Content I. ASIA 1. 2. 3. 4.
Cambodia Mainland of China Taiwan Vietnam
II. Africa 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
7 10 13
Egypt Mauritius Tanzania Tunisia Uganda
19 26 31 34 37
III. Europe 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Czech Republic Germany Hungary Poland Romania Turkey Ukraine
43 46 50 53 58 61 63
IV. South America 1. Brazil
Proudly present to you by Information Management, AIESEC NTU.
Editors Shen Bowen Jeremy Koh KhannaVrinda Xue Haoyue Yuan Zihan
Supervisor Xu Minghan Acknowledgement Cover Photo 速 http://artpause.com/maps/100453-butterflies-world-map.
Chapter 1 - Asia
HERE IS ASIA Asia is the world’s largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth’s total surface area (or 30% of its land area) and with approximately 3.9 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world’s current human population. During the 20th century Asia’s population nearly quadrupled. Given its size and diversity, Asia – a toponym dating back to classical antiquity – “is more a cultural concept” incorporating diverse regions and peoples than a homogeneous physical entity. Asia differs very widely among and within its regions with regard to ethnic groups, cultures, environments, economics, historical ties and government systems.
Section 1 - Cambodia
Welcome to Phnom Penh, Cambodia Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Phnom Penh has been the national capital since the French colonized Cambodia, and has grown to become the nationâ€™s center of economic and industrial activities, as well as the center of security, politics, economics, cultural heritage, and diplomacy of Cambodia. Once known as the â€œPearl of Asiaâ€?, it was considered one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina in the 1920s. Phnom Penh, along with Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, are significant global and domestic tourist destinations for Cambodia. Founded in 1434, the city is noted for its beautiful and historical architecture and attractions. There are a number of surviving French colonial buildings scattered along the grand boulevards.
Section 1 - Cambodia
My AIESEC Experience in Cambodia By Pavithra
help in that area. The students were given textbooks with various reading passages. Therefore during lessons we would pick out the words they did not know the meaning of and try to explain it to them by drawing or even carrying various actions. There were only 2 other long term volunteers at the centre when I arrived so helping out with the syllabus was essential to generate more ideas. We would sit down before lunch and brainstorm at the local hangouts. Key activities I was involved in.
y AIESEC exchange was to a remote village in the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I was attached to Save Poor Children in Asia Organization, S.C.A.O. This organization is an NGO that currently houses 18 children and youngsters from underprivileged and broken families.
y main responsibilities there were to teach the children and teenagers English and to help plan the syllabus that was being taught. There were 10 classes taught throughout the day. My main classes were with the kindergarteners and nursery children, teaching phonics, penmanship and colouring. The reason behind teaching phonics was to ensure the kindergarteners not only knew what the letters were, but were also able to identify and pronounce them correctly. For the rest of the classes, I mainly did a section on vocabulary as the Khmer teachers needed
The Impact of My Internship Through this exchange I believe brought a better understanding of English to the villagers who are not able to afford education. The various teaching materials made learning interesting especially for the children. They were able to learn more and at a faster pace. There were also regular conversation sessions with the teenagers every Friday so there were able to pick up on their vocabulary and finally practice speaking to someone whose first language was English. I was able to create awareness about Singapore,
Section 1 - Cambodia NTU and AIESEC. I also learnt more about Cambodia from them. The youngsters gradually felt more comfortable to come up to me and talk in English during my afternoon strolls around the village. I am glad to have created a positive social impact on the villagers.
The Khmer and Dravidian architecture was brilliant. It spoke volumes of post Angkorian Cambodia. The street-food is another highlight to be mentioned. I thoroughly enjoyed myself sampling everything. The Cambodian AIESECers brought me to the National Museum and the Silver Pagoda and explained to me about their religion as well as their culture. One AIESECer was also kind enough to invite me over to her house for a home cooked meal.
Some turning points and realizations in my GCDP
My Cultural ence
During my exchange I stayed with the children at the organization in the village. Hence I was really able to immerse myself in the local culture. I ate home cooked Khmer meals, visited the local pagoda and interacted with the villagers during the weekdays. On the weekends I would go to the Phnom Penh to explore the city and its famous attractions such as the killing fields and the museums that were such a strong reflection of the country, its struggles during the Khmer Rouge period as well as its rich culture. I also made a trip to Siem Reap during one of the long weekends. The visit to the Angkor Wat temple was truly a magnificent and amazing experience. Being a Hindu myself it was breathtaking to see the largest Hindu temple complex in the world. 6
Back at home I am privileged enough to have everything presented to me that sometimes I forget that I have the capability to be independent. Part of my reason for coming on this trip was to challenge myself and I have realized that I can be independent and hold my own. Not everything was smooth sailing, there were quite a few difficulties and the weekdays were long and tiring but I was always able to maintain my composure and put on a smiling face whatever the situation. Another important realization was that one can live happily with the least of things. It is possible to be happy and satisfied even if there are hundreds of mosquitoes, frequent power cuts, no Wi-Fi, television, air conditioner and no proper toilet. Many things I previously thought to be a necessity was considered a luxury to the children. Speaking from personal experiences I realized that the smallest of children can sometimes have the biggest of hearts. Through this journey I have learnt to appreciate every little thing I have been blessed with.
