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).

 

#1 AIESECer’s Leadership Story – Anna

Anna, President of Local Committee Tartu

My name is Anna. I’m 22 years old and studying in Masters, social work and social policy at University of Tartu. Currently, I’m the President of Local Committee of Tartu.

For me, one of the biggest AIESEC value is Demonstrating integrity, which I’m following daily basis. When I joined AIESEC in March 2016, I couldn’t even dream that in couple of months I will be the board member of MTÜ AIESEC Eesti and Local Committee President (LCP) of AIESEC in Tartu. That “leap” from a member to a president showed that I dare to decide over difficult situations and I’m willing to learn by doing. Also this kind of leap shows that regardless of little knowledge and skills, it’s hard to make decisions for the whole Local Committee (LC) in Tartu. When I started leading LC Tartu, I made rules that we will be partners with the Executive Board and we will support each other – through these rules we are more like a family to each other, but we are also co-workers who know about each other’s doings and know how to help one another. Moreover, our meetings are in a friendly environment, where we discuss all the decisions regarding LC Tartu, everyone can share their opinion and if opinions go apart, then we will find a solution that fits for everyone.

I have been the LCP for Tartu for 8 months and through this experience I have developed myself as a leader more than all the previous experiences put together. I have shown to myself and others that you don’t have to have the longest experience to become a leader, but you can be a person who really wants to be a leader and who is willing to learn, be flexible and most of all, be partners with others. I am giving my best to be a leader for my team. I don’t want to be the boss who demands others to do tasks, so that I wouldn’t do anything. Through all these actions I have shown the “Demonstrating integrity” value to everyone else.

Now you have the chance to be part of AIESEC and develop yourself as well.  Link to join us: www.aiesec.ee/join-aiesec/

Volunteering experience in Bulgaria

Keily  – Bulgaria

Duration of project: 6 weeks

Type of exchange: camp counsellor in a summer camp oriented for international high-school students

I had always known I wanted to be involved in a long-term voluntary work someday in my life. Little did I know that the opportunity would present itself so suddenly and would have such a huge impact on my life. My decision to apply for the projects came pretty much on the last minute because I had lots of hesitations, whether it is worth stepping out of my comfort zone and will I actually go through with this. Thinking back now, I can’t even imagine standing between the two options and second-guessing – my volunteering experience was literally the best time of my life.

k

My voluntary project took place in Bulgaria, in a little city called Blagoevgrad and specifically in The American University of Bulgaria.

kk

My job there was to be the camp counsellor in a summer camp oriented for international high-school students, a bit more than 150 of them. My project lasted for 6 weeks but since I arrived a bit earlier and left a week later, then I spent around two months abroad. There was a total number of around 20 camp counsellors and teachers volunteering for the project from various places around the world – Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Spain, Macedonia, Canada, America, Kosovo, Albania, Hong Kong etc. 7 of us came through AIESEC. I was the first ever Estonian to have stepped my foot into the camp.

o

We, AIESEC volunteers flew in a week earlier to prepare for the camp. The camp itself lasted for three weeks. Among many various duties, my job as a camp counsellor was to be in charge of different afternoon and evening activities, staying up late during the nights to do rounds around the campus with other volunteers and provide a safe environment for the campers. The camp time was a really busy, runaround kind of crazy experience since there was not enough sleep but tons of positive emotions and happy moments triggered by both the campers and the volunteers.

l

During the last week of the project we helped out with the international mathematics competition which had more than 300 participants.

ma

What I loved about the entire project was that I had the possibility to be engaged in various activities and responsibilities. I was able to develop my communication and leadership skills and I definitely learned to be more independent. What I cherish and love above all, is definitely my irreplaceable family of volunteers! I cannot begin to describe the way they opened my eyes about other cultures, countries and even my own home country.

lkm

I will never forget the adventures, the laughs, the tears (both the ones through laughter and the ones through sadness), the frustrations and even the daily potatoes and chicken we shared! I love those people to death and I can’t wait to see them again one day. I am glad and lucky beyond measure to have a bunch of beautiful people around the world to call my family!

hjb

I will never forget the two incredible months of my life and I recommend everyone to try volunteering through AIESEC. You have nothing to lose, only bunch to gain.

oa

PS! Some of the photos used for this blog post were taken by the talented Alvaro, one of the volunteers.

Volunteering experience in Brazil

Richard Riispere – Brazil
Duration of project: 8 weeks

Type of exchange: voluntary work in project Gaia

Hi! I’m Richard from Estonia and I went volunteering to Brazil for 2 months. This was my second volunteering project so the reason I decided to do this again was because I felt like a learned so much and had an amazing experience on my first time that I wanted a bigger challenge for myself. I wanted to go further from home and do something I really care about and do something nice for the local community.

untitled-2

So I ended up going to Brazil, São Carlos to do project Gaia, which was about discussing environmental problems in public schools and teaching them about my culture. I chose this project because I really care about the environment and I wanted to teach kids how to be more sustainable and I also wanted to gain some teaching experience. My main tasks were to give classes of 50 minutes or 1h 40 minutes at two public schools and prepare new topics to talk about every week.

untitled-5

My travel to Brazil was long, about 30 hours total and at first I was thinking what ifI hate it here? What if I want to go back home it will be 11,000 km away. But I got used to the town really fast and I started to feel like its my home. It was a student town with lots of students and student events so it was rarely boring.

untitled-7

When I started classes I was totally worried that the students would be bored and too noisy and I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I was teaching students from ages 12 to 17 and I had a translator. But ever since my very first lesson this fear was gone and I started to feel confident because the students are really interested in other cultures! Later I also learned tricks to keep them from sleeping because the scientific things when talking about the environment are not that exciting for them.

untitled-8

The first week I just talked about Estonia, showed them some cool pictures and videos about things like sauna, the Estonian sport kiiking, and told them about what Estonia is like. The second week I talked about the environmental problems in my country, the third and fourth week I gave them tips how to be environmentally friendly and showed before and after pictures of how the environment has changed due to the problems that we have. The fifth week was the most fun at school because we organised a dynamic quiz about what we learned so far for the students with another trainee from Hong Kong who I was doing a lot of classes together with! For the sixth week we organised a workshop which was divided into two parts. The first part was where students had to make bracelets out of old clothes and flower pots out of plastic bottles. The second part was where they had the chance to write Chinese calligraphy.

untitled-6

The local life in São Carlos was that there was always something to do because there were other trainees from Mexico, Hong Kong, Colombia, Ecuador, Netherlands etc. who wanted to hang out, go to parties or to lots of local events with music and dancing! There was also a cool observatory and a zoo where I would go multiple times.

untitled-12

I lived with 6 students in a house that they rented and I really liked it because of the student atmosphere and it was never boring. On the weekends I would go travelling to different cities or to amazing natural places or to visit another Aiesecer’s family in the state up north. Sometimes I would stay in the town rest or in one case help my hosts with the party they were organising.    

untitled-14

Finding friends wasn’t hard at all because everybody is just so friendly in Brazil and people are interested in you because you have come from a different culture. The biggest challenge was the language because not a lot of people speak English in Brazil. But I enjoyed this challenge! Because I wanted a challenge and this way I was learning a lot of the Portuguese language. I really enjoyed this experience and this challenge. I am really proud that I did this project and I feel like I impacted a lot of kids in a positive way and taught them something new and useful that they can use later in their lives to make the world a better place.

