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IN SUMMARY: When did the AIESEC idea start? The idea of student exchanges was fostered by universities in the 1930’s. Real efforts for traineeship exchange run by students started around 1948 while the first “legislative meeting” or legislation was held in 1951 during the Paris Congress. Why can we celebrate “Exchange since 1948”? Because it all started there. It doesn’t need a government paper or an official certificate to foster international understanding and personal development. A good handful of students started the idea in 1948 with the little means they had at hand. Year by year the idea, the support and the organization became stronger and more stable. Have there been seven students from seven countries? We do not know exactly, as there is no official founding document. We know from oral transmission, that at least seven students from six countries i.e. Belgium, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Czechoslovakia were involved, but there might have been others. 16

Why is it so difficult to get information about the founding years? Because it was the 1940s, just after the devastating World War II. Communication relied on letters, maybe telephone - with long waiting times and high cost. There were no smartphones, Internet or e-mail - not even fax - and the memories of the acting persons get weaker over time. As well, every year the international leadership of the organization moved to another country until 1960.

Profile for AIESEC International

The History Book of AIESEC  

The History Book of AIESEC captures the story of an organization with a 70 year legacy of developing young leaders. During the last seven de...

The History Book of AIESEC  

The History Book of AIESEC captures the story of an organization with a 70 year legacy of developing young leaders. During the last seven de...

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