To Someone who Has Never Traveled Outside of their Comfort Zone

When I was 11 I was obsessed with British culture. Mainly it was due to the fact that all of my English teachers up to that point were somehow connected to the UK, either they were British or their spouses were British. And it most certainly did not help that I was very into Harry Potter (yes, posters up on my wall and going to HP movie premiers in costumes). So one can imagine how desperately I wanted to visit London. It was the dream destination, I knew everything there was to know about London (or at least I thought so). But when you are 11, solo traveling is not an option and my mom was not keen on the idea of taking me on her own to London. You ask why (I most certainly did at every possible occasion). She said that she did not know the language and was unfamiliar with the city. You see, my mom only traveled because of work or went on these super touristy group trips. And the thought of being alone in a city where she has never been before was just too much for her, so I had to postpone that dream for 5 years and visited London for the first time when I was 16.

But there are so many benefits of traveling outside of your comfort zone.

S O M E T H I N G new

You will most likely experience something you have never experienced before: The most obvious one is you can add a new city or a new country to your list, you might get a glimpse of a new culture. Traveling outside of your comfort zone could mean to someone perhaps trying out solo travelling, or actually getting the chance to plan the trip on your own from start to finish. Or instead of staying in a hotel as per usual, why not stay with a local and try out couch surfing or Airbnb? Or switch the plane for a train, or travel multiple cities instead of one city at a time, or instead of visiting the capital, go to a smaller city or to a country side? There is so much room to experience with something new.

D I F F E R E N T perspective

I recently read a story of a girl who had never traveled outside of the States. She had never even traveled outside of her home State or even outside of her city. So imagine her reaction and all of her emotions when she landed in Prague for the first time for her school trip and stayed there for almost a month? What changed? Her perspective of the world. Suddenly the world was a bigger than just her southern culture. She gained crazy amount of inspiration, the yearning to explore and travel and realizing there is so much more out there than just what we go through on daily basis.

D I S T U R B the boring

What are the stories you want to tell one day? The adventures you want to have? To have something you never had before, you guessed it, you have to do something you have never done before. And why not share stories of volunteering abroad with a purpose, meeting locals, working in a new environment, and making this Summer the best Summer you have had so far? Do it. Do not hesitate. Check out the opportunities AIESEC has for you!
aiesec.youth.org

7 Inspirational Quotes from Great Leaders

Let’s be honest, there are moments where we feel like we are stuck on a second gear or when it has not been our day, our month or even our year. And we just need that extra push, that insight to alter our thinking to see things, situations and opportunities from a different perspective. And sometimes one is not just good enough, so here are s e v e n brilliant quotes from great leaders.

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; Nothing on Earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude“–Thomas Jefferson

Often times the right opportunities are staring us in the face but our attitude is the main thing that keeps us from chasing the opportunities and leaves us wondering

„Successful people have fear, successful people have doubts, and successful people have worries. They just don’t let their feelings stop them. “- T.Harv Eker

It is more than okay to be scared, and to be doubtful. You see, everyone experiences it but do the thing anyway. Do it d e s p i t e  the fear, and the discouragement.

„Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy. “– Dale Carneige

No one has ever excelled at something by just thinking about it. Achieving your goals is about patience, realising that it is okay to fail, then try again, and make it happen.

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Explore. Dream. Discover.”- Mark Twain

If you only have this one precious life, what do you want to do with it? What do you want to experience during this journey? What is the legacy you want to leave behind? What are the stories you want to tell?

“You didn’t grow up driving…you figured it out.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

It takes hard work to make your dreams and goals happen. Just because you are starting right now and the gap between your current state and the end goal is massive, does not mean you will not make it to the end. Take a deep breath, make the first steps happen, work hard and you will figure out the way to your goals.

“There is no royal road; you’ve got to work a good deal harder that most people want to work.”
– Charles Wilson

Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard enough. There is no room for excuses, excuses will only slow down your journey. Be patient and work.

“Someone told me growth and comfort do not coexists. And I think that’s a really good thing to remember.” –Ginny Rometty

When was the last time you took a step out of your comfort zone? Instead of wishing actually making things happen? Experienced personal growth, pushed your limits, stared fear right into the eyes?

