When people think about travel, one of the first things that come to mind is the idea of going on a vacation or enjoying a glamorous trip. This is not always the case because there are opportunities to travel that will help you learn, adjust and help other people. It comes in the form of an internship or exchange program.
Exchange programs are stereotyped to be expensive and not something that all people can accomplish. This is simply not true because there are a lot of opportunities for people to achieve their dreams, see other places and learn new things. The process is not easy, but the result will be worth it for both ends of the participants.
If you think that joining an exchange program is something you want, get a glimpse of what’s in store for you here at AIESEC! There are roles and programs that you can sign up for depending on what you want. See the list below to learn more about it:
Become an AIESEC Intern
If you think you are not quite ready to go out into the world and visit an entirely different country, then maybe becoming an intern will be the best choice for you. Our interns here at AIESEC all have opportunities to work here in our office in Nigeria and in other parts of the world as well. You get an allowance and the beauty of choosing your program as well!
Your assignment can vary depending on your skills and the experiences you want to try. This is why it’s also very important to talk to one of our staff members so we can discuss your plans for the future and how your role at AIESEC will help you! Being an intern can be a great first step to dip your feet in the experience.
Join one of our international exchange programs
If you are ready to dive straight in and apply for one of our international exchange programs, then you are in the right place! The process is not complicated at all, and it simply requires you to submit a certain set of requirements and to fix your payment for the whole thing.
Overall, applications may take about a few months depending on the time period and the availability of slots. Our international exchange program is by far the most popular, so if you would like to reserve a slot, it is a good idea to start applying as early as possible.
Join a virtual exchange program
For those who are a bit limited in terms of finances and other resources, then we highly suggest joining our virtual exchange program. This is essentially the same as our international exchange program but with an entirely virtual experience. Instead of flying to other parts of the world, you can do all of it from the comfort of your own home.
You can meet and work with other people in AIESEC who are also at home or in their respective countries. This program still has a lot of fun activities and opportunities for those who wish to try something new. Who knows, afterwards you might want to go one step further and actually travel to a new place.
Sign up to be an AIESEC volunteer
If you are more into the non-profit and charitable sector of the AIESEC community, then being a volunteer might be the best option for you! This role means that you have responsibilities to ensure that all of the programs are running smoothly, and you will work with the senior staff members of the team.
The role is a part-time job, so if you have a tight schedule but still want to do your part for our causes here at AIESEC, then sign up to be a volunteer today! It’s a chance to do something other than donate or share our stories online. You can be a part of our community and do your share in our international studies and internship programs.
Be hired as an AIESEC staff member
Last but not least, joining AIESEC as a permanent staff member is one of the biggest commitments you can make. If some of our volunteers, interns or exchange students only spend time with us for a few months or less than a year, our staff members are here as permanent employees.
These employees are added to the payroll and will have full-time jobs with the community. You can work with our marketing team or be one of the staff members who will help arrange trips, curriculums, partnerships and so much more for all of our programs. If this is something that you want, we hope you apply for a staff position soon!
If any of these roles or programs happen to appeal to you, then the next step that you should take will be to reach out to us here at AIESEC and we can talk about the next steps. From there, being a member of our community will help you reach all sorts of new milestones and unforgettable experiences in your life.
Why should you join an exchange program?
Now that you have an idea of how our programs work here at AIESEC, it’s time to see if joining an exchange program is truly for you! The process is challenging but fulfilling in the end. So, take a look at some of the reasons why you should consider joining an exchange program:
A great addition to your resume and personal experience
One of the main reasons why our students join our exchange program is because it gives them a chance to have various opportunities outside of school or their jobs. It can be pretty impressive on your resume to say that you have been to another country and studied there as well. This will increase your chances of getting better jobs in the future.
On the other hand, you will also have your fair share of personal experience. Nothing beats learning the values and ideas that you will pick up along the way. These are things that money cannot buy, only your own learnings will. You would be surprised by how much these will help you later on in life.
A chance to see the world and meet new people
If you are a social person and you like the idea of meeting new people, then an exchange program is an excellent choice. You can get out of your comfort zone and speak with other people of all ages and backgrounds. Who knows, you might even meet a friend that you will have for the rest of your life.
Travelling and seeing gorgeous places is also a part of the experience. Depending on the country you visit, they all have their respective tourist attractions that you should see. In your downtime, you can take the chance to do a bit of sightseeing!
Immerse yourself in a completely different environment
Aside from seeing amazing places and meeting new people, you have the chance to actually put yourself in their shoes. An exchange program means that you will live the way the locals do and eat their food, ride their means of transport and many more.
Some people say that they experience homesickness or culture shock, and these are all completely normal things. You will find that you will adjust soon and eventually become comfortable in your new life.
Learn new things, ideas and cultures
There are some things that you just cannot learn at home or in your country, so it’s a good idea to get out into the world and see things from someone else’s point of view. They have new ideas to offer, things that you will never have thought of before! This form of learning is something that not everyone is lucky enough to get.
The culture of a different country is something of a marvel as well. Their traditions are different and you will witness a new kind of beauty from your travels, something that you will not forget for the rest of your life.
The application process is easy
There is a stereotype that applying for an exchange program is expensive and overly difficult. It is not the case because as long as you have the requirements and you qualify for the program, then you have nothing to worry about.
If you ever have the chance to apply here at AIESEC, you will find that the process is easy and all of that hard work will be worth it in the end.
Based in Nigeria, the Association for the International Exchange of Students in Economics and Commerce is dedicated to connecting bridges and promoting education. Helping the younger generation find their place in the world is an important task, and it can be the factor that decides the fate of the world in the coming decades.