Section 2 - China
Mainland of China
Welcome to Beijing, China Beijing, sometimes romanized as Peking, is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world. The population as of 2010 was 19,612,368. The metropolis, located in northern China. Beijing is the second largest Chinese city by urban population after Shanghai and is the nation’s political, cultural, and educational center. Few cities in the world have been the political and cultural center of an area as immense for so long. Beijing is one of the “Four Great Ancient Capitals of China” and has been the political center of China for centuries. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces.temples, and huge stone walls and gates, and its art treasures and universities have made it a center of culture and art in China.
Section 2 - China
My AIESEC Experience in China By Yep Chon Yen
I CAN Project
Excursion trip to the Botanical Garden, from left, Wu Can Feng, Me, Zhang Bin, Qin Er ZhengSul
ivan Rehabilitation Centre is a non-profit, non-governmental organization. It is situated in HaiDian District of Beijing and is about 2 hours by public transport from the city center.
ullivan Rehabilitation Centre helps and facilitates the rehabilitation of children and teenagers who have put on hearing aid through a series of training. The training teaches them to speak Mandarin correctly and clearly, to identify sounds of nature, to recognize voices and to decipher what other people are saying in Mandarin. Most children at Sullivan are between the ages of 2 to 6. After the rehabilitation process, the children can be enrolled into Sullivan Kindergarten where they can attend school with other
children. For teenagers, Sullivan Rehabilitation Centre provides 1-to-1 lessons to improve their ability to listen and speak Mandarin. Hence, it is important that the EPs are proficient in Mandarin, enabling the EPs to communicate with the teachers and help the children and teenagers directly. In northern Mainland China, people are friendly and welcoming. In comparison to the southern Chinese, they are more open and loudnoised. Hence, they may come across as boisterous and impolite to some. They speak Mandarin and many different local dialects but very little English. Hence, proficiency in Mandarin comes in handy. The train trips between Beijing and Hohhot were very memorable. My friends and I tried all types of carriages that the train company offered, from the cheapest to the most expensive. In the hard-seat carriages, one shares his space with those with standing tickets. Many of these passengers are migrant workers and farming families who would rather bear with the crowdedness, discomfort and lack of security of these carriages for the cheapest ride home or to work. Hardsleeper carriages are the most popular carriages with students and young adults. They provide a thin mattress on which to sleep and the tickets are about 2 to 3 times the price of the hard-seat tickets. Lastly, the soft-sleeper carriage provides spacious and comfortable sleeping area and the carriages provide better security. Its ticket price is about 50% more than that of the hard-sleeper carriages. From these train rides, I caught a glimpse of the poor-rich divide in China.
Internship Experience and Learning Points I was assigned to assist Miss Yang with the rehabilitation training of teenagers, between the ages of 16 and 21. These children usually stay in Sullivan Rehabilitation Centre for therapy from half a year to 18 months. Though hearingimpaired, they are just as clever as ordinary children, if not smarter. Many of them have learned to lip-read at a young age and understand the written language. I worked with a few teenag-
Section 2 - China ers, Zhang Bin 21, Wu Can Feng 20, Sun Wei 20 and Qin Er Zheng 16. Besides helping them with their rehabilitation process, I also taught them some Basic English as something different from their daily training. At the end of the programme, my fellow EP and I donated some daily necessities such as stationaries and milk to the rehabilitation centre.
Celebrating Duanwu Festival with the children
Celebrating birthday for Luo Hao Han Due to their inability to hear, the children have to learn to speak by observing the movement of the tongue, the muscles around the mouth and throat. Hence, sounds in Han Yu Pin Yin such as g-, k- and h- are especially hard for them and it is difficult to differentiate –in and –ing, –en and –eng and –un and –ung. Moreover, they have difficulties in forming complex sentence structure correctly. In spite of the difficulties they face, they have often shown significant progress within the first two months and are able to communicate by speaking and listening. Quarterly tests are carried out for each and every child individually to keep track of their progress.
Through this internship, I have learnt that any organization that wishes to operate smoothly and has the ambition to expand must invest sufficient manpower in its administration. Currently, the administrative responsibility in Sullivan falls solely on the shoulders of Miss Qi, who keeps track of the activities, donors and donations, funds and admissions in her personal excel file. She is often overworked and extremely stressed. It will be really useful to have an extra hand helping her with the data management of the entire Sullivan and her branch. New computers and scanner/printers will also be useful for their operation. Similarly, the organization will also need to provide safe and healthy working conditions for her employees. Sullivan provides 3 meals for her employees and the children. However, there is a lack of fruits and protein sources (meat) in the diet. During the summer season, a handful of teachers and children fell ill. With the increasing number of children that Sullivan is enrolling, the health and workload of the teachers have become a concern
Sullivan also has a kindergarten class that has about 200 children, including 30 to 40 hearingimpaired ones. This kindergarten allows these special children to integrate naturally into the society after they have completed their therapy at Sullivan Rehabilitation Centre.
Taking the children out for a healthy dose of sunshine 9
Section 3 - Taiwan
Taiwan Welcome to Chia Yi, Taiwan Chiayi City (sometimes romanized as Jiayi) is a city located in the plains of southwestern Taiwan. Formerly called Kagee during the late Qing Dynasty and Kagi during the Japanese era, its historical name is Tirosen. Chiayi has two districts, East District and West District. It is also a city of tourism, famous attractions include Chiayi Park, Sun Shooting Tower, Lantan, Historic Archives Building of Chiayi City, Chiayi Museum, Wenhua Road Night Market, Carrefour Night Market and so on. Chiayi is also the city of wind music in Taiwan. The wind music festival started as a local event in 1988, when it was more like a joint performance by local wind music bands. Over the years the festival has become the most anticipated annual event in Chiayi.