How about doing something bit scary, something out of your comfort zone this summer? Taking a big step towards reaching your goals? How about spending time abroad, developing your skills, networking, and enjoying the best time while creating a killer CV?
Check out the opportunities that AIESEC has for you! aiesec.youth.org

4 Reasons For Solo Traveling

I was 16 when I visited Vienna for first time. It was love at first sight, and I knew I wanted to explore the city more then what I saw in that week of doing everything that was even slightly categorized as touristy. The first time I travelled on my own was 4 years ago. I was 18 and I spent 3 weeks in Vienna. And I never thought that I would enjoy travelling on my own as much as I did. Here are the top 4 reason why you should try travelling alone.

  1. You Can Do Anything Y O U want.

Wake up whenever you want to wake up. Visit the museums that you want to or visit exactly 0 museums, if that is what you wish for. Spend the day outside of the city or stay in your room the whole day: planning the timetable is entirely up to you. No need to convince someone else to do the thing you want to do during the trip.

  1. Meeting New People.

Meeting new people is definitely one the biggest highlight of solo travelling. If you are travelling on your own, and especially for a longer period of time, you will meet new people because solo traveling pushes you outside of your comfort zone and make it easier to interact with strangers. For example during my trip to Vienna I met ton of new people from all over the world, who were like me and just visiting the city  for couple of weeks.

  1. Staying in the Budget

If you are travelling on your own, it is easier to stick to the budget. Last Summer I spent 10 days travelling through Germany and ended my trip in Amsterdam. Even though it was July (aka the high season of tourism when everything is super expensive) it was one of my cheapest trips so far just because when travelling with friends, everyone has different spending habits and it’s easy to spend money on things you would not normally spend money on.

  1. It Is Empowering

It is empowering to spend time on your own and feeling comfortable being alone. It makes you more independent, and more solution oriented. It becomes easier to socialize with new people. And it is a skillset you can put into use in your everyday life and it is an experience that no other experience is similar to. Definitely a point the on bucket list.

And believe me, there are more than just 4 reasons for solo travelling, but the rest of them,you have to figure out on your own. A good place where to start is an international experience AIESEC. Check out the amazing opportunities that AIESEC has for you!
youth.aiesec.com

What is Youth Speak and Go Abroad with AIESEC Without Exchange Fee


About a year and a half ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals. During this time the initiative Youth4GlobalGoals become one of most powerful movements towards the Sustainable Development Goals. The reach has crossed more than 120 countries and territories around the world.

Youth 4 Global Goals campaign was created to mobilise young people to take action towards the SDGs. It has a set of initiatives aimed to make people aware about the Global Goals, understand them and take action. This campaign has three parts to it:

  • Youth Speak Survey: the survey got 162,292 answers until today, engaging people across more than 120 countries. The result is the voice of Millennials giving an opinion about what SDGs they would act upon, what kind of motives and fears they have.
  • Youth Speak Forum: an event realized around the world that brings together young and senior leaders to form a space for inspiring conversations and creation of actionable ideas around global issues. In various countries governments and UN agencies have supported the event.
  • Youth Speak Projects: considering the insights got in the Survey, AIESEC is running the social projects around SDGs and Millennials needs. This is how a young person gets an opportunity to directly contribute to an issue he or she relates the most to, while developing the leadership potential.

Organizations like Asian Development Bank, PVBLIC Foundation and UN Habitat were the founding partners of the campaign and many more are joining the movement now.

Ours is the first generation with the potential to end poverty (SDG number 1) – and the last to avoid worst effects of climate change.

Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General

Fill in the survey and enter the youth speak contest, out of those who fill in the survey and post the snapshot of the thank you page  to AIESEC in Estonia Facebook page under the blogpost post as a  comment with the hashtags #AIESEinEstonia #Y4GG,  2 people will be selected for free exchange program by AIESEC in ESTONIA.

