that it was a good place to meet new people. It took some time before I came around, but when I saw the video “Why we do what we do“, and I was sold.
I started in the Organizational Comitte (OC) having the role of arranging the parties and dinners for the conference that my team was responsible of facilitating. After the conference I became the Vice President of incoming Global Community Development Programme (iGCDP). Our project was to make a summer camp for children from a lower socio-economic background, especially children in asylum, with the aim of developing the children’s communication skills, English skills, teamwork skills, self-esteem and pro-active attitude so that they would better be able to have cultural understanding, because developing cultural understanding was what the project was about.The summer camp was also an opportunity to give the children who could not afford it a worthy summer vacation.
vy

The year later we wanted to improve the quality of the camp by focusing on being more present for the Exchange Participants who ran the camp in terms of following up on their leadership and management development. When I started, I really didn’t know what it meant to be a leader, but being a leader is basically just having a goal and finding the most effective way to reach that goal. I have learned that it is crucial to build a foundation and get on the same page in terms of finding a common vision to work towards and create goals that make you able to reach the vision when you reach these goals.This empowering culture we have in AIESEC has made me see myself in a new perspective.
vy's camp

Being a Vice President has been the most challenging and best experience of my life. I can definitely say that I got what I came for in terms of establishing deep friendships, developing myself both professionally and personally. I also got great insight in how the society and how the business world works.
In my perspective, AIESEC has been the best platform for me to challenge and develop myself. You get to practice theory, realize your ideas and really learn by doing. I am grateful for being able to experience all the things I have experienced and meeting all the people I have met. My journey wouldn’t be the same. Although I am doing a semester abroad right now, I will still be a part of AIESEC,that is in AIESEC in Madrid.

vyni

 

Would you like to have an impactful experience like Vy? Get to know more about AIESEC, and how you can become a member in your city, or university by clicking here.

6 Ways Volunteering Abroad Gets You Work Experience

By: Anteneh Tesfaye

Are you looking for a way to add some experience to your CV?  Besides just adding do you want develop yourself professionally and acquire work skills in very diverse and challenging environment? Volunteering abroad in community development projects through AIESEC in a country you choose will give you the ample opportunity to build up your professional skills. Here are six ways AIESEC Global Volunteer opportunities gives you a work experience.

1- You will expand your personal and professional network

Volunteering abroad will give you friends for life which you can always ask them for help and support. You will meet different people in your journey and at the NGO or school you are working. This is a way to build up your professional network. If you perform well in your tasks when you work as a volunteer your supervisor, at a place you worked might even serve as reference to you when you apply for a job.

2- Diverse new working environment

One of the best things you can get going abroad and volunteering is exposing yourself to new working environment which most of the time is far different from the surrounding you are used to. Facing the challenges that comes from this situation, and finding a solution, or adapting yourself to the new environment will give you another worth experience. This will be definitely an asset to your carrier development and gives you an upper hand when you apply for any job opportunity. Mind the fact that you will have a better CV than any of your peer fresh recent graduates who do not have any volunteer experience.

3- New culture and language

Our volunteer opportunities give you access to new a culture considering that you will go to a different country with different ways of doing the same things you do, and distinct things as well. You will learn new language which is always an addition to your skills, and makes you more competitive in the job market.

China

4- Leadership

AIESEC Volunteering opportunities are always designed to develop leaders that can impact themselves and everyone around them. Well you may ask <<how do they develop leaders in their platform and what makes them so unique?>>

First in AIESEC youth leadership is the core of our organization. We have a leadership development model consisting of three parts which helps us to develop leaders. The number one is the Leadership Qualities we want to see our customers get after going on an exchange with us. The second one is The Inner & Outer Journey. This is a personal journey that our customers go through in an AIESEC exchange in order to develop the 4 Leadership Qualities. The third part of this Leadership Model is called Standards & Satisfaction. It describes the daily activities a team of AIESECers need to execute in order to facilitate a complete experience for our Volunteering exchange participant. At the end of your volunteering experience you will be a person who is self aware, someone who can empower others, is solution oriented and, a world citizen. Having these qualities when you apply for any job will shows the managers that you are fit to their company or organization.