untitled-15

In Brazil I tried so many different foods I have never tasted before, seen animals I didn’t know existed, everything is totally different and cool but the people here are the best but my favourite thing would be the people because they are really friendly and nice! I would suggest this program to anyone really, going abroad with AIESEC is an experience of a lifetime and the bigger the challenge the better because even though you will be teaching others, you are also growing and learning at the same time about everything around you!

untitled-16

AIESEC Tartus juhatus 16/17 – Teet

Teet, 20
Tartu Ülikool, saksa keel ja kirjandus
AIESEC Tartus, väljaminevad projektid

Teet

  1. Mis filmi pealkiri sobiks kirjeldama sinu elu?
    Arvan, et „Gone with the wind“ kirjeldab mind hästi. Olen teatud mõttes selline vaba ja vahest väga udu hing.
  2. Kelleks sa tahtsid väiksena saada?
    Olen suhteliselt kindel, et tahtsin kas presidendiks või kuningaks saada. Olin noorelt juba ambitsioonikas ning võimujanuline.
  3. Mida sa soovitaksid inimestele, kes on esimest korda juhipositsioonil?
    Fancy ametikoha nimetus on küll tore ja hea, aga peab arvestama, et sellega kaasneb ka suurem vastutus. Ei tasu kandideerida kõrgemale kohale kui ei olda valmis selle jaoks ka rohkem tööd tegema.
  4. Mis on sinu parim isikuomadus? Aga halvim?
    Mu parim isikuomadus on arvatavasti mu rõõmsameelne olek. Proovin kõike positiivse valguse all näha. Samuti olen avameelne suhtleja, kellele meeldib inimestega tegeleda.
    Halb minu juures võib olla vähene usk enda ideedesse. Kahtlen pidevalt oma oskustes ja mõtetes, mis takistavad mul oma täitpotentsiaali täitmist.
  5. Kui sa saaksid valitseda maailma, siis mida sa muudaksid esimesel päeval?
    Ma toetaks taastuvate energiaallikate kasutamist ning rohelise tehnoloogia arendamist. Inimeste vaheline läbisaamine on ka oluline, aga kui me keerame oma planeedi pekki, siis pole ka enam inimesi, kelle õiguste eest seista.

    fotobus__mg_2376-xl

  6. Milline on sinu unistuste töökoht?
    Filmi monteerija või režissöör. Olen pikemat aega juba videode tegemise ja töötlmisega tegelenud. Filmindus pakub võimaluse avaldada visuaalselt peas toimuvaid mõtteid, mis on minu arust ülilahe. Tegelikult kõik ametikohad, mis nõuavad mingisigust kunsti/disaini oskust, sobivad mulle.
  7. Kui sa saaksid valida endale ühe supervõime, siis mis see oleks?
    Ülipraktiline oleks võime elada uneta. Nagu boom! Kohe 7-12 tundi päevas rohkem, et tegeleda oma tööasjadega. Aga ennast tundes jääksin siiski vist ajahätta.
  8. Mis on esimene asi, mida sa vaatad/märkad vastassoo juures?
    Üldiselt märkan inimeste puhul esimesena nende peakuju – kas on ümar, ovaalne või pannkook.
  9. Mis värvi on sinu hambahari?
    Mul on 6 hambaharja. 2 rohelist kodus, 1 hall Tartus, 1 sinine Tallinnas ja 2 punast kotis.
  10. Kuidas sa veenaksid kedagi tegema midagi sellist, mida ta teha ei taha?
    Ma uuriks välja, mis on tema põhjendused, miks ta ei taha. Siis arutaksin temaga, kas see võiks talle kuidagi kasuks tulla ja tuua välja eelised ning miinused.

    11392803_806292322789816_5685675229128763164_n


Teet, 22

University of Tartu, German language and literature
AIESEC in Tartu, outgoing exchange

  1. Which movie’s headline suits the best to describe your life?
    I would say „Gone with the wind“ because I am a very freespirited but sometimes also really forgetfull.
  2. Who did you want to become when you were little?
    I am pretty sure that I wanted to become a king or president. You could say that I had big ambitions (and a lust for power)
  3. What would you recommend to a person who is a leader for the first time?
    A fancy job title is great, but you have to be ready to work for it. I wouldn’t recommen becoming a leader if you are not willing to take on the responibilities.
  4. What is your best characteristic? What is the worst?
    My best if my positivity. I have a pretty great outlook on life. Also I am really open and make friends really quickly.

    My worst quality is that I doubt myself too often. I don’t belive in my ideas, skills. It does not allow me to use 100% of my potential.
  5. If you could rule the world, what would be the first thing you want to change?
    I would develope green energy more, and give it more financial support. Solving problems between humans is also really important, but if we destroy our planet, then everybody will be screwed.
  6. What is your dream job?
    Working as a film director or a editor in post production. I have been doing some videos as a hobby. Basically ever job that is linked to art or disain suits me.
  7. If you could choose a superpower what would you choose?
    It would be so practical if I wouldn’t need to sleep. I mean boom 7-12 extra hours per day to do stuff. But knowing me I will still run out of time.
  8. What is the first thing you notice about the person from the opposite sex?
    In general the first thing I notice about people is their head shape (is it oval, round or a potato).
  9. What color is your toothbrush?
    Well I have 2 green ones at home, one grey in Tartu, one blue in Tallinn and 2 red ones in my backbag.
  10. How would you convince someone to do something one doesn’t want to do?
    I would try to find the reason why he/she does not want to do it. Then I would try to have a conversation and  bring out the pros and cons.

AIESEC Tartus juhatus 16/17 – Ina

Ina, 22
Tartu Ülikool, majandus
AIESEC Tartus, personalijuht

ina

  1. Mis filmi pealkiri sobiks kirjeldama sinu elu?
    Kuna suur osa elust on veel ees, siis ei tahaks ennustada. Seni aga “Finding Nemo”, kus tõlgendan Nemo’t kui mingit eesmärki, mis on ajas muutuv. Kusjuures otsing ise on mõnes mõttes põnevam, kui ta leidmine.
  2. Kelleks sa tahtsid väiksena saada?
    Balletitantsijaks, sest mulle lihtsalt meeldis mööda tuba ringi lennelda!
  3. Mida sa soovitaksid inimestele, kes on esimest korda juhipositsioonil?
    Õpi oma meeskonnaliikmeid tundma. Tea, mis on nende tugevused ja nõrkused, mis neile teha meeldib ja mida nad elult tahavad. Kui sa tunneid neid hästi, saad toetada nende arengut ja kasutada parimal viisil ära nende tugevusi.
  4. Mis on sinu parim isikuomadus? Aga halvim?
    Parim: Püüdlikkus selles mõttes, et ma tahan areneda ja saada paremaks endaks. Usun, et selleks tuleb oma mugavustsoonist välja astuda, proovida uusi asju ja teha vigu, et nendest õppida ja ennast taasavastada.
    Halvim: Ma muretsen liiga palju vähetähtsate asjade üle.
  5. Kui sa saaksid valitseda maailma, siis mida sa muudaksid esimesel päeval?
    Ma jagaksin kõigile piiramatus koguses empaatiat. Et oleks vähem vastandumist ja rohkem teineteise mõistmist, vähem ükskõiksust ja rohkem hoolivust.ina
  6. Milline on sinu unistuste töökoht?
    Tahaksin ka tulevikus töötada organisatsioonis, mille missiooniks on muuta maailma paremaks. Usun, et iga inimene saab maailma muuta, kuid koos inimestega, kellel on sarnased eesmärgid, tekib sünergia ja suudetakse rohkem. Tahan, et töö pakuks väljakutseid ning seltskond oleks inspireeriv ja toetav.
  7. Kui sa saaksid valida endale ühe supervõime, siis mis see oleks?
    Teleporteerumine, kuna armastan reisida! Et saaksin oma vaba aega kasutada uute kohtade avastamiseks, teiste kultuuride ja inimeste tundma õppimiseks.
  8. Mis on esimene asi, mida sa vaatad/märkad vastassoo juures?
    Vastassoost või mitte – inimeste puhul panen esialgu tähele aspekte, mis teevad ta eriliseks, individuaalseks.
  9. Mis värvi on sinu hambahari?
    Mis juhtub vannitoas, jäägu vannituppa.
  10. Kuidas sa veenaksid kedagi tegema midagi sellist, mida ta teha ei taha?
    Eeldusel, et see tegevus on inimesele kuidagi kasulik, uuriksin, mis on need põhjused, miks ta seda teha ei taha. Ma paneks teda neid põhjuseid ning võimalikke kasusid analüüsima eesmärgiga jõuda järelduseni, et sellest tegevusest on võimalik rohkem võita kui kaotada.12193891_1051644624891011_2114047026_o


