AIESEC is similar to the European Erasmus program, except it is geared towards developing leadership skills on a more global scale.
AIESEC stands for “Association for the International Exchange of Students in Economics and Commerce” and it is the world’s largest global youth run network that is also an independent, non-political and non-profit organization. Their aims include supporting recent graduates who are interested in developing their leadership and management skills, awareness and activism with regard to world issues, by equipping them with the tools of international internships that can help them understand their potential impact on society and to inspire individuals to actively participate in the global community through learning and teaching.
What makes AIESEC unique to other international programs is that an experienced team of youth leaders who have been through the AIESEC program themselves and understand the incredible impact it can have on one’s life actually run the program! This extremely motivated crew has brought AIESEC into lasting relationships with over 2,100 high education institutions in 113 different countries.
AIESEC strives to give participants an alternative way of living, looking and experiencing the world around them by exploring foreign lands and interacting with diverse cultures and peoples. They have three different kinds of programs; Internship, Volunteering and Leadership.
The Global Internship Programme is designed to give students and recent graduates a chance to head out overseas to experience the professional world. Making the most of connections with some of the world’s top organizations, AIESEC helps student develop their skills in real world situations for world-renowned companies.
The Global Community Development Programme is for individuals interested in an experience travelling the world assisting on important and life changing projects and collaborating with NGOs to create positive impacts on communities. Volunteer fields can range from sustainability, community development and education. Compared to internships, which are usually about 3-6 months, long, volunteer opportunities are usually only about 6-8 weeks. This program is a great introduction to going out into the world with purpose, as housing and food are included.
AIESEC recognizes that qualities necessary to have in future leaders includes individuals who are entrepreneurial, culturally aware, responsible and socially conscious. The leadership program tests participants’ abilities to take on leadership roles such as managing teams and projects on specific schedules, and running organizations in collaboration with other future leaders from other countries. These programs can reach up to a year in length and will develop not only leadership skills, but each person will be able to grow on their own journey of self exploration in a leadership role.