5- You will Acquire Huge range of Skills

You will develop skills such as the ability to work in a team, problem solving and adaptability, communicating with clients and stakeholders, ability to plan and prioritize work, sales skills, time management, report writing, and improve interpersonal skills are some of the benefits you get from Volunteering abroad.

Uganda

6- Companies and organization care about your volunteer experience

A recent LinkedIn survey found that 41% of hiring managers consider volunteer experience equally valuable as paid work. LinkedIn also found that 89% of professionals surveyed had volunteer experience. After LinkedIn collected this data, they decided to include a place to put a volunteer experience for their users, because commitment and dedication of doing a volunteer work will definitely give you skills you need for paid work as well.

Just place yourself in the shoes of an employer and picture this situation for a minute. Two job candidates with the same backgrounds. However, one of the candidates has a significant volunteer experience – an experience that allowed the student to harvest relevant skills to the job they are applying. On the other hand, the other candidate has just graduated with no volunteer experience, which one would you choose?

 

So are you ready to take this chance and volunteer abroad?

Here you can find Volunteering opportunities abroad. Your life-changing experience is just one click away.

7 benefits you get from volunteering abroad

By: Anteneh Tesfaye

An AIESEC Volunteering abroad program is an experience worth living. You learn a lot, about yourself, about whichever field you work in, and how to work among people you otherwise wouldn’t even imagine interacting with.
The international experience gives you exposure beyond your wildest dreams (on a personal and professional level) and that is what holds value. You become a stronger and more independent individual. You will get a wider exposure, creative problem solving to real problems of the world in innovative ways, creative brainstorming, leadership development experience, a chance to make a positive impact on the society. Here are 7 benefits you get from volunteering abroad:

 

1- Global Mindset and Global Network

 Volunteering abroad will give you A new Perspective to the world and set of individual attributes that help you to be global leader. Your experience abroad provides you with insight into foreign work environments and custom. Volunteering will you develop lasting personal and professional relationships and it is also a great way to learn about people from all walks of life, different environments, and new industries. Networking is an exciting benefit of volunteering and you can never tell who you will meet or what new information you will learn and what impact this could have on your life.

 

2- Learn about a new Culture

When you are abroad you will discover a new Country, Improve your Language Skills or Learn a New Language, and meet different people from to different cultural background. Volunteering brings together a diverse range of people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Both the recipients of your volunteer efforts and your co-workers can be a rich source for learning new culture.

 

3- Make an Impact

 Volunteering abroad changes you because it gives you the chance to change and impact others. As AIESEC and UN are working together to achieve sustainable development goals, all our projects around the world target SDG goals. Volunteering abroad through AIESEC exchanges will give you a chance to contribute your own part in realization of sustainable development goal. Volunteering abroad is one of the best ways we know of to make a difference .Whatever your passion, however you get involved, volunteering offers a way to have a real and lasting impact on the world.

28143401634_99d114424b_o 

 

4- AIESEC volunteering  will give you professional work experience

 Employers want to hire people that are able to utilize the lessons from previous work experiences and apply them to their current job. As in an international intern, you will be faced with challenges relating to communication barriers, creative problem-solving and understanding various points of view from a cultural perspective. By facing these challenges abroad, you will be able to fine tune your transferable skills and sell any employer on your benefits.

 

5- Life long friendship

 Your overseas volunteer is not just about adding a new section to your resume. Living and working abroad is filled with exciting new sights, people, and experiences. You will discover a new way of life and make friends that you will have for a lifetime.

 

6- Personal growth and Soft Skills growth

 When you go for an exchange abroad, you will meet different peoples from different background ,culture and language. In all your time abroad you will need to break the barrier and need to communicate. Starting from your arrival date to all through your working time you will be facing communication barriers .at the end of the day the challenge that arise from diversity will shape you out to a person who can communicate his ideas clearly in any environment. You will Learn about Yourself and Discover Your Personal Brand.

 

7- Culture shock

 The most beautiful and meaningful moments of your life will occur when you decide to step outside of your comfort zone. Traveling to a foreign country to volunteer is one of the best ways to step outside your established comfort zone. Although the majority of people who travel abroad experience a degree of culture shock, it is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, experiencing culture shock is a very positive thing because it gives you the opportunity to learn about yourself, teaches you how to think on your feet and adapt, and presents you with the opportunity to immerse yourself in an entirely new culture, and then emerge as a global citizen.