Ina, 22

University of Tartu, economics
AIESEC in Tartu, talent management

  1. Which movie’s headline suits the best to describe your life?
    Since a big part of my life is still ahead, I’d prefer not to predict anything. But so far it’s like “Finding Nemo” where I interpret Nemo as a dynamic purpose whereas the journey itself can be considered more adventurous than actually finding it.
  2. Who did you want to become when you were little?
    A ballet dancer because I just loved to fly around the room!
  3. What would you recommend to a person who is a leader for the first time?
    Get to know your team members. Know their strengths and weaknesses, what they like to do and what they want out of life. By knowing them well, you can support their personal development and leverage their strengths.
  4. What is your best characteristic? What is the worst?
    Best: Aspiration in a sense that I want to develop and become a better version of myself. To achieve this I believe that it’s necessary to get out of my comfort zone, try new things, make mistakes, learn from them and rediscover myself.
    Worst: I worry too much over trivial matters.
  5. If you could rule the world, what would be the first thing you want to change?
    I would give everyone a limitless supply of empathy in order to reduce polarisation, foster mutual understanding, reduce ignorance and increase kindness.
  6. What is your dream job?
    I would like to work in an organisation with a mission to make the world a better place. I believe that everyone can change the world, but collaborating with others who share mutual goals will generate synergy and therefore the outcome is greater. I would expect the work to be challenging and the colleagues to be inspiring and supportive.
  7. If you could choose a superpower what would you choose?
    Teleportation because I love to travel! Then I could use my free time to discover new places,  get to know other cultures and people.
  8. What is the first thing you notice about the person from the opposite sex?
    Despite the gender, I firstly notice the aspects that make the person individual and special.
  9. What color is your toothbrush?
    What happens in the bathroom, stays in the bathroom.
  10. How would you convince someone to do something one doesn’t want to do?
    Assuming that it’s beneficial for the person I would find out what are the reasons for not wanting to do it.  I would make them analyse those reasons and possible benefits in order to reach the conclusion that there’s more to win than lose from the situation.

AIESEC Tartus juhatus 16/17 – Katharina

Katharina, 22
Tartu Ülikool, rahvusvahelised suhted
AIESEC Tartus, sotsiaalprojektid

Katharina

  1. Mis filmi pealkiri sobiks kirjeldama sinu elu?
    “The Pursuit of Happiness” või “It’s Complicated”. Tegelikult vist pole veel sellise pealkirjaga filmi olemas. Äkki ma ise teen kunagi dokfilmi.
  2. Kelleks sa tahtsid väiksena saada? 
    Alguses ma tahtsin saada printsessiks, siis arstiks, kokaks, juuksuriks ja lõpuks vist lihtsalt “rikkaks ärinaiseks”. Iga nädal puhusid uued tuuled.
  3. Mida sa soovitaksid inimestele, kes on esimest korda juhipositsioonil? 
    Ma soovitan kõik olulised otsused enda jaoks läbi kaaluda, panna kirja plussid ja miinused, mis ühe või teise otsusega kaasnevad. Kui tahad olla hea ja edukas juht, pead läbi saama ka oma tiimi liikmetega, sest need väärtuslikud inimesed aitavad jõuda püstitatud eesmärgini. Juhina on täiesti okei ka vigu teha, seda juhtub kõigil. Oluline on aga nendest õppida.
  4. Mis on sinu parim isikuomadus? Aga halvim? 
    Mu parim isikuomadus on järjekindlus, sest kui ma midagi väga tahan, siis ei anna ma alla enne, kui olen selle saavutanud. Väga halb olen ma endiselt aja planeerimises ja jään palju hiljaks. See vajab veel tööd.
  5. Kui sa saaksid valitseda maailma, siis mida sa muudaksid esimesel päeval? 
    On selline ütlus: “Me näeme asju nii, nagu meie oleme, mitte nii, nagu need on”. Ma alustaksin maailma muutmist sellest, et ajaksin kõik oma mugavusmullist välja ja paneksin inimesed nägema asju just sellisena, nagu need tegelikult on. Ma arvan, et see lahendaks nii mõnedki arusaamatused, mis viivad konfliktideni.

    Scan 1

  6. Milline on sinu unistuste töökoht? 
    Minu unistuste töökohas on mõnus õhkkond, avatud ja rõõmsameelsed töökaaslased, see oleks innovatiivse, kuid säästliku mõtteviisiga. Ma tahaksin, et saaksin teha väga mitmekülgset tööd, mis mulle meeldiks, kuid oleks samas ka väljakutsuv.
  7. Kui sa saaksid valida endale ühe supervõime, siis mis see oleks? 
    Ma ei teagi, see oleks päris raske otsus. Võibolla ma tahaks osata teleporteeruda ühest kohast teise, sest nii saaks jube palju aega kokku hoida, eriti Tartu-Tallinn-Tartu liinil. Aga samas mõtete lugemine tundub ka päris kasulik. See aitaks rohkem mõista inimeste motiive, millel põhinevad nende (vahel veidrad) otsused.
  8. Mis on esimene asi, mida sa vaatad/märkad vastassoo juures? 
    Ma pole kindel, aga ma arvan, et vaatan esimesena silmi ja siis naeratust.
  9. Mis värvi on sinu hambahari? 
    Mul on tegelikult neid päris mitu. Üks on roosa-valgega, siis on roosa-mustaga ja veel üks roosa. Roosa on alati mu lemmikvärv olnud.
  10. Kuidas sa veenaksid kedagi tegema midagi sellist, mida ta teha ei taha? 
    Üldiselt mulle ei meeldi inimestele midagi peale suruda, sest kõik otsustavad ise, mis on nende jaoks parim. Aga kui ma üritaksin kedagi veenda, siis rõhuksin ilmselt mugavustsoonist välja astumisele ja sellele, et elame ainult korra.