Survey: yss.questionpro.com

To learn more about the Youth4GlobalGoals campaign, visit youth4globalgoals.org

First Time Going Abroad with AIESEC

Aleksander is 21 years old, taller than most of us, and is currently a second year Food Technology student at Tallinn Technical University. After joining AIESEC in TUT this February his summer plans changed from doing internship in Tallinn to volunteering abroad.


So what are exactly you doing this summer, Aleksander?

I am going abroad with AIESEC. I am participating in volunteering project in South-Malaysia in a small city called Johor Bahur for 6 weeks. During the project I will help to raise awareness, especially amongst the youth, on food waist. We’ll talk about how to consume more responsibly, what to do with food left overs, how to cook something delicious of yesterday’s left overs. Because there are many who lack of food and at the same time there are many who live in abundance.

But why at all should one go abroad for the summer?

But why not? Is there anything better? We have already been at home, and we have plenty of time to be here more. But to go abroad and see how things are done there, and how people live- this is something that challenges the way we think.

Malaysia is pretty far away from Estonia, didn’t you want to go somewhere closer to home?

But that was the whole point: to go as far as possible. That also means that the cultural differences are much more noticeable compared to the experience I would have somewhere close to home, let’s say somewhere in Europe. Close to my cultural comfort zone, I already can assume how people are and think and work, but to somewhere far, I imagine I will experience and learn so much more than if I were to stay somewhere closer.

How much time did it take you to find the right program?

It took me around a week to figure out what I even expect from the program and the SDG I want to volunteer for. Because I study Food Technology I wanted the project to connect somehow to my major as well. And then it took me a week and a half to apply for different programs and do the interviews.

What is the scariest part about going abroad?

Hm, I am not scared of much. Maybe the fact that everything will be so different, which is good but it also means that I might not know how to act accordingly in every situation. That I might insult someone by accident because I am not familiar with some cultural or religious aspects. But at the same time it is a learning point. I will learn from my mistakes when I young, and avoid such incidences in the future.

Why should one go abroad?

If you are thinking about volunteering abroad, if it interest you, do it now! Don’t say that you are going to do it, or don’t say that one day or next year I am going to do it because you might miss out on your chance and end up not going abroad. So pull yourself together, take the first scary step, and just do it!
Find the best program for you on youth.aiesec.org

Mida kujutab endast AIESECi rahvusvaheline konverents?

Mina olen Laura, AIESEC in Tartu juhatuse liige. Eelmise aasta sügisel tekkis mul suur soov osaleda mõnel AIESECi rahvusvahelisel konverentsil. Olin ju poolteist aastat organisatsiooni liige olnud ning paljud teised sõbrad olid selle teekonna läbi teinud. Sügisel käisid kolm AIESEC in Estonia liiget Armeenias EuroCol ning nende kogemused panid mind veelgi enam mõtlema. Hakkasin vaikselt uurima, mis võimalused mul üldse on – Euroopast kaugemale ei tihanud ma minna. Mingi hetk hakkas mulle silma EuroXPRO, mis sel aastal toimus minu jaoks üpriski tundmatus Bosnia ja Hertsegoviinas. Esialgu polnud ma siiski kindel, kas ja kuidas, aga mida aeg sedasi, seda reaalsemaks see võimalus muutus. Kuni oligi käes 5. aprilli varahommik, mil takso mind varahommikul 5.50 peale korjas ja Tallinna Lennujaama läbi magava linna sõidutas.

Konverents kestis 5.-10. aprillini ning oli hommikust õhtuni (varajaste hommikutundideni) täielikult sisustatud. Kui esimestel päevadel oli sisu minu jaoks pisut kauge ja pehme, siis viimased päevad suutsid selle vea parandada. Esimesel päeval toimus ka üritus Global Village, kus kõik osalevad riigid näitasid enda riigi võlusid ja pakkusid kõigile huvilistele kohalikke maitseelamusi. Minuga tuli Eestist kaasa must leib, kamatahvlid, küüslauguleivad ja batoonikesed – just see kõige eestimaisem. Kusjuures, ei olnud üldse lihtne välja mõelda, mis siis on see, mis esindab Eestit kõige paremini. Loodust kaasa võtta ei saa. Laulu- ja tantsupidu samuti. Idufirmasid ja ITd ka mitte. Sellest hoolimata kandsin uhkelt Eesti rahvarõiva seelikut ja vööd.