Now that you know the benefits you get from volunteering abroad, you just have to find the right project for you, and decide when it is the best time for you to go. In case you have any doubts, you can always contact the nearest local office, and our members will help you through your journey.

The Skills of 2020 and Changing Leadership

The societies we live in today are vastly different from what they were twenty, or even ten, years ago. The pace of the world is increasing exponentially, due to technology and its effects on the daily life of human beings. The most prevalent of these effects is no doubt the capacity for global connection.

TIME Magazine recently published an article with an infographic detailing the projected ten most important work skills required for the workplace in the year 2020 — which alarmingly, is only a little over five years away. Five years might feel a long way away for now, but in today’s fast-paced society, time flies.

2020 skills

Success lies in preparation, and so we must ask ourselves, what does this mean for today’s skills training and how we can keep up for 2020?

What may set the individual or leader apart is the ability to adapt and innovate, a keenness for learning, and zero tolerance for complacency.

There are a number of things expected to change by 2020, including increased longevity (longer life spans), the heightened role that technology and computation will play in our personal and professional lives, and intensified globalization. Simply put, the world is finding ways to do things better and to get more out of it. If we are optimistic, we can expect to live in an “improved” society by 2020.

For leaders, however, it is important to realize that this improvement begins right now at this moment, not five years later. When the skills of 2020 demands people to own a wider sense of social intelligence, computational thinking, cross cultural competency. In addition, it requires leaders to be capable of new media literacy, virtual collaboration, and transdisciplinary work — the learning curve begins now.

Those we deem worthy of leadership are those who are “one step ahead”, and who are “leading the way”. They are the ones who are willing to take risks and able to adapt to change, and in doing so, become role models for those who wish to follow.

Leaders in today’s world must have a solid knowledge of both the past and a future, and secure understanding of where they themselves fit in between or bridge the gap. The world is expanding, and people need to grow along with it — as the world becomes better, so must we.

Here at AIESEC, we also wanted to identify some of the top skills young people were wanting to develop today, and our YouthSpeak survey with 25,000 millennial respondents showed that leadership / team management, new languages, critical thinking and problem solving skills were still the most in-demand to help them get ahead over the next few years.

The skills you need today versus in the future are rapidly changing. Are you prepared for the skills of 2020?

Tweet us @AIESEC or comment below

Malala’s Nobel Peace Prize: Seventeen Years of an Admirable Story

More or less seventeen years ago, in Mingora, the largest city in the Pakistani district of Swat, a baby girl was born. The date was precisely July 12th and she was welcomed by her family with great love and joy. It is interesting to imagine, so many years afterwards, that the whole world would hold the same sentiments towards this girl, perhaps also with an additional touch of hope and pride.

Malala Yousafzai has earned the admiration of many people around the globe as a result of her actions and the way she has conducted her life towards one objective, and one objective only, since she was born: “my mission is to help people”, she said once during an interview with BBC. This goal–her life goal–has remained steadfast and the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize she received on October 10th proves this better than anything else.

Get to know Malala

Hero_Malala_QUOTE

 

Malala may be a schoolgirl, but she was never little. Or at least, not in the childish sense of the word. Growing up in a family where education has always been praised, Malala values the importance of learning, and this has not changed even with the political instability in her country. In particular, the Taliban is known for its violent activity in the Middle East and also for their extreme interpretation of Islam, which they use to validate their own operations. As a matter of fact, a number of the group’s arbitrarily cruel actions are related to the oppression of women.

When Malala first heard that she was not allowed to attend school because she was a girl, she could have just looked down and obeyed, as so many other girls did. At first glance, her calm face and peaceful eyes may demonstrate that she is more likely to remain quiet than express her own ideas out loud. However, for Malala (and, to be honest, to me and a good deal of other people I know as well), the idea of keeping women in the shadows simply did not make sense.  How could girls not be allowed to go to school? Unfortunately  for the Taliban, school was exactly where Malala wanted to be, and she decided to spread her will to the world.

