I was attracted to aiesec by the opportunity to work abroad, but I stayed because I found an organisation that is so much more than an internship provider. I value my aiesec experience not just for the places I have been able to discover but also the challenges I have faced during these two and a half incredible years, and the amazing people I met along the way.
Aiesec has given me the opportunity to travel in 6 countries so far: I had the opportunity to be a member of aiesec in both the UK and France, travelling to new cities for conferences and to visit my newfound friends. I also spent a weekend in Belgium as a result of a local committee partnership, enjoyed attending international conferences in Switzerland and Lithuania as well as completing a development internship in Indonesia.
However I have been able to discover many more new cultures from the very international teams of both my local committees, time spent with other trainees from other countries in Indonesia and perhaps one of the highlights of my AIESEC journey so far was facilitating at a national conference in Lithuania in a team of 15 facilitators representing 9 different nationalities. I have developed a truly global network of friends with common interests and goals which is incredibly powerful.
Then In the morning I worked for Bhakti Luhur, a catholic missionary centre for disabled, poor and disadvantaged people. I taught English in their Elementary School and ran English games sessions at their orphanage. In the evenings I assisted at an English Language Centre sharing British Culture.My students ranged from 4 years old to 40. The work was incredibly rewarding and I can honestly say it was the most amazing experience of my life, not to mention the most challenging. Spending Ramadan and Idul Fitri with my host family I learnt more about Islam than I imagined. During 5 weeks I lived and worked in the local community, developing relationships with the local people and becoming totally immersed in Javanese culture. There was a lot to get used to: from getting up at 5am every day, negotiating my way around town on public transport, discovering that actually non spicy IS still spicy … but that’s all part of the fun and I feel privileged to be able to say I now have two families, one on either side of the world.
Aiesec Lille 2009-2010