venerdì 20 gennaio 2012

AIESEC - be the change

    Raise your hand if you've seen this logo somewhere around your Faculty...but never had the time or courage to approach one of their meetings to find what was that all about! I did the same for a loong time till I met them in person...and they're like us ;)
AIESEC is the largest student association in the world! It' about young people working for other young people to give them a change the world...and themselves. What they offer is an amazing amount of opportunities to make an internship in any continent of the world.
    If you're not older than 30, what you have to do is to approach the closest Aiesec office, have an interview with the local committee (LC). Once you've passed it you have to pay a little amount (definitely less than 300€) and you can register your profile on the immense database packed with internship opportunities from loads of countries. All you have to do at this point is to choose the best for you. 
  • The GCDP, i.e. Global Community Development Program: volunteer program lasting for 6-8 weeks. It mainly intervenes in fields like sustainability, cross-cultural education, human rights, health, HIV and similar. In most cases you will be offered accommodation (sometimes even food and local transport).
  • The GIP, the Global Internship Program is a real internship, usually in a business company. It can last from 6 to 12 months. In many cases even a minimum monthly allowance is granted to the intern so that he/she can cover evryday expenses. The fields covered are really unlimited...from Business managemente, to International trade to Foreign language teaching to Engineering and Marketing. It all depends of what qualification you have and which kind of experienc you want to do.When you have selected the projects you're interested in you send CV and cover letter (don't do that disgusted face...I can see you) and ask for a skype conversation. If they find you suitable, you are "matched" with the project and you can pack your suitcase. 
A few final notes. 1. At the mention of money to give, I know many students will reconsider the idea about going to Aiesec...but I'll let you know that those money are spent by the local committee to host other interns.
2. Wherever you go, whatever you do you'll be always supported by sending staff and destination staff.
3. Few abbreviations that might come useful through your application process:
  • EP= exchange participant...that's you
  • TN = traineeship nominee, i.e. the hosting company
  • OGX= outgoing exchange - it refers to local committee sending people abroad 
  • ICX= incoming exchange - committee hosting interns
  • VP= Vice president of a local committee
  • LCP= local committee president 
  • PM= project manager - team leader of a project
4. If you're from Italy visit to discover more, otherwise look for your national Aiesec. Many of them have a Facebook fanpage and/or a twitter account.
5.Should you be close to Bari, make reference to Giancarlo Ostuni, Enrico Nicolò e Francesca Catena...and to the Aiesec Bari fanpage. They're helping me a lot in choosing the right internship and also helped me with the post content!!

And you? What are you waiting for to pack your staff??
There's a world of opportunities out there!!
You already had an Aiesec experience? drop a few lines in the comment box.
[update]I had my GCDP in Istanbul, Turkey in February and March 2012 and it was amazing experience I would recomment especially to young people who have never been abroad. Feel free to ask me information about the experience!