I am Malala

At the age of eleven, Malala wrote a blog for the BBC about her day-to-day life under the Taliban occupation and her subsequent desire for things to change. As she spoke for herself, Malala was also speaking up for a generation of young girls and women who are prevented every day from entering into an education institution due to the simple fact that they are female. “All I want is education”, she cried, and thousands around the world stepped forward to support this statement.

Sadly, in October 9th of 2012, Malala’s voice was almost shut down. After hearing someone call her name, she became the victim of a murder attempt. One of three bullets hit Malala and for some time the world wondered, concerned, if this little girl of big actions would become just another addition to the sad statistics.  Meanwhile, while Malala was fighting for her life, different people and organizations everywhere used the tragedy as a turning point to further the fight for women’s rights and increase opportunities for equal education.

One of the most significant instances of this was the UN petition signed by Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, which urged that every child in the world should be in school by the end of 2015. The petition used the slogan “I am Malala”, which reached all corners of the globe, and had a huge influence in the ratification of the first Right to Education Bill in Pakistan.

Malala’s legacy

Perhaps all of these positive reactions had something to do with Malala’s recovery. In 2013, she celebrated her birthday, perfectly well, by giving a speech at the UN Headquarters. Her words requested universal access to education and demonstrated that bullets will never be able to stop the struggle for a better world.

“I am very thankful that people in Pakistan and people around the world on the next day [of the shooting] raised up their voices; they spoke for their rights. Malala was only hurt in Pakistan, but now she was hurt in every corner of the world”, she said in an interview for BBC, only one year after the attempt on her life.

Some time later, the Nobel Prize committee announced that the recipient of the Peace Award of this year had a familiar name. Together with Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian activist who works for children’s rights, Malala is sharing the $1.1 million prize and the honour and prestige of the world’s most famous distinction. The nomination states that both deserve the recognition “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.

These fancy words do justice to the beautiful actions of this seventeen year old, who is the youngest Nobel prize winner in history. In the battle for equal education opportunity, Malala is clearly unafraid of being in the vanguard. Today, AIESEC congratulates Malala and wonders about the future: what else she will do, and for the first time? Personally, I can’t wait to see what comes next.

USAID

What does leadership mean to different leaders?

The definition of leadership can vary, and it can be interpreted in different ways based on a person’s experience. We previously defined the difference between transformational vs transactional leadership and developed a Facebook application with IE Business School to identify your leadership style.

Here’s what leadership means to different leaders

AIESEC International 

  • Leadership is about positively impacting others through living by example and enabling a continuous rippling effect – Ana Sofia Espejo
  • To me leadership reflects in everyday actions and behaviours. Being a leader is not a one-time thing, it’s a life-long commitment – Karolina Piotrowska
  • Leadership is service, empathy and clarity of vision – Giancarlo Ostuni
  • Leadership is the ability to not just have a vision, but to act on it and engage others around you to act on it. Successfully.  – Kevin Cornwell
  • Leadership means to me consciously changing and challenging yourself for a purpose you believe – Vishant Kothari
  • To me leadership means to inspire action, inspire by example, inspire by your stories – Lucia Taboda
  • Leadership is empowering others to become something greater than themselves  – Gordon Ching
Historical figures
  • To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • A leader is a dealer in hope. —Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations. —Peter Drucker
  • He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander. —Aristotle
  • To lead people, walk behind them – Lao Tzu
  • Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. —John F. Kennedy

Modern leaders

  • As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others. —Bill Gates
  • A cowardly leader is the most dangerous of men. —Stephen King
  • Earn your leadership every day –Michael Jordan
  • Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. —Jack Welch
  • My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better  —Steve Jobs

What is your definition of leadership? Tell us on Twitter @AIESEC.

Discover your leadership style with the transactional vs transformational leadership quiz.

Transformational Leadership vs Transactional Leadership

Transformational or transactional leadership? Is one better than the other?

The concept of transformational leadership was initially introduced by leadership expert and presidential biographer James MacGregor Burns. According to Burns, transformational leadership can be seen when “leaders and followers make each other to advance to a higher level of moral and motivation.”

Transactional and transformational are the two modes of leadership that tend to be compared the most.

James MacGregor Burns distinguished between transactional leaders and transformational by explaining that:

  • Transactional leader are leaders who exchange tangible rewards for the work and loyalty of followers.
  • Transformational leaders are leaders who engage with followers, focus on higher order intrinsic needs, and raise consciousness about the significance of specific outcomes and new ways in which those outcomes might be achieved.