Section 3 - Taiwan
My AIESEC Experience in Taiwan By Lee Yong Leng Benny
believe my internship experience has improved my cultural awareness which makes it easier to fit in a global work environment. In the future, I will definitely like to have more of this exchange opportunities.
Student Performance during the annual inspection
was attached to Bi-Tan primary school in the rural area of Chia Yi , Taiwan. During the whole of my internship, my main role was teaching. Beside English, I also conducted lessons on Singapore to promote cultural exchange and also to promote a global mindset for the students. In addition, I was involved in the key events organized by the school like the school annual inspection and graduation ceremony.
Graduation ceremony for the primary 6 students
Cultural experiences Through my 6 weeks of teaching and interaction, I have enriched the local studentsâ€™ education by exposing them to the Singaporeâ€™s culture. As a result, the lesson will enable them to improve their cultural awareness and have a global mindset. In addition, I will put in the best of my effort to cultivate their interest in the English language. I strongly believe that the cultivation of interest in the language itself is of paramount significance for mastering the language in the long run.
The 6 weeks in Taiwan has really been a whirlwind. I am deeply impressed and overwhelmed by the immensely rich culture and spiritual heritage in Taiwan. I must say that the school has really played a great host in welcoming me and helping me to settle down in new environment. The first few days were really quite a culture shock. The rural area of Chia Yi can be really different from the city life in Singapore. There are no advanced facilities and basic utilities like the air conditioner or drinkable tap water. However, what I got in exchange is the
Section 3 - Taiwan simple rural life experience that cannot be experienced in Singapore. The starry night, late night cricket sound, nature scenic and the waking up to the rooster sound are something that cannot be experienced in the city of Singapore.
to new ways of thinking and living, which encouraged growth and independence.
Outing with my students
Key learning points The experience of immersing myself in a new culture and facing challenges of teaching in a new academic environment had allowed me to develop important transnational competencies. The internship had also given me opportunity to meet people from different cultures and exposed
On the whole, I believe my internship experience has improved my cultural awareness which makes it easier to fit in a global work environment. In the future, I will definitely like to have more of this exchange opportunities.
Section 4 - Vietnam
Welcome to Vietnam Vietnam is a country filled with captivating natural beauty and tranquil village life. Its highlands and rainforest regions, far from being devastated, continue to yield new species and team with exotic wildlife. Its islands and beaches are among the finest in all of Southeast Asia, and its cuisine is very possibly the most delicious you will ever find. For convenience, the country can be thought of as comprising three unique areas: north, central, and south. The north is known for its alpine peaks, the Red River Delta, the plains of Cao Bang and Vinh Yen, enchanting Halong Bay, and historic Hanoi, as well as for the diversity of its ethnolinguistic minorities. The richness of Vietnam’s origins is evident throughout its culture. Spiritual life in Vietnam is a grand panoply of belief systems, including Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Tam Giao (literally ‘triple religion’), which is a blend of Taoism, popular Chinese beliefs, and ancient Vietnamese animism.
Section 4 - Vietnam
Saigon Memories By Su Haofei
Hope for Children Project
Trip to highland Da Lat with colleagues
than the one I got!) took me for the first Xeâ€™om (motorbike taxi in Vietnamese) ride by himself, caressed by the gentle breeze and I indulged myself to a cup of traditional Vietnamese coffee. It is like spirits in coffee, so strong that making my first night in Saigon almost sleepless. I started to wonder what could happen for the next five weeks. But giving a look back now, the pondering that night was an absolute fail as I had been too careful to fancy. Every single day of my stay in Saigon turned out to be a happening story, be it about great friendship, adventurous travel or hard work. The project I was involved in this GCDP is called Hope for Children, in which the AIESECers and EPs involved would try their best to reach the underprivileged children in Saigon to offer some help.
fter a pathetic sleep of four hours thanks to my procrastination to do the packing, I dragged myself to Changi Airport early in the morning, without much excitement.