IMG_2167

Katharina, 22
University of Tartu, international relations
AIESEC in Tartu, social projects

  1. Which movie’s headline suits the best to describe your life?
    “The Pursuit of Happiness” or “It’s Complicated”. Actually I feel that there isn’t any movie that would describe my life. Maybe I will make my own documentary one day.
  2. Who did you want to become when you were little?
    At first I wanted to become a princess, then a doctor, a chef, a hairdresser and finally I just wanted to be a “rich businesswoman”. I changed my mind quite often.
  3. What would you recommend to a person who is a leader for the first time?
    To be a good leader I advise to scale all pros and cons before making decisions. If you want to be a good and successful leader, you have to get along with your team members because these valuable people will help you to receive your goals. As a leader, it is totally okay to make mistakes, we all make them. What is important is to learn from them.
  4. What is your best characteristic? What is the worst?
    My best characteristic is persistence because if I really want something, I won’t give up before I get it. I’m still pretty bad at time planning and I’m late to meetings a lot. Still working on that!
  5. If you could rule the world, what would be the first thing you want to change?
    There is a saying that “We see things as we are not as they are”. I would start changing the world by making people come out of their little comfort bubbles and make them see things as they really are. I think this could solve many misunderstandings that lead to conflicts.
  6. What is your dream job?
    In my dream job, there is a comfortable atmosphere, open-minded and happy co-workers. It would be innovative but at the same time sustainable. I would like to do a work that I love but what also challenges..
  7. If you could choose a superpower what would you choose?
    I’m not sure, it would be a tough choice. Maybe I would like to be able to teleport myself from one place to another because this helps to save a lot of time, especially on Tartu-Tallinn-Tartu route. But at the same time, mind reading is also useful. That might help to understand peoples’ motives behind (those sometimes) weird decisions.
  8. What is the first thing you notice about the person from the opposite sex?
     I’m not sure but I think I see the eyes first and then comes the smile.
  9. What color is your toothbrush?
     I actually have quite many toothbrushes. One is with pink and white, another one is with pink and black and then there is another pink one. Pink has always been my favorite color.
  10. How would you convince someone to do something one doesn’t want to do?
    Generally I don’t like to push people to make things they don’t want to do because everyone has a right to decide what’s best for them. But if I would try to convince someone then I would weigh on coming out of the comfort zone and the idea of living only once.

AIESEC Tartus juhatus 16/17 – Laura

Laura, 21
Tartu Ülikool, kommunikatsioon
AIESEC Tartus, ülikooli suhted ja finants

Laura2

  1. Mis filmi pealkiri sobiks kirjeldama sinu elu?
    „Into the Wild“ on tore sõnadekombinatsioon. Tunnen, et olen terve elu harjunud olema looduse lähedal ning suures linnas liiga kaua viibimine mõjub mu jaoks muserdavalt.
  2. Kelleks sa tahtsid väiksena saada? 
    Tantsijaks, kuid see polnud reaalne, sest ma pole kordagi elus tegelenud tantsimisega, kui välja arvata kooli kehalise tunnid, peod ja kodus peegli ees.
  3. Mida sa soovitaksid inimestele, kes on esimest korda juhipositsioonil? 
    Ära eelda mitte kunagi mitte midagi. Samas, ole selline juht nagu sina endale tahaksid – kuula, anna nõu, edasta infot aegsasti ja selgelt, ole kui sõber ja kiida. Kõik teevad vigu, seega ära karda neid ka ise teha ning andesta teistele nende vead.
  4. Mis on sinu parim isikuomadus? Aga halvim? 
    Pean enda parimaks isikuomaduseks seda, et olen kohusetundlik – teen asjad alati lõpuni ja annan parima. Halvimaks võib nimetada liigse introvertsuse, mis sageli võib olla takistuseks uute suhete loomisel.
  5. Kui sa saaksid valitseda maailma, siis mida sa muudaksid esimesel päeval? 
    Ma muudaksin inimeste suhtumist teistesse. Tahan, et kõik mõistaks, et inimesed on tegelikult suures osas täpselt samasugused, olenemata nende rahvusest, soost, nahavärvist, religioonist ja seksuaalsusest. Nii jääks palju halba tegemata.

    Triinu lõpetamine

  6. Milline on sinu unistuste töökoht? 
    Ma ei tahaks enda unistuste töökohale silti külge panna. See võiks koosneda suhtekorraldusest, turundusest ja ürituste korraldamisest, aga samal ajal on AIESECis tegutsemine tekitanud tahtmise teha kõike seda ka mingil heal eesmärgil. Näiteks on minu jaoks väga oluline vastutustundlik tarbimine ja tootmine – äkki midagi sellest valdkonnast.
  7. Kui sa saaksid valida endale ühe supervõime, siis mis see oleks? 
    Kuna olin hetkeks väga mõttevaene, siis Google muidugi aitas ja tundub, et ingliskeelne omadus omnilingualism oleks midagi meeltmööda. See tähendab seda, et ma suudan õppida, rääkida ja mõista ükskõik, mis keelt automaatselt.
  8. Mis on esimene asi, mida sa vaatad/märkad vastassoo juures? 
    Tunnistan täiesti ausalt, ei ma ei suuda sellele küsimusele vastust anda. Küll aga meeldib mulle, kui inimesega tekib selline klapp, et jutt ei saa otsa või kui saabki, siis pole vaikus piinlik.
  9. Mis värvi on sinu hambahari? 
    Mul tegelikult on juhtunud nii, et mul on korraga kasutuses kolm hambaharja – must/roosa, must/roheline ja roheline/hall.
  10. Kuidas sa veenaksid kedagi tegema midagi sellist, mida ta teha ei taha? 
    Mida kiiremini sa selle ära teed, seda lihtsamaks muutub. Kaotada pole midagi. Kindlasti võib aga igast olukorrast leida midagi, millest õppida.

    witch

    Laura, 21
    University of Tartu, communications
    AIESEC in Tartu, university relations and finance
  1. Which movie’s headline suits the best to describe your life?
    “Into the Wild” is a great combination of words. I feel that I have always been used to be surrounded by nature and staying in a big city for a long time makes me frustrated.
  2. Who did you want to become when you were little?
    A dancer, but this wasn’t a realistic because I have never danced, except for PE classes, parties and at home in front of a mirror.
  3. What would you recommend to a person who is a leader for the first time?
    Don’t expect anything from anyone. But at the same time, be a leader you want to have yourself – listen, give advice, share information on time and clearly, be a friend and praise. Everyone makes mistakes so don’t be afraid of them and forgive other’s mistakes as well.
  4. What is your best characteristic? What is the worst?
    I think that my best characteristic is conscientiousness – I always finish things and do my best. The worst one is that I am too much of an introvert and it makes difficult to establish new relationships.
  5. If you could rule the world, what would be the first thing you want to change?
    I would change people’s attitude towards others. I want that everyone would understand that people are actually the same, regardless of their nationality, gender, skin color, religion and sexuality. It would help to reduce harm.
  6. What is your dream job?
    I don’t want to label my dream job. It would consist of public relations, marketing and organizing events but at the same time, AIESEC has given me a feeling that I would like to do it because of some good cause. For example responsible consumption and production is really important for me – maybe something related to that.
  7. If you could choose a superpower what would you choose?
    Since I had zero ideas I used Google from where I found a super power omnilingualism. It means that I could learn, speak and understand different languages instantly.
  8. What is the first thing you notice about the person from the opposite sex?
    I admit that I can’t find an answer to this question. But I like people with who I can talk about everything and when we don’t anything to talk about, the silence isn’t awkward.
  9. What color is your toothbrush?
    I actually have three toothbrushes – black/pink, black/green and green/gray.
  10. How would you convince someone to do something one doesn’t want to do?
    It would be easier when you do it as fast as you can. There is nothing to lose. You can always find something to learn from a situation.