Here’s a great breakdown chart of transactional vs transformational leadership.

Transactional VS. Transformational
Leadership is responsive Leadership is proactive
Works within the organizational culture Works to change the organizational culture by implementing new ideas
Employees achieve objectives through rewards and punishments set by leader Employees achieve objectives through higher ideals and moral values
Motivates followers by appealing to their own self-interest 
Motivates followers by encouraging them to put group interests first
Management-by-exception: maintain the status quo; stress correct actions to improve performance.
Individualized consideration: Each behaviour is directed to each individual to express consideration and support.
Intellectual stimulation: Promote creative and innovative ideas to solve problems.

However, there has been recent arguments that transformationa lleadership may be more effective in a long-term setting.

“Research evidence clearly shows that groups led by transformational leaders have higher levels of performance and satisfaction than groups led by other types of leaders,” explained psychologist and leadership expert Ronald E. Riggio. The reason, he suggests, is that transformational leaders believe that their followers can do their best, leading members of the group to feel inspired and empowered.

Where transactional leadership works

Rules, procedures and standards are essential in transactional leadership. Followers are not encouraged to be creative or to find new solutions to problems. Research has found that transactional leadership tends to be most effective in situations where problems are simple and clearly-defined.

While transactional leadership can be effective in some situations, it is generally considered an insufficient and may prevent both leaders and followers from achieving their full potential.

How transformational leadership works:

In their classic text, Transformational Leadership , authors Bass and Riggio explained:

“Transformational leaders…are those who stimulate and inspire followers to both achieve extraordinary outcomes and, in the process, develop their own leadership capacity. Transformational leaders help followers grow and develop into leaders by responding to individual followers’ needs by empowering them and by aligning the objectives and goals of the individual followers, the leader, the group, and the larger organization.”

We’ve worked together with Juan-Carlos Pastor, PhD, Professor of Organizational Behaviour at IE Business School, to develop an app on Facebook that helps you determine whether you have a more transactional or transformational leadership style.

Curious which leadership style you are? Click here and find out!

 

 

How Going Abroad Taught Me About Life – Everyday Leadership

Contributed by Janet Ong

Here are the stories from my exchange experience that surprised me in the end. This is my experience with AIESEC NCTU in Hsinchu City, Taiwan as part of the the project Connect the World from September to December 2013.

This cultural exchange program was designed for us exchange participants to make an impact on high school students by sharing things about and from our countries.

Surprisingly, this exchange program taught me a lot about life. I was approached by one of the teachers in one of the high schools I was teaching at. The teacher knew I intended to go to law school because of how I had introduced myself in her class. She wanted to ask me for more details on law school because she was very worried about her daughter, who was on the verge of giving up law school.

I told her that I wanted to specialize in criminal law and in the field of human rights because I wanted to be a court lawyer and be of service to people. She asked me how I already knew which specific field in law I wanted to pursue this early on. I simply told her that I always remind myself of why I wanted to be in this field to begin with. I remind myself that I am doing this not only for the sake of my career but also for the sake of the people who are in need of help and that I think being a court lawyer best fits this interest.

The exchange program is more than the learning you get from the four corners of the classroom, it is the learning from an experience in life.

She asked me this question so that she could help her daughter who was about to graduate but was attempting to give up. Surprisingly, she really wanted advice from me. I told her to tell her daughter to remind herself why she chose law and to remind herself of the positive things that happened in law school despite the difficulty she was currently having. The teacher said that her daughter was worried about the bar exam. In response, I told her that everyone was scared of the bar exam and even I was afraid of it. I told her that working hard for a dream would achieve good results.

What was the surprise here? After saying those things to the teacher, I  saw myself as the daughter who was worried about law school. Then I reflected on those words I said to the teacher. It made me realize that I can manage as long as I believe in myself. Friends and even former professors have been telling me that I can manage, that I have good academic standing and a keen interest in the classes in my undergraduate course in psychology. I get positive feedback from my classes. What is there to be afraid of? I am afraid of failing, but who isn’t? I am afraid of falling, but who isn’t? Everyone is. It is a matter of facing your fears.