hat was on May 17th, 2012. The budget airline was seriously calculating on everything, even on the cabin pressure adjustment, which pained my ears to the limit. Upon the arrival in Saigon, I could have burst into shouts of anguish if there had been one more unpleasant ignition. However, all the blues were swept away in no time when I was picked up by a row of Saigon AIESECers, all wearing a warm smile, even after having waited me for more than one hour. Then in a spacious Saigon cab, I was cruising in streams of all sorts of scooters and fashionable helmets, smelling the petrol spices and immersed in the beats of thousands of engines. There I was in Saigon and she lifted me up from the first minute. After settling down in a typical Saigonese abode deep in an alley, my host Binh (Later I realized here could hardly be any better host family
Sunday class at Duc Duc with Cassandra I went to four schools and shelters to raise the English proficiency of the students. They are in very different age groups, some are in primary school and some are College students. In addition, I also contributed in putting up cultural buzz together with EPs from other countries to expose the students from one secondary school to foreign cultures. The best part about teaching in my eyes is all about the resonance generated between the students and me. I could feel their desires to learn, to know more about the outside world and to change their destinies. I was so touched and fulfilled when I saw that with my whole heart and soul sharing with the students, some of them became more vibrant and a better being. I was
Section 4 - Vietnam also very much grateful for the mutual learning I gained during the project from the students as well as other EP colleagues, like how easy they got happy and how much they cared about others. Yet not everything went perfectly. Though the local AIESECers and we the foreign EPs are both friendly and understanding, there were some miscommunications or even bigger divides between us. Some of us were not satisfied with the loose schedule for teaching, as there were far too many interns than required in June. Neither were we happy about the way things worked out such as lots of short time notices. On the other side, the local project team sometimes complained about the fact that many of us travelled too frequently. All these issues were not more than normal to happen as everyone might have a different idea on how the project should be run and every party has varied interests and priorities. A solution to effective cooperation should be possible with sufficient and in time communication to reach mutual understanding on the project priorities and forsake those non-essential divergences. In addition, constant reminder to oneself to keep an open mind set and offer flexibility in working would help a lot. Individually speaking, I was quite happy about what I was doing and how I was treated as well as other personal experiences. I think my open mind set and low expectations accounted for the fulfilling journey.
turned to some of my most precious memories. They are all about making friends and traveling. I love how I was treated nicely by the Vietnamese friends; project team supporters really prioritized to assist my teaching and show me around; host family members genuinely regarded me as another son. I love the way my 22nd birthday spent in Saigon, a fun camping day loaded with dozens of games in a burning sun, followed by a satisfying Japanese cuisine and hotpot buffet, beer drinking and a very lovely trip to central highland Da Lat with a bunch of fun colleagues on a sleeping bus. I love those days on the way where I met great people with true diversities and the fun conversations we had; a group of lovely French girls met during trip to Cambodia; a middle aged hardcore HK traveler; an ambitious New Yorker, a newly enrolled Stanford MBA and so on. Needless to say, love for the great variety of Vietnamese cuisines and enchanting nightlife of Saigon just grew more and more.
Trip to Ankor Wat with HK colleague
Cuchi Tunnel,US Waterloo place Apart from serious work done in Hope for Children, there were many happening moments during my GCDP experience and now they have 15
The five week awesome GCDP experience was like a fast forwarded impromptu movie. I have been really grateful towards this part of too good to be true life. If to mention one of the most important take always among the many, I would say people all over the world are the same though wearing a suit of culture in disguise. Therefore, I would encourage everyone to keep his mind open, as we are family. Now when hearing Imagine by the Beatles, I feel even stronger while thinking of my friends in Vietnam, the Philippines, Norway, japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, Indonesia, Singapore, Czech Republic, Cambodia, France and HK.
Section 4 - Vietnam
MY EXCHANGE STORY in Vietnam After 40 days in Vietnam, I discovered that it was really an amazing country. by Xu Minghan
riendship can be beyond race, nationality and gender. AIESEC is one of the organization that bring youth around the world together.
get a free accommodation. In the first few days, I spent a lot of time with my hosts. It was indeed a big family and there were totally 17 people living in the same house as me. They all came from other parts of the South Vietnam and moved to Ho Chi Minh City for university education or better jobs. Honest and warm-hearted are the best two words to describe them. To save living expense, they always cooked salted fish or meat plus huge amount of raw vegetables.
overty, Socialism, Communist Party,Vietnam Bride, these were the tagshanging around in my mind before mydeparture. After 40 days of living in Vietnam, I discovered that only these tags could never summarize the real story in Vietnam.
Vietnam, Saigon I need to give special thanks to AIESEC, put those negative comments aside, as a youth run organization, I believe it has done a really great job. AIESEC connects the Youth around the world and we can share the same value, at the same time, give positive social impacts to local communities.
May 14, 2012, Minh City
I was lucky because three friends came to the airport and picked me up. My host Cuong took my luggage and put it on his old-style Honda motorbike and passed me the Helmet. It was the start of my story. Two-Story House, three living rooms, two toilets, one kitchen. No Washing machine, no water heater and only one bed, whichobviously did not belong to me. I did not complain because I knew I was already very lucky to 16
Tre Xuong Shelter I taught most of my classes at Tre Xuong School. It was a shelter for orphans and homeless kids. This kid gave me his painting as a special gift for my 6 weeks staying withthem.
Of course, like the low-income people in developing countries, they had to eat a lot of rice because it was apparently the most economic way to feed up themselves. Even in this kind of situation, they were always trying to provide me the best they can offer, passing me some extra meat or buying me supper at night. After meeting with local AIESECers in Ho Chi Minh, I started to get to know other EPs from the world. The time I spent with them was full of adventures, drinking cheap beers, chatting with people and playing games on the backpackersâ€™ street.