6 weeks of volunteering experience in Hungary

Kristiine Kukk – Hungary

Duration of project:  6 weeks

Type of Exchange:  Voluntary work in youth camps

See oli esimese ülikooli aasta järel, kui ma leidsin, et Eesti on minu jaoks liiga kitsas ja maailm kutsub. Leidsingi ennast siis juba juuni kuus Ungaris. Kuigi mu projekt toimus Budapestist eemal, suuruselt neljandas linnas Miskolcis, veetsin ma algul lõbusalt aega pealinnas.

kristiine7

Minu jaoks oli vabatahtlikuks minemine võimalus maailma näha – seega alustasin juba Budapestis oma kultuurilist seiklust, kus täna kohalikule AIESECile elasin ma nädal aega koos kohalikega ning avastasin riiki Hong Kongi ajugeeniuse ning Somaalia poistega.

kristiine2

Edasi suundudes avastasin, et mu projekt oli võrdlemisi erakordne – meil oli nimelt koos 17 vabatahtliku tervest maailmast – alustades Indoneesiast ning lõpetades Kanadaga. Olime kogu aeg ninapidi koos – oli ajaks siis hommikusöök või õhtune hambapesu – tegime kõike koos.

kristiine4

Projekt seisnes selles, et korraldasime vabatahtlikega noortelaagreid. Need toimusid kahes vahetuses – kokku siis 2 korda 2 nädalat ning mõlemas korraga 30-40 noort. Kuna meil oli võimalik tutvuda ning mõjutada nii palju noori, tundsin, et sain tõesti midagi kasulikku maailmale tagasi anda.

kristiine8

Laagrite vaheajal oli võimalik ka reisida, nii et sain oma elu seikluse reisides nii Montenegros kui ka Serbias, mille puhul sain kogetud nii närvikõdi kui ka erinevate kultuuride kiikse. See oli täpselt see, mida oma suvelt otsitakse, ainult mina reisin nagu kohalik.

kristiine5

Pärast projekti suhtleme me endiselt vabatahtlikega koos ning oleme lubanud kõik üksteise pulmades käia. Olen käinud külas ka oma parimal sõbral Itaalias.

kristiine6

Need 6 nädalat tegid kroonilisest ülemõtlejast kellegi, kes võtab elult viimast ning suhtub elusse teisiti – nagu meile meeldis öelda „halaraa“ (relax, don’t worry kreeka keeles).

6 weeks of volunteering experience in Mauritius

Kertu Liis Krigul – Mauritius

Duration of project:  6 weeks

Type of Exchange:  Voluntary work to raise awareness of  stray dogs

 

It’s rather unusual that by April I still have not decided what to do with my summer… which was the case last year. Suddenly an opportunity popped up in Facebook to volunteer abroad.

kertu4

It was a thing I always wanted to do – travel far and learn the most about local community while giving something back. Working together with locals helps to understand country’s culture more than anything and volunteering seemed like a perfect opportunity to develop myself as well.

kertu10

The project I chose was called “Save a Dog, Save a Life” which aim was to reduce the rate of stray dogs in streets (there are about 60 000 strays). The most important task was to raise awareness about stray dog situation first and foremost among locals as well as people around the world.

kertu6

I knew this was something I wanted to do the first time I found out about this project. I have taken all opportunities which have been available in my life. When something like this appeared on Facebook, I knew right away that I have to do it. Dogs always will be weaker ones and needing our care and attention. If some people are reckless with their decisions towards weaker species, we should try and fix the root of the problem, which in many cases is the lack of education.

kertu11

Our main task was to help organisation called Paws Mauritius. We created posters for them to promote adopting, leaflets for hotel rooms to spread awareness among tourists about stray dog situation, put together a booklet about how to treat a dog (what to feed, what care does a dog need etc) and renovated the shelter. In addition, we carried out a survey on the streets to find out how much people know about dog care and while carrying out the survey we also educated them. Furthermore, we created presentation to pupils about dog care and collected methods how our countries deal with stray dog problem so Mauritius could implement our solutions to fix their issue. We were also broadcasted on a local radio.

kertu3

On free days we had many excursions together with other projects. For example we visited illusion house, went sailing and parasailing, visited some religious events and so on. We explored many of the famous beaches with crystal-clear waters. We also went diving and everyone from my project did a parachute jump (except me, because I get motion sickness way too easily).

kertu9

On some free days we also went to the shelter to walk, wash and pet the dogs. Me and my roommates were actually so dedicated that we didn’t even want to take free days and sometimes we worked before or after the excursions. We even took one puppy and offered him foster home until someone adopted her.

kertu7

I was really lucky with my project. Every single one of the participants was awesome and taught me something I didn’t know. We had a really hardworking group and I appreciate the experience very much. I encourage to go abroad, meet and especially work with people from different cultures. It’s a valuable life lesson which broadens your mind.

Management Internship for 8 months in China

Kaisa Kamarik – Shenzhen, China

Duration of project:  8 months

Type of Exchange:  Management internship

 

Before my graduation from the university I already had the chances to volunteer in Guatemala and work in France for a while, so when I was facing end of my bachelor studies in Genetic Engineering, I had to make a choice. My professor encouraged me to continue with my studies until I finish my PhD and then the whole world would be open to me, but that did not satisfy me and I wanted to see this world now. So I looked up of different ways for working in foreign countries. Best solution for me was an AIESEC internship and so it started.

004

I made a decision, that I haven’t been to any Asian countries and I want to have a try, comparing the locations salary, living cost, climate and development, I chose South China. I applied to 3 different jobs and one of them was very excited to have me, after one hour from the interview they sent me a message, that they love my smile and would like to hire me for their Management Internship at a 5 star hotel Royal Suites & Towers in Shenzhen.

001-2

My internship was not related to my studies, but in a way, I wanted to be surrounded by people and different cultures, instead of lab cultures, and experience the world like that. I believe in building a strong foundation for myself with different skill sets and experiences. I took commitment of 8 months for this project and it seemed to be enough time to get away from the cold winter back at home. But what I did not imagine is while I am writing this piece I am still in China and it has already been 4 years here.

017-1

During my internship in the hotel I started working as the Restaurant Service Manager, where my main duties were to communicate with foreign customers, teach the staff western service standards and English language. Though while the company’s expectation was to improve the staffs’ English level, then the reality was that I learned to speak Chinese instead.

002

This chance to work in China has given me so much. I have learned to speak the language, understand the culture and even have started to think like them so I understand them much more in so many ways. Of course there are still things that seem unacceptable for me and I will stick with what I am brought up with.

2012_Shenzhen 009

A lot of the things go around Chinese medicine here, so when in the beginning I always drank ice water out of the habit, then now I have learned to drink hot water during cold season or when I am sick. When you are in a Chinese restaurant, after a while you get so accustomed that spitting out part of the foods that cannot be eaten, is completely normal, as after you leave they will wrap up all the rubbish and dirty dishes in the table cloth to clean the table for the next customers. Eating with chopsticks becomes so normal, that you even start using them while cooking as it feels so convenient.

099

It has been an amazing experience to do something so different from others my age and add this to my CV.  I would recommend everyone to find this time in your life for yourself and travel or work abroad for a year. No matter how is the experience, you will grow and learn from it so much.

Teaching German for one and a half years in Mexico

Helena Kaasik – Mexico City, Mexico

Duration of project:  2 months + 1 year and 3 months

Type of Exchange:  Teaching internship

 

I made my internship in Mexico City through a project called Round the Globe, which was organized by AIESEC ITAM. I taught German to students from the University ITAM.