Everyone thinks, I lack the courage to face them; I do not believe in myself; I do not trust myself. If I believed in myself, I would have the capacity to say I can do it. Then I realized, am I not like her daughter too? Afraid? I gave advice that the teacher appreciated and believed that it would be of help to her daughter. I realized, I can do it. I can pursue my dreams despite the struggles; believe despite the hardships.

I got letters and messages from my students, teachers and friends telling me I am a funny and jolly person. They said I have this motivation and energy that influences other people. It has always been a surprise for me to see in the letters or even hear this feedback because I do not see myself like that. I believe that I gained more confidence and courage from this project than anyone could ever imagine. I remember the poster/ad of AIESEC DLSU saying, “Get lost and find yourself”. I am indeed discovering a lot about myself from feedback from other people.

I realized now that we need other people who are courageous enough to tell us about ourselves. Feedback from other people no matter how minor can help us realize what is really happening in our lives. This is why I have to say that I am very glad that I met the people I did, experienced the things I experienced. If not for those, I would not have found myself. I would not have discovered something more about myself. I would not have been the way I am right now. I may have had a tough rocky road along the way but everyone does, right?

I believe that things happen for a reason. Now, I believe that these things had to happen to open my eyes and see the reality. I am grateful for the good and bad. If not for the bad, how could I have appreciated the good so much? Right now, I just do not know the right words to express how much AIESEC, my fellow trainees, teachers, students and friends have helped shape my life for the better. It is quite sad for me to leave because this is the place where I learned a lot, not about academics, but about life itself. It is a place where I found good friends. However, I have to say goodbye, face the things that I have to face back home and continue on with my life. People come and go in our lives but it does not mean that they will be gone from our lives. The people I met will always be treasured dearly. Everyone may be far away from one another but distance is not a barrier to maintain the friendships that we have created.

The world has still a lot to offer. The world still has a lot of surprises. There is still a lot more to learn from. Just smile at the world, and it will surely smile back at you. But this experience is one of the best I have ever had. This is my second home—Taiwan. This has been my Wonderland.

I am happy that I was here. I am happy that I was able to convince students who did not participate to participate. I was able to convince students who did not smile, to smile. I was able to see how keen and eager the students were whenever I was presenting. I am happy that I was able to see how the students’ eyes brightened. I am happy that I was able to see and hear the students laugh, joke and even be loud for a good cause. These were the actual experiences I had with my last class: the most difficult but the best class I ever had.

My last class was supposed to be the most unresponsive and I was told that the class does not really answer questions. However, it was different when I was there. They were welcoming and happy. My last class is where I can say I was really able to Connect the World and fulfill the goals of the project. This was the class where I can say that I really was able to make a difference. These are irreplaceable moments in my life that can make me say and realize that, “Hey! I did make a change”. It may have just lasted for a day, an hour, a minute or even just a second, but the little things showed me that one person could really make a big difference.

This is the teaching experience.
This is the experience of life.
This is the AIESEC experience.
Thank you very much.

After the exchange experience, where am I now? I had the courage to take up law school and continue my AIESEC journey. I am currently a first year student of law and a member of the Finance and Legal Affairs Department of AIESEC DLSU. What am I grateful for? I am grateful that AIESEC shaped my life and happy that I was able to contribute to AIESEC’s vision of “Peace and Fulfillment of Humankind’s potential”

Here’s a tribute for my AIESEC experience:

“The exchange program is more than the learning you get from the four corners of the classroom, it is a life experience. It is about finding who you are and learning more about yourself throughout the journey. I began to open up locked chests that I didn’t know existed within me. Moreover, I’ve realized how life is so wonderful and it never fails to give you those little things that make you smile.
It’s also about never giving up and never losing hope.

It was also in this exchange program that I found what I am passionate and dedicated about — and AIESEC is one of those things. AIESEC taught me how to stand up for myself and be a leader — a leader who will be able to make a wonderful and positive impact in my country and also in the world.

Lastly, it is indeed an honor and a privilege to be part of AIESEC. I will forever and always be thankful for AIESEC.”

“This story was written in contribution to the AIESEC Everyday Leader Series, that showcases stories of everyday leaders who are changing the world. Share your story with the world.