Section 4 - Vietnam Our GCDP Program was called Hope for Children. We taught English and General Knowledge at different schools, shelters and educational organizations. Our studentsâ€™ age varied from 10 up to 20. To be honest, I really enjoyed every moments I stayed with the students. Those younger students were still kids; they always played at the class and caused troubles when I wanted to teach them something. Hence I had to come up with all the possible solutions to help these kids focus on the class because learning English may be the only way for these poor kids to change or at least improve their life in future. For those students that had almost the same age as me, I could really see their willingness to learn and speak English through their eyes. Besides the teaching part, there were a lot of ways to experience the unique Vietnamese culture. I would like to start with, Food. Two things are indispensable in Vietnam Cuisine, sauce and raw vegetable. We searched and visited the best and most economic restaurant recommended by Lonely Planet. Five bucks would always bring you an unforgettable meal.
rain started. I was extremely worried because I felt it was very dangerous to ride on a motorbike on a heavy raining night. Even I was siting at the back, the rain blurred my vision and I could not see anything. At that moment, I suddenly started to think about life, and understand so-called lifetime experience. In most of the cases, we have only one chance to experience something, if we give up the opportunity, we may never ever experience it again in our whole life. So seize every opportunity to try new things and face new challenges, life can be really fun. I did take time on weekends and my last week in Vietnam for traveling. Yes, I love traveling. I used to enjoy the natural scenery rather than the people I go with. However, this time, I would rather say it was the friends that travelled with me that made the trip full of laughter and happiness, the scenery, itâ€™s just some flavoring adding to it. We have been to Mekong River, Mui Ne Beach, Cu Chi Tunnel in South Vietnam and Hanoi, Sapa and Halong Bay in North Vietnam. I captured those beautiful moments not only through my camera, but also through my eyes and heart. Friendship can be beyond race, nationality and gender. I believe there are only few organizations can bring youth all around the world together, AIESEC, is one of them!
Ho Chi Minh City, VN
Special Experience Life is all about experience, I have to say. One night, I heard the thunder, but still decided to take Xe Om(Motorbike Taxi in Vietnamese) because the cost was the half of taking a taxi and there was no other public transportation after 8pm. On the half way back to home, a heavy 17
I live with 17 young Vietnamese
Chapter 2 - Africa
HERE IS AFRICA Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent. More than three times the size of the United States, Africa is home to enormous mountains, tropical rainforests, large deserts, the world biggest swamp, and the world’s longest river. In general the culture is rich, unique and diverse, with great craftsmanship, magical tribal dancing and fabulous musicians. Africa is a continent that is engaging and full of surprises. There are 60 cities with populations over one million, some cities have as many as 15,000,000 residents. Africa is also about luxurious vegetation, wild animals, adrenaline safaris, infinite rivers and vertiginous falls. It holds the keys of life mysteries. It is the place of origin of the Human species. And Africa has an enormous reservoir of natural and human resources. The essence of this incredible continent isn’t in any desert, mountain or lake. It’s the spirit of the people – pushing, shoving, sweating, dancing, singing and laughing – that infects so many visitors with a travel bug so powerful they’ll never stop coming back.
Section 1- Egypt
Welcome to Egypt Egypt is a country situated mainly within North Africa, with its Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia, making it a transcontinental state. Covering an area of about 1,010,000 square kilometers (390,000 sq mi), Egypt is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west. Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East, and the 15th most populated in the world. The large regions of the Sahara Desert, which constitute most of Egyptâ€™s territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egyptâ€™s residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
Section 1- Egypt
My AIESEC Experience in Egypt By Zhang Xingjia
About the project: Working Experience
he project I participated in is called project Horreya. It is initiated by AUC (American University in Cairo) LC in Egypt, intended to promote children and women’s welfare and to empower them through teaching them English and other basic life
o reach these ends, the project is divided into sub-projects, each working with a different NGO. My job was as an English teacher and a care-taker, teaching children in the ages of 5 – 12.
EP team, 12 EP from all over the world Teaching was never easy, especially when the teachers and students spoke no common language. In addition to the effort to learn basic Arabic, the EP team - 12 EPs from all over the world managed to ease the problem of lan20
guage by teaching through games- the universal way to communicate with children. Numerous games involving basic counting skills and simple English were employed, and the result was surprisingly good: we became friends with the children. Thus the ‘teaching’ became ‘sharing’, ‘presenting’ became ‘interactions’, and other things follow naturally: the children grew interests speaking English, and I gradually became more open and tolerant to cultural differences. Six weeks passed before I even noticed and I found myself reluctant to leave my students. games involving basic counting skills and simple English were employed, and the result was surprisingly good: we became friends with the children. Thus the ‘teaching’ became ‘sharing’, ‘presenting’ became ‘interactions’, and other things follow naturally: the children grew interests speaking English, in the EPs’ cultures, and they gradually became more open and tolerant to cultural differences. Six weeks passed before I even noticed and I found myself reluctant to leave my students.
About Egypt: Culture experience It was the first time for me to be in Egypt. In fact, it was the first time for me to be in Africa, or in a Muslim country. Culture shock, good or bad, occurred every day during my 6-weeks stay. There were numerous embarrassments, inconveniences, confusions and speechless moments, but I found myself grew more tolerant as I gradually assimilated into the local community. ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do.’ When you are in Egypt, it is wise to deal with things in an Egyptian way. Leisurely sipping mint tea in the cafes by the Nile is a popular pastime among local people and my new habit, but an ‘Egyptian lifestyle’ is way beyond that. After getting used to jay-walking (the only way to cross the streets in Cairo), endless bargaining (expected by the shopkeepers every time you buy anything) and getting lost in the labyrinth of streets, one will gradually get to know the Egyptian community: a lovably old-fashioned, highly people-oriented society.