DSC02300

My internship was exactly in my field because I studied German philology. My internship lasted 2 months but after those 2 months I was offered a job in a language school and I stayed in Mexico 1,5 years. My main task was to teach German.

DSC01699

It was an amazing experience to work with students. Since that I really love teaching and working with people from different backgrounds. I also got a chance to visit local schools and see, how the educational system works in a big country like Mexico.

DSC01692

Going to Mexico was always one of my biggest dreams and I also had many friends there who were waiting for me there. AIESEC gave me an opportunity to fulfill one of my dreams, for what Im grateful until today. As a young person nowadays it is important to travel and collect experience in other countries and bring them back to Estonia.

265353_2247570631870_2657186_o

In the beginning it was hard to understand how to move around in Mexico City because it is one of the biggest cities in the world but all my friends were so helpful and helped me to understand the local public transportation system. Also, I had to get used to it that everyone on the streets were starring at me because, let’s be honest, I as a ginger and fair skin didn’t look like a local at all. I lived by one of my best friends in the beginning and it was nice that they always took care of me and drove me around in the city. I made new friends quite easily and had quickly a busy social life.

255706_2141047728864_7747137_n

There are so many beautiful things to remember but I think visits to Jose Cuervo tequila factory which was organised by AIESEC ITAM and seeing the monarch butterfly migration in Michoacan were definitely experiences which I will never forget. And of course, I have made friends for life, with whom I’m still in contact.

IMG_0379

I think, that working in Mexico has given me an advantage on job market and also confidence that I can survive where ever I am in the world. I highly recommend students to take the same chance I did and go to another country and it is nice to put yourself at least once in your life out of your comfort zone. It will definitely give you the chance to get to know yourself better, learn something about other culture and get good work experience and AIESEC is the perfect exchange program for it.

Teaching English for a year in Colombia

Halja Pilvisto – Medellin, Colombia

Duration of project:  1 year

Type of Exchange:  Teaching internship

 

I did my internship in Medellin, Colombia. I worked in a software company as an English teacher.

TNM4vPZME7ENWrbDRtFOYjhI1nJCaoMjIhkrsDl-npA,Aa0JELOoH-B-uUY72MBxd_aJvHZqkwxP1izJNpVTYa0

I have studied psychology and I have also learned languages all my life. I had work experience as a teacher in Estonia. My internship integrated my knowledge of languages and psychology. The duration of my internship was 1 year. My main tasks were giving classes to different groups 3 times a day and 5 days a week. I learned to teach English, because I haven’t taught English before. I learned to teach English without using Estonian.

Tund

Working as a teacher in Colombia is definitely different from Estonia because of the cultural differences. Students expect you to be their friend, but at the same time you have to set the rules and keep a line between the job and personal relationships. Students expect you to be very playful and dynamic. Language classes in Estonia are definitely more formal.

RcbStZcXnMzsY8-2SnaHDSEr3LtNximnzt-l63GZovA,LgQmlUYZxZZji1V54djY6pWh3HpM1CURQiemAxEcS_Y

I decided to go abroad to get a different perspective of the world. I had dreamt of going to South America for years. In Estonia I wouldn’t have worked as a language teacher. The most difficult thing was getting to waking up at 5 in the morning on work days. At the beginning it takes a lot of energy to get used to a different organization of every day life – getting a bank card, a mobile phone, figuring out the transport etc. In Colombia it’s very easy to make friends, because people are very friendly and helpful. However people are sometimes irresponsible – it’s not a big sin to cancel plans at the last minute, not showing up, giving empty promises. Not all people don’t behave that way, but if you don’t know the person very well you can’t take plans too seriously.

xYvdU4MssEQa2enZ3BIHchyEkgpDonzAzFZK7mjDB5o,eGEqZRNaiyTbfKTLbwLRaPd1-0f1E1t2h7dik0AdLCg

I will always remember the accident I had – I fell and broke my elbow and nose and had 3 surgeries. I had been in Colombia for 3 months, so it was quite hard to deal with the situation, but at the same time I had the opportunity to get to know the country and the culture more deeply.

Vaade

This experience has taught me a lot. I stayed in Colombia and found another job at a university. Besides English I teach German and psychology. It was easy to find a job through AIESEC and I would definitely recommend the experience to everybody, because it helps you to become very independent and it helps you to learn a lot about yourself.

Business Development internship in Turkey

Inga Raudsepp – Bursa, Turkey

Duration of project:  8 months

Type of Exchange:  Business Development internship

 

I did my internship in Bursa (About 3 mln population; clean, safe, near the mountains, an industrial hub), Turkey. The company was Laspar Sealing Solutions Ltd. They offer tailored rubber and silicon sealing solutions for an extremely wide variety of products e.g. water boilers, washing machines, helicopters, military machinery, ships etc.

The reason I chose Turkey as my internship country was simple. I specifically wanted to learn more about Turkey. I realized that I knew almost nothing about the country and I wanted to change that. I also needed to get away for a while. I wanted to take a break and put things into perspective in my personal life.

In the office

I had studied law and business studies, but my internship was in an entirely different field. I wanted to have a teaching experience so I was hoping to teach English to the company’s employees through AIESEC educational trainee-ship program. It was supposed to last about 8 months. What actually happened is that they put me straight into their sales department from the first day. Apparently their plans had changed but I was given no notification of the changes before my arrival.

Instead of quitting, I learned to accept the volatility of the business world. But I felt sad over not being able to teach English. However, I chose to stay in that company and deal with it. I even started teaching some of my colleagues on my own initiative. I believe that an Estonian company would have immediately notified me of such change in plans before my arrival. I experienced that the Turkish company culture is more hierarchical than, for example, in Estonia or in Finland. The owners and the managers are treated with more respect. Sometimes even with a certain degree of humility.

At work

The hardest thing i had to deal with was firstly my boss. Apparently he had problems with almost everybody in the company. He was the owner’s son, so he felt like he needed to please his father. That must have been stressful for him. Secondly, I had to pay more rent than initially agreed. I felt that I could no longer trust my landlords, so I moved to a new apartment with the help of most WONDERFUL ladies from work. The Turkish kindness is not a myth. It does exist.

I was in the office from 7.30 AM to 6 PM. Home at 6.30 PM. So most of my time in Turkey was spent in the office. I did not experience as much I would have loved to.

I was taken to work by the company’s bus every morning. It is very common in Turkey. The bus stopped near my house. They had different buses for their office workers and factory workers. Even car owners used these company buses. It is convenient not having to deal with the busy morning traffic. At work, were were served tea many times a day by the wonderful tea lady. Of course, we were still allowed to go to the kitchenette to take more tea or coffee. What bothered me about the work place was the lack of a convenient place to take breaks. My office chair and desk were the only resting places. It became a little claustrophobic as I grew really tired of seeing my desk for almost 12 hours a day. I believe that a good relaxing work environment helps with the creativity and keeps people healthy and happy.

I became friends with almost all the ladies in the office. They were the ones who helped me to find a new apartment when I needed to move. I also visited their homes and went to eat out with them. Once I got lost looking for a bank and the local police drove me straight to the bank doors. That was neat.

When I needed to escape the intensity of my everyday life in Bursa, I took a break and went for a coffee in Starbucks. It offered me some cozy downtime in a more familiar environment. My brain needed a break to „digest“ all these cultural experiences I had had. It was especially nice to visit Starbucks during December because they had „normal“ Christmas decorations there. Namely, Turkey does not celebrate Christmas (Although Ikea had Western Christmas decorations.). Turkish people have their own Muslim holiday Byram the date of which varies each year. When I was in Turkey, it was celebrated in November. This holiday centers around family, food and relaxing. And the shops are filled with holiday candies. A bit like our Christmas.  I am not going to describe the religious meaning of the holiday as I am not an expert in that field.