Kogu konverentsi kõige olulisemaks osaks olid uued tutvused. Konverentsil osales ju üle 40 erineva riigi! Saan uhkelt öelda, et nüüd ootavad tuttavad mind näiteks Norras, Austrias, Aserbaidžaanis ning isegi Hongkongis. Samuti on just teised AIESECi üksuste inimesed need, kellelt häid ja halbu kogemusi koguda ning partnerlussuhteid luua. Tõin Eestisse kaasa näiteks huvitava lepingutasu mõtte Taanist ja partnerlusidee Kolumbiast.

Puutusin esimest korda kokku ka nelja AIESEC Internationali liikmega, sealhulgas AIESECi presidendiga. Need inimesed on aastaid enda elust AIESECile pühendanud ning edendanud organisatsiooni just selles suunas, kus see praegu on. AIESECi president rääkis, mis teda motiveerib ning see mõte on üks osa sellest: “Do it because the world is moving at such a fast pace and we need people to be global citizens and understand one another and the way we work if we must work towards achieving peace“. Ja neid inimesi on veel ja veel, kes on valmis nii suure osa oma ajast panustama sellesse suurde visiooni, mis meid kõiki edasi viib, ning organisatsiooni arengusse.

Ükskõik, kes sa oled, kes sa seda postitust loed – rahvusvahelised kogemused ja millegi suurem poole püüdlemine on alus sõbralikuma ühiskonna suunas. Meie ümber olevad inimesed on sama inimesed kui sina isegi. Ja sellest tuleb kõigil aru saada. Kui sa mõistad maailma, oskad sa seda ka muuta. Võin kindel olla, et konverentsil osalemine andis mulle palju suurema pildi maailmast ja kuidas asjad väljaspool Eestit toimivad. Seda peaks iga noor inimene kogema. Päriselt.

 

Konverentsile sõitu toetas SA Kodanikuühiskonna Sihtkapital (KÜSK).

 

3 Steps to Kick-Start Your International Career

Laura Liisa is 22 years old  foxy read head with a bubbling personality and with a go-getter attitude. As we wait for our breakfast to be served she turns to me with a big smile and asks :“ So, should we start now?“

So, Laura Liisa, spill the beans, how does a young person kick- start their International career?

I think there are 3 really easy steps for that

Firstly, take interest in the global world.

You have to take an interest in the global world and think bigger and further than just the reality of your home country and constantly develop that type of a mind-set.

One might ask how to develop that interest or why one should even be interested in global issues. I think that the whole world is moving towards being united and connected. Take for examples the EU, we do not have these kind of boundaries that we used to have in the region decades ago. It is smart to think through even before you start your career how are you going to fit into that society and working culture we are moving towards to.

Secondly, join and international organization.

I joined an international organization in the beginning of my university because I realized this is the best option where to get that international experience from early on.

Joining an international organization puts you into a position where you are facing different cultures and where you have an opportunity to learn from someone and build that foundation of cultural understanding. For example I am currently working in a company with 6 Latvians and 1 Brit (and then there’s the one Estonian, me).’ In order to be efficient in an international company you need to be able to communicate well with other nationalities. I think one of the reason why I was hired to work at that company is that I don’t mind stepping out of my comport zone, and it is relatively easy for me to connect with different people. And this is a skill set that I possess right now because I was part of an international organisation.

If you are actively participating and doing different things in an international organization, you are actually developing yourself because an organization is a legal body as any other company with the exception that people are more personally motivated to do things. They are motivated by self-development, and they joy of giving versus just being motivated by money. In an organization you see the structure, you understand your role and see how your contribution affects the overall results. And this is the same when working in a small or medium sized company.

Thirdly, apply for that job.