Section 1- Egypt While most Egyptians are friendly and helpful to foreigners, some just see foreigners as walking wallets. After having some bad experiences of getting aimlessly driven around by taxi drivers (who pretended not understanding English), I learnt some self-protection skills: sitting at the rear seat, checking GPS on the phone, pronouncing the destinations in Arabic and always pretending to know the place.
Another learning point in planning the trips is about soft skills. It can be troublesome when every team member has a different opinion. Mediating between fellow travelers was a remarkable challenge to soft skills and making the final decision to ensure everyone is happy was not always easy. I learnt that a key to reach a happy result is to make everyone know that their opin-
About Travel: learning experience GCDP is not only about work. One important part of my experience is to travel with fellow EPs and local AIESECers. Each trip is a chance to learn about event-management and teamwork. Same as what we do in school, each â€˜eventâ€™ needs planning, researching, promoting (among friends), meeting with the agency and bargainingâ€Ś.all these can be dragging and tiring, but it is true that the more one is involved, the more one enjoys. Apart from the fun of travelling, my satisfactions come from the smile of my friends and their excitement about the trips.
Jump shot at Nassr Lake (Abu Simbel) ions are valued and considered. After all, leadership is not only about making the right decision for the team, but also about making every team member happy.
With local teenagers at Alexandra
Section 1- Egypt
My AIESEC Experience in Egypt By Wu Xuejun
Step on the pyramid!
he full name of the internship is Think Green: Micro-Scale Biogas Project, organized by AIESEC American University in Cairo. This project aims to design bio-gas plants in the El-Marg district in Cairo. The designs will be implemented later to reduce the amount of garbage on-site and will help to solve the energy and gas problem in the district.
here are 6 members in our project group, four from NTU and the rest two from the US and Brazil.In order to get immerse ourselves into the local culture and identify areas of concern for our biogas units, our group made several visits in Cairo and other Egyptians cities. Because of poverty, education of the populace was weaker than the wealthier parts of the city. Thus, the biogas plant system was supposed to be simple, safe and easy to operate or maintain. Before we started our work, information about the climate ,natural and cultural environment in Egypt, as well as literature of similar works done in other countries were also studied.
On the top of Mount Sinai. We started climbing at around 2am in the midnight, and caught the amazing sunrise on the mountain top. After compiling information collected from all aspects, our team came up with a small-scale compact biogas plant design that specially catered to the urban areas in Cairo, such as EIMarg. It helps to raise important issues into the mainstream consciousness regarding alternative energy and environmental awareness. Implementing these plants could give the people of Cairo a glimpse on how sustainable solutions can create a better environment not only for themselves but for future generations.
The trip:Egypt is far more than the mummyâ€¨ The 54-day trip to Egypt led me to know lots of people, touch the real culture of a complex country and left me precious memories.â€¨With the purpose to make the modified bio-gas plant serve its Egyptian users better, it is of great significance for me to have a comprehensive understanding of the Egyptian.
Section 1- Egypt a complex country and left me precious memories. With the purpose to make the modified bio-gas plant serve its Egyptian users better, it is of great significance for me to have a comprehensive understanding of the Egyptian people’s working and thinking style. This topic can never be explained in brief words, especially for Egypt, where many variations exist between different Egyptian subcultures and groups. However, in spite of the differences among groups and individuals, some basic values and working styles can be observed to be shared by most Egyptians without categorical boundaries. To me, most Egyptians are outgoing, enthusiastic and very conversable, even when they know little English. However, I did meet some difficulties when staring working with them. Sometimes I felt them lacking organization and accountability, in addition to ambiguity around roles and responsibilities. I consider this as cultural differences, since when I study and live in Singapore, people around me are more task-oriented, they value efficiency and always follow the guidelines; while in Egypt, people live a slow and easy-going life. When working with Egyptians, being patient and implementing a more structured working style into the group would be greatly helpful.
Mountain, from Tahri Square (We are so demn brave!) to Alexandra Library, we left our footprints all the way. Think Green has made my first long holiday after entering university so unforgettable. I still remember the mixed feeling of excitement and tension at the first day I reached Cairo Airport. I missed home a lot there, but at the day of leaving, I was reluctant to leave. Now in Singapore, when I am sitting in the front of my laptop, trying to remember all the trivial matters during my journey, I miss everything I experienced during my AIESEC GCDP trip.
By the Mediterranean. Alexandra is the city I love the most in Egypt – the blue waves, the refreshing winds and the feeling of freedom.
Rode qua-bike in Dahab. Of course, the most exciting part of my AIESEC GCDP experience is travelling to different places with all my new friends. From Mediterranean to Red Sea, from Giza Pyramids to Sinai 23
When others were kissing it, I picked Sphinx’s nose... I was sick the next day, don’t know whether it was because that Pharaoh was angry about it.
Section 1- Egypt
My AIESEC Experience in Egypt By Mandice Lieu
gypt is a developing country and it faces a variety of problems. Aside from poverty and political instability in the country, Egypt faces serious environmental problems.
y internship in Egypt aims to educate the locals on issues regarding to the environment, and let them know what they can do to improve the situation. I was allocated to Port Said British School in Zamalek. Together with 5 other interns, we planned daily activities for the children, keeping in mind to incorporate environmental conservation into the lessons. Regarding the social environmental impact of my internship, I honestly feel that more could have been done to help the locals. Although my team have been serious in carrying out our project, our audience were too young to understand the importance of environmental issues, especially since Egypt faces seemingly far worse problems. We ended up giving them science lessons, hoping to ignite their interest in the environment. Future projects could probably find an older age group to target, as they would then be more interested in it and also have the ability to do something about it.