Adventures

What i remember most is the kindness and warmth of the people I met. The beauty of the nearby snow-covered mountain tops. The tea. The beautiful golden autumn weather in Bursa. The weekend walks in the beautiful city center. The delicious and cheap roasted chestnuts sold in many street corners. The curiosity of local people towards foreigners (Because it is not a tourist city.). The homes I visited. The sunlight. The Turkish pop music. They have some great local artists. I always assumed I would not like Turkish music based on some of their performances at the Eurovision song contest. However, I was wrong. Those interested in what I am talking about, can look up songs (and videos!): „Bos Yere“ by Sila, „Zaferlerim“ by Demir Demirkan, „Bir Çaresi Bulunur“ by Sertab Erener (Tears falling every time I watch the video.), „Anason“ by Zakkum. I was very pleasantly surprised how beautiful Turkish language sounds in songs and how nice and touching some of the music videos are.

Discovering the city of Bursa

And I will always remember the hard-working ladies at work. They had extremely long work days but still managed to raise a family. However, the Turkish family connections are much stronger than in Estonia. Therefore, the grandparents help the young. And sisters help each other. For example, one day a colleague of mine (She has degree in material sciences) came to work, looking quite tired. She told me that she had helped her sister with ironing till late at night. Her sister had just recently got married and had a lot of house work to do.

From this experience I learned a lot. I learned that I am stronger than I think. I became more confident. People are usually pleasantly surprised when they hear about my experience. I recommend this experience to students whole heartedly. There are so many reasons why people should spend some time in a foreign country. For example, it teaches you tolerance. At the same time, it makes you appreciate your home country. But it is also helping you to find new solutions to the problems back home. Go ahead and book your flights. Good luck!


Teaching English in South Korea

Riin Ahlberg – Byeolbang, South Korea

Duration of project: A year

Type of Exchange:  Teaching Internship

 

South Korea is no doubt one of my favourite countries in the world.
SAM_1550

View from the top of the mountain at my village.

Doing an internship in South Korea had been my first choice from the moment I started looking at the internship options with AIESEC. Although my first adventure led me to Guangzhou in China, I did not give up on my dream of teaching again somewhere in South Korea. As it happened, a few months before my time was over in China, I was offered a spot at a children’s centre in a small village in North Chungcheong province. I was to start teaching in Byeolbang from March 2013.

I had been to Korea a couple of times before, so I was already familiar with the culture,their language and their food. This was partly the reason I wanted to go back. Korea has an amazing landscape with lots of mountains, beautiful rivers and valleys, lovely temples, palaces and modern cities. And most of all, amazing people.

I was teaching English at two children’s centres in a very small village with only one school with about 30-40 students. The centre was part of a bigger chain of children’s centres in Korea. The two centres actually functioned as one – there were two floors, where the centre for elementary students operated on the ground floor and the middle school students were on the first floor. I gave classes to all of the students that attended the centre. There were 3 different levels among the elementary students and 2 different levels to teach on the upper floor. I had 2 classes with each of the groups. I mostly concentrated on teaching them vocabulary (as this was what my boss wanted). I really enjoyed teaching pronunciation and new expressions to the very young ones and I was very happy I had previously done my internship in China, which actually helped me out of many sticky situations.

One of which was the occasion where the centre was visited by a broadcasting company. They were doing a story of the centre (I believe it had been awarded some kind of an excellence award) and wanted to film a clip of an outdoors English class. We were in the process of filming while taking walk with the kids outside when the interviewer asked me to give some kind of a class. I think I would have panicked, had I not had this kind of an experience before. Fortunately, I still remembered a song about weather from my English Journey times and I gave a short class on teaching that song.

My experience in Korea was also a little bit special because I was interviewed by three different broadcasting companies in the course of about one month. They were all very different experiences. One, which I described above, another a short interview on my experience in Byeolbang (given after only a couple of weeks in Byeolbang!!) and a third one, where the filming crew was at the centre for about a week, filming everything we did. I took the next image while they were shooting the last scene for their show, where the kids were supposed to say some final words all together.

20130418_170314

My experience in Korea was also very different from my experience in China, because I had less children to teach. This meant that I had to come up with a lot more activities that would make my classes more varied and stimulating. I struggled with the middle school students, because I had no previous knowledge or experience in teaching by book (teaching reading, listening skills and such). As I was the only English teacher present, I had nobody to consult with either. After 8 months in Byeolbang I was sure that I needed some kind of training in this before I go into teaching more students.

Those eight months were also very rewarding for me, since I got to practice my Korean language skills. I enjoyed spending time with my co-workers or the students chatting in Korean. I think this is what made my experience easier as well. Because I knew the language, my boss also felt more comfortable with me and she was happy that she could communicate with me, which would have otherwise been quite challenging for her. SAM_3433

One of my favourite things about Korea and Koreans. I love their food and they love it when you eat their food.

Overall, I had a great experience in Byeolbang. The people there treated me like family. I got to travel a lot. I could take a bus to the nearest city, which was Jecheon, and spend my Saturday shopping there. I took a trip to Guinsa – one of the Buddhist temples near Danyang – only an hour away from my village. I went along with the kids to their trips to Japan and Jeju Island. These two trips were certainly part of the highlights of my stay. I got to see how other children’s centres work around Korea, when my boss took me with her on her business trip and also got to roast my own batch of coffee beans during our trip to the East sea. I met a couple of AIESECers on one of my trips to Seoul, where we hiked in Namsan and ate delicious pig feet. I also made a friend on the Seoul subway and went to the awesome fireworks festival with her.

CYMERA_20131022_225531

My lovely students.

One of the experiences dearest to my heart happened towards the very end of my stay. When going to work I always passed a house where a grandma was usually working on her small field. I greeted her and her husband every time I saw them. One day she invited me in. They sat me down in their small courtyard, brought out some grapes and asked me lots of questions about me and my family. They were very sweet and curious. This little conversation made me all warm and fuzzy. I felt welcomed in this country. At the same time I was extremely happy that I had managed to learn enough Korean to make that conversation happen.

In august we organised a summer camp for kids at the centre and some kids from Seoul. It was a two week camp where we invited some volunteers to teach as well. During that time I was their mentor and in charge of all the classes. This was also a rewarding experience as I my job was to give them support both emotionally and professionally.

SAM_3199

Here we took a trip to Seoul (picture taken at Gyeongbokgung) with the volunteers from China, Poland and Indonesia.

I met a lot of amazing people, who have influenced me in a positive way. This experience also helped me realise what I want and who I want to be. Since I had such a great experience working there, I cannot wait for the time I can go back again.

Teaching English for a year in China

Riin Ahlberg – Guangzhou, China

Duration of project: A year

Type of Exchange:  Teaching Internship

 

A  year in China. How do I even start?Picture1

The Kaiping Diaolou

Everything started when in July 2011 I came back to Estonia from a volunteering trip in South Korea. I had just spent the best 3 months of my life as a volunteer English teacher at a children’s centre in Uiryeong. I was positively sure that I would go back to Korea. I immediately started to look for opportunities to fulfil my goal.