I consider this to be the trickiest part. Maybe others experience this differently but it took me 2 years to gain that courage to apply. When I started to think about applying it took me another 2 months to actually send out those applications. By that time I had been a board member in AIESEC, I had taken care of the over-all finance and lead teams, which is one of the biggest challenges. And the responsibility that came with these positions was huge. Another good thing about AIESEC is that it is okay to try and fail, which is not always the mind-set in companies. And my AIESEC experience gave me the necessary confidence and skill set to apply.

Are you interested in an international career? Check out the opportunities AIESEC has for you! youth.aiesec.org

How to Get Better at Being a Leader?


Creator of Global Leadership Summit Bill Hybles once said: “Everybody wins when a leader gets better”.

But how does a leader get better at… being a leader?

I think the secret formula of being a great leader is realizing that leadership is about moving things forward. Moving from point A to point B, and this concept is applicable to all various aspects in one’s life, whether that is in be relationships, personal goals, HR or business development. Leadership comes from within you. Leadership is something that cannot be learnt in a class room or only from textbooks, it requires practice.

AIESEC is very passionate about developing young leaders and how we do it is through providing young people with the opportunities of cross cultural exchange to integrate in a new culture and work in challenging situation.

AIESEC has broken down leadership development into 4 parts:.

Being a world citizen

You cannot change the world around you, if you do not understand it. AIESEC provides youth with the opportunities to explore new cultures while building their professional portfolios, creating a killer CV and developing essential soft skills.

Self-awareness

AIESEC experiences develop self -awareness in youth. These experiences provide plenty of challenges and puts a young person into an environment where they have an opportunity to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses, which is a major step in their formation towards becoming an excellent leader.

Being solution oriented

These leadership experiences enable the youth To have the mind set and the courage to step into messy situations, and instead of complaining, take action to solve complex problems.

To empower others.

Growing in your empathy and the ability to see qualities in others that they themselves might be oblivious to. Making sure that through effective communication and encouragement you are able to be part of someone else’s journey of moving from point A to point B

What is your point B?? The best time to start self-development is now, not a month or a year or 10 years from now. Opportunities will come and go but don’t you want to grow personally to be able to accomplish anything professionally. Create your own story. Check out the amazing opportunities AIESEC has for you! opportunities.aiesec.org

Joonas vabatahtlikuna Rumeenias

Läksin sellel suvel kuueks nädalaks välismaale vabatahtlikuks eesmärgiga kogeda midagi uut ja vahest leida ka motivatsiooni järgnevaks ülikooliaastaks. Plaan veeta suvi kusagil, kuhu ma varem sattunud polnud, oli prioriteet number üks ja saatuse tahtel leidsin ennast juuli keskel Rumeeniast. Ma ei saa küll öelda, et ma oleks sinna täiesti juhuslikult sattunud. Projekti töökirjeldust (õpetada gruppi keskkooliõpilasi teemadel nagu motivatsioon, karjääri planeerimine, aja planeerimine jne) lugedes jõudsin veendumusele, et mul endal on neid teemasid, mida noortele õpetama pidin, just kõige rohkem vaja, nii et miks mitte kaks ühes – seiklus ja vaimne areng.

Vaatamata sellele, et ma eelnevalt Rumeeniast üsna negatiivseid eelarvamusi omasin, ja Rumeeniasse jõudes varaöise mustlaskultuuriga kokku puutumise tagajärjel enda sealse eksistentsi üle tõsiselt juurdlema hakkasin, oli sinna minek parim otsus. Näha ja kuulda, kuidas Rumeenia eluolu tagasihoidlikku malli surutud noored tänu sinule endasse uskuma hakkavad ja elult midagi enamat ootavad, oli meeliülendav. Olin vist unustanud, kui hea tunne on teha head ilma midagi vastu ootamata.

Kokkuvõttes andis see vabatahtlik kogemus mulle palju enamat, kui ma enne isegi loota oleks osanud. Sain omale häid sõpru, kellega siiamaani suhtlen, veetsin seal suve lõbusamad nädalad ja õppisin Rumeenia eluolu kogedes efektiivselt improviseerima ja erinevatest olukordadest välja pugema – kulub tulevikus kindlasti ära!