Cultural Experiences My trip to Egypt was definitely a great cultural experience as I managed to visit many places of interests during the 6 weeks there. I visited the pyramids, temples, mosques and museums, where I learnt about the history and culture of Egyptians. My project group was made up of interns with diverse backgrounds. We had people from Russia, USA, Columbia, China and Singapore. They were nice people and I learnt a lot from them. We had a lot of discussions on how to conduct our lessons better. After the lessons, we would also hang out for dinner and tour the city together. From our interaction, I realised that cultural differences are real, and these differences lead to different people thinking and responding differently to problems. Aside from people from my project, I also met up with a group of people whom I call â€˜my travel buddiesâ€™. In this group, we had people from Singapore, China, Hong Kong and Indonesia. Because we travel long distances together, we had a lot of time to talk and interact. In fact, these weekend tours were the most memorable part of my GCDP. I knew no one when I first decided to go to Egypt. Getting to know this group of people was really an unexpected reward for me. They provided me with lots of help both physically and mentally which enabled me to stay through the 6 weeks long internship in Egypt. If I had to describe any life-changing moments, I would have to mention my fellow flatmates. There were 5 other people staying in the same apartment as me. We lived in Giza, which was not a well-to-do region in Egypt. In other words, we were living among the common Egyptians, and the buildings were rundown.
Section 1- Egypt they quarrelled over very minor issues. Living in this apartment hasnâ€™t been easy. A lot I maintained friendly relationships with my flatmates. I knew there was no point crying over spilt milk, so I chose to let the incident go. I had many more weeks in the apartment and I needed to handle the issue with care.
The view from my apartment I actually enjoyed staying in such an environment because I get to see how the locals live and work. Initially, the locals were very surprised to see me as they probably never seen an Asian in their entire life. They would stare and I felt pretty uncomfortable. I was warned that Egypt is a dangerous country and women had to be especially careful.
Despite my calm reaction, the theft incident had actually left a deep impression on me. I was really taken aback as Iâ€™ve never experienced such blatant theft in Singapore. Besides the theft incident, many other events occurred in the apartment that made me feel as if I was taking a test on crisis management. In general, the GCDP trip to Egypt was an eventful one. I learnt a lot from this trip, made many new friends and enjoyed myself thoroughly.
After a few weeks, the locals in the neighbourhood kind of got used to us and I even got to know the kids downstairs. By the 3rd week, I was so comfortable and familiar with the area that I would even respond to people who called out to me. They appear extremely happy when I waved or simply looked in their direction. Out of the 5 people that I stayed with, 4 were from India and one was from China. Admittedly, living with a group of strangers was not an easy task. The Indians in my apartment always quarrelled among themselves. In most occasions,
Photo shot at Pyramid
Section 2 - Mauritius
Welcome to Mauritius Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about 870 kilometres (540 mi) east of Madagascar. It is one of the worldâ€™s top luxury tourism destinations.It possesses a wide range of natural and man-made attractions, enjoys a sub-tropical climate with clear warm sea waters, attractive beaches, tropical fauna and flora complemented by a multi-ethnic and cultural population that is friendly and welcoming. Mauritius received the World Leading island Destination award for the third time and Worldâ€™s Best Beach at the World Travel Awards in January 2012. Recreational activities in Mauritius are varied. Water sports are facilitated as the island is surrounded with coral reef, providing relatively shallow and calm water. Activities such as deep-sea fishing, surfing, windsurfing, water-skiing, yachting and submarine rides are available. Land-based leisure activities include golf, tennis, skiing, sky diving, deer hunting, quad (ATV) riding, mountain biking, abseiling, zip lining, horse riding
Section 2 - Mauritius
My AIESEC Experience in Mauritius By Vrinda Khana
he project was about teaching in the underprivileged localities of Mauritius. Basic IT knowledge was to be imparted in the course of 5 weeks of teaching.
AIESEC Exchange The interns as a team had their ups and downs, but I ended up having a memorable time and I have made some friends who I will always remain in touch with. I also ended up learning a lot about the local culture and routines of Mauritius and am glad to have explored the places and toured the island during my stay.
he participants were eager to learn, quick to grasp new concepts and fun to work with. The group of older students was extraordinarily focused and dedicated and they learned a lot. The younger kids learnt less technicalities, but did satisfactorily for their age and ended up be-
I can write a book on what all we did, but I know that no one would read it, so instead I put it in pictures and a poem.
Here is a poem I wrote about my friends: There were laughs and tears and songs and dance And music that never made much sense We laughed and wept and screamed and slept Through days so pleasant, or times so intense Some days, all we did, was long to leave We sulked all day, and cribbed all night But other days, were so full of fun
ing comfortable with the computer, which we interns considered a big success for us. We bonded well with the students and kept them motivated through interactive games and applause. A considerable improvement in the participantsâ€™ typing speed was observed. They ended up learning a lot and so did we. Despite a language barrier and a weak infrastructure, I was very proud of the students who worked so hard and learned so much. It was heartbreaking to say goodbye to them, especially with the knowledge, that I might never see them again. 27
Our hearts were full and our spirits bright We had wonderful dinners, like a family sweet And our leaderâ€™s cooking was unmatched
Section 2 - Mauritius And there were always the midnight bakery trips Where we’d pick soft samples of breads’ first batch Our mornings were late and sleepy and cold Our first instinct was to search for the sun Our nights were so chilly, only magic worked Chit chats and games kept them fun
Learning points •Never miss any opportunity to have fun. Its the good times that remain etched in memory forever. •Make new friends. Everyone has different personalities and priorities. That is what makes the experience to enjoyable. •Take work seriously. That is what GCDP is about and that is what really matters.