I discovered that AIESEC operated in Korea as well, and just then were looking for people to take an internship abroad. A week later I had passed the interview and was able to start looking for the perfect place for me.

However, China had a lot more to offer for an English teacher at the time and so I packed my bags and ended up in Southern China. In February 2012 I found myself in Guangzhou, the third largest city in China.

Picture2

Guangzhou from the top of Baiyun mountain

I worked as an English teacher at a private school called English Journey. My students were 5-13 year old fun Chinese kids. For the first half of the year my colleagues were a Russian and two Latvian girls. What a familiar company! From the second half of my year the school had started to expand and there were new additions to our staff (from Greece, Mexico,England, and Romania). Since it was a private school, all the lessons took place in the evenings and most of them on the weekends. There were about 4-12 students in a group and one lesson was 1,5 h long. At first it was quite weird to work on the weekends when all other people are taking a rest. But people get used to everything.

My job was to teach the kids vocabulary through different fun songs. We used flashcards to introduce the vocabulary and conduct various games through which they would learn the set. The hardest part for me was to memorise all of the words and songs. To make 10 kids to sing a silly song out loud is quite demanding – you have to know the song well and the kids have to know the vocabulary for it. For it to be fun for everyone the teacher should be confident and inspiring and energetic. It took about half a year until I felt like I am actually doing it right. It is an awesome feeling when you forget that you look silly whatever you are doing at the moment and start to enjoy it. I saw how the kids started to enjoy this as well as they started to loudly sing along in addition to them running and dancing around. It was a good feeling to see them develop and start using English to communicate with me and the other teachers.

The best part of everything was to see the 5-6-year-olds have conversations with each other after a few months of lessons. It is especially rewarding when a shy and quiet student is finally brave enough to say a few words out loud and is not afraid to talk to you because you look foreign. The best feeling in the world is when ten 8-year-olds almost scream after you: “I like vegetables! I like vegetables!”

We had a summer course in July-August when we had to work 6 days a week. This photo is taken in one of the last lessons of the summer course:

376245_10151198750327317_2050130924_n

This year in China gave me tools to manage the classroom and a few tricks how to teach a language. I have learnt that I do not panic when electronics stops working, I have a couple of English songs always ready to be used, I am confident in front of an audience and I am not afraid to challenge myself. I know that I will always pull through.
Picture4

What do I remember from China until this day? Of course the first thing that comes to mind is the climate. The humidity in spring, when you would slip on the wooden stairs because of the water film on it. And then the extremely hot summer, when it was advisable to always have a water bottle with you. And an unbelievably cold winter. Nobody will believe me, but +13C can feel like -25. It is a lot different when the cold creeps up to your bones and you feel cold all the time and everywhere. Fortunately the cold period was a short one. Other things that come to mind are “stinky” tofu, which tastes amazing by the way, all kinds of fruits at the street market, taking rides on motorcycle taxis, bargaining in Cantonese, arguing and chatting with the taxi drivers, singing at the ktv (karaoke) rooms with the colleagues, and a chicken’s head in a hot pot.

We did not find a lot of time to travel in China considering our schedules. However, we did find time to look around in Guangzhou, have a picnic with hordes of Chinese at a park during the Moon Cake festival and have a vacation in Hong Kong. One of the most memorable moments was our trip to Sanshui, to see the sleeping Big Buddha.

Picture5

The Buddha itself was a funny sight to see – a pile of stone and metal in the middle of nowhere. It started to get exciting on our way back. After having bought the bus tickets back to Guangzhou we were denied to board the right bus. We could read the sign on the bus and it clearly said Guangzhou on it. Instead, we were directed towards a different bus. The lady was quite firm and even scary, so we couldn’t argue with her. The Chinese ladies are often quite scary, I don’t know how they do that. Anyways, in the end, we were forced to board the other bus. The locals gave us weird looks and we started to doubt in our destination. As the bus rode on, even in the darkness we could see that the mountains were suspiciously on the wrong side of the road.. When we got off at the last stop we found ourselves in Zhaoqing – two hours away from Guangzhou. What would you do if you found yourself in a small bus stop in a strange city late in the evening? Of course, go to the lady at the booth and ask where in the world are we? The lady was very helpful and we attracted other people, who actually knew how to speak English to help us as well. After a bit of confusion we figured out where we are and where we had to go to get to Guangzhou. Fortunately, there was another bus station in the city where we could take a bus home. All’s well that ends well.

Another thing to get used to in China is that everybody takes pictures of you, either in secret or they ask you permission to take one with you. After a while you stop noticing people staring at you or taking pictures of you.

But the most valuable thing I took with me was the friends I made and the amazing experiences.

2 months of interning in Germany

Birgit Hänilane  – Germany, Flensburg

Duration of project: 3rd of July – 29th of August

Type of Exchange: Agricultural production and marketing internship 

I did my internship in Germany in the city of Flensburg in the company of P. H. Petersen Saatzucht Lundsgaard GmbH. The internship was through the project Business Contact, which was fully organised internship by the Junior Chamber and AIESEC Bremen for Easter European and Western Asian students. The participating companies were located in Northern Germany cities like Kiel, Flensburg, Hamburg, Bremen and others.

My internship began at the 3rd of July and last to the 29th of August. The weekends during these two months was organized by AIESEC Bremen or Junior Chamber and were completely full of events in different locations around Northern Germany (for example in Kiel, Schwerin, Berlin, Hamburg etc).

1934881_100076093436_1603395_n
My main tasks in the company were seed preparation, sowing of trials, evaluation of plots, documentation and harvesting of trials, cultivation of plants in the greenhouse, testing techniques of resistance against beet cyst nematodes, testing mustard and oil seed radish growth within a wheat in Germany and Denmark. Working with crops like white and brown mustard, oil seed radish, phacelia, grasses, forage rye.

I went there after my bachelors studies and the internship was as a good opportunity to put my gained knowledge of the university into practice. I studied Agricultural production and marketing and the internship was in the same field.

One of the difference which I noticed was that in Germany there is more bureaucracy than in Estonia. I was also in this time when you had to have work permit to work in Germany.5420_117462823436_3336075_n

Because it was my first time living abroad, then at the beginning I felt a little bit homesick, but after some weeks, when I met new friends, it disappeared. With some of the new friends I am still in contact.

The two months in Germany were full of events. During the week I lived and worked in Lundsgaard, but during weekends I travelled around in Northern Germany with other trainees. All the weekends were organized by AIESEC Bremen and Junior Chamber. Every weekend we had different kind of activity, one of my favorite was weekend in Berlin. Also with the trainees, who worked in Flensburg, we organized ourselves a weekend in Copenhagen and for a coincidence we got for travelling a car from a company were one of the trainee was doing her internship. I am still really good friends with them and we meet occasionally, one of the thing which we have in common – we all went back to Germany after the internship. I went to study in the university of Berlin.

I will always remember the people who I met there and the weekends full of events.30313_130462260297341_253385_n

For professionally I am not working in the field, but the experience gave me more in personally, – new friends, I got very good overview of Germany, I also realised that I want to go back. After two years from the internship I went to study in German university.

I decided to go, because in this time I was a member of AIESEC and when I heard about this project I wanted to apply, because I have always been interested in Germany as a country. Also this project sounded like a good opportunity to obtain new knowledge after my bachelors studies. The internship experience was organised by AIESEC and i didn’t have to worry about my living arrangements, working permits and all the other documents.

I would definitely recommend similar experiences to other students.  I think this was a great opportunity to obtain  professional working experience and then come back to Estonia with new expertise.

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!