Contributed by: Oliver Fisher from Australia, Intern for Change in Progress 2.0 project.
AIESEC prides itself on being global; it prides itself on creating cultural exchanges for students around the world. But sometimes it is difficult to understand and to see just how global AIESEC really is. As AIESECers we often get caught up in our own LC’s goals and ambitions, we forget to look at the bigger picture. That is, why does AIESEC exist?
So why does AIESEC exist, what is the benefit that it gives to the youth of the world? To me AIESEC is a platform, a platform for us as youth to connect with people from all around the world. We may not have direct interactions with other LCs, we may not see exactly the progress and achievement of other AIESECers around the world. But what we do know is that as AIESECers we have some things in common. Throughout my exchange I have come to see that it does not matter if we are talking about AIESEC in Islamabad or AIESEC UWA, there are common traits that draw people to becoming AIESEC members.
AIESEC members join for a vast number of different reasons, some because they want something to boost their resume, others because they want to make a difference in this world, they want to be the change. But no matter what AIESEC committee you belong, as an AIESECer there are a number of personality traits that separate you from the pack. AIESECers are leaders, they believe that if their dreams don’t scare them, then they’re not big enough. They are in all aspects change makers, they want to make a difference and they are brave enough to try and make that difference.
AIESECers aren’t afraid to be themselves, because as AIESECers we aim to break down barriers. Some of our behavior may seem a little strange at first, for example our roll calls (dances). But everything we do is done with the goal of increasing our understanding of the world and the first step in achieving this is to be comfortable with yourself. AIESEC creates an environment where you can do that. This means that AIESECers are some of the craziest and the most fun people to be around, you just have to be willing to let down your guard then you are guaranteed to have some memorable experiences in your AIESEC journey.
One of the things that I love about AIESECers is that they are loyal to the core; they treat other AIESECers as family. From the moment that I arrived in Pakistan I had an instant group of friends, this is one of the things that I like most about AIESEC. It allows you to form friendships all around the world. Being an AIESECer teaches you how to interact with people from all walks of life. It teaches you that although your interactions with others at times may be brief that doesn’t mean that you can’t form some strong bonds in those short periods of time. AIESEC teaches you how to connect.
What I have learnt from exchange thus far is that it doesn’t matter where as an AIESECer we come from, because in essence we are all the same. That doesn’t mean that we go about everything in the same way, AIESEC in Islamabad will have different methods to achieve their goals than AIESEC UWA. The members may have different ethnicities, languages and religions. But when you are an AIESECer none of that matters, what does matter is that we are working together towards the same goal. That is what makes us the same, it is why we have achieved what we have and it is why I am proud to call myself an AIESECer.