The wifi area was always so full The very few times, the internet worked Some were on whatsapp, some on Skype Some FB-chatted, some FB-lurked We had pillow fights, politics talks and debates, And played poker, carrom, truth or dare and bluff A couple of people bickered, some cheered them on Others did hip hop on “Out of Love” “Pani da Rang,” was always clear The sands were soft, the waters blue At night, the stars shined so bright The milky way gave a glittering view We all had our ups and downs But the experience was beyond what I could have foretold Be it the company, the journey or the place In retrospect, I appreciate them even more
I went empty handed and what did I get back? A certificate, a T-shirt, some souvenirs, I see But more precious are the new skills songs and pictures, Unique moments, dear friendships, and sweet memories
At the intern house •Travel a lot. See the whole city. Don’t miss anything. One of my most memorable trips was when we all rented cars and went on a road trip across the entire west coast of the island. •There will always be ups and downs. Enjoy the journey. :D
Section 2 - Mauritius
My AIESEC Experience in Mauritius
ranged from the age group of 9 to 21 years. They were divided into 2 groups. One group ranged from age group of 9 to 13 years and the other group ranged from the age group of 13 to 22 years.
By Anubha Gupta
went for my GCDP exchange to Mauritius which is a small island in the Indian Ocean and is the part of African continent. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen in my life. It is exactly what you can imagine the heaven to be like. Through the project our aim was to return this love to the underprivileged people by bringing about some change in their lives.
he project that we worked for was Microsoft- IT for All, which aimed at teaching the underprivileged people of Mauritius with no access to computers or internet the basic IT skills so that they feel more connected to this global world and get the knowledge that they deserve.
As an intern of this project my job was to visit one of the villages in Mauritius and teach the children and teenagers in that village the basic Microsoft office that included Microsoft Paint, Word and Excel.
9-13 years old participants at the Lescalier training center We taught the small children the very basics about the computers because they had almost negligible knowledge about the computers. We taught them how to use a mouse, how to open folders, how to change background, how to use Paint to make drawings, typing masters, etc. It was much easier to teach the teenager participants because they had the basic knowledge of computers and were better at communicating. The impact was made in the form of providing them with knowledge of computers which made them closer to the world and giving them a wonderful time and memories that they had when they used to come for the trainings. They made new friends and utilized their time which could have gone wasted otherwise.
13-22 year old participants at the Lescalier training center There were total 4 training centers in different regions of Mauritius that all of us (all the interns who were part of this project) had to work at. We were 12 interns so we worked 3 interns at each training center. 29
We had plenty of memorable experience as a part of this exchange. We went around the entire island together, we went on a road trip, we went to sugar cane factory, waterpark, beaches, resorts, and a lot more. Even each and every moment spent at our intern house was memorable. From all the long discussions to all fun games of cards and carom, from all the cribbing to all the lovely friendships, from the dance lessons to AIESEC jives, everything was just
Section 2 - Mauritius so memorable and I will remember for my entire life
Key learning points
The entire organizing committee put their day and night together to make it a good exchange experience for us. To conclude my report I would just like to say that whatever problems we had there, no matter how disappointed we were in the initial days of the exchange, when I look back in time and think about this entire journey and the impact that we made on those young talented but a bit unlucky children I feel extremely content and happy that I made this decision to go there. I had the best time of my life there in Mauritiusthe Paradise Island.
Intern and the organizing committee members for my project My GCDP exchange taught me a lot of things that I never thought I would be experiencing as a part of this exchange. I learnt how important it is to have a wide vision and proper management. I learnt that if someone takes some responsibility how important it is to stand for your words. It was also a great learning experience to be a part of the discussions. Through the discussions I came to know how people from different countries deal with their jobs , about their perceptions, about their attitude towards life and lot more. Also, these discussions united us along the way and we became very good friends.
Intern and the organizing committee members for my project
Having fun time during training hours
Section 3 - Tanzania
Welcome to Tanzania Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is the country that was formed by the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964. It is located in East Africa, bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. The countryâ€™s eastern border lies on the Indian Ocean. The name Tanzania derives from the first syllables of the names of the two states, Tanganyika and Zanzibar, that united to form the country. One of Tanzaniaâ€™s most important archeological sites is Engaruka in the Great Rift Valley which includes an irrigation and cultivation system.
Section 3 - Tanzania
My AIESEC Experience in Tanzania By Wang Jian Xiong
Internship Experience and Learning Points There is much difference between the culture in Tanzania and Chinese culture. It took some time for me to get used to their lifestyle and their living habits. We also met student from Canada. We shared our different opinions on topics such as religious, relationship, family and so on.
Teaching in Mwegabe Secondary School with the students
ur project is called Umbrella and our main task is to teach the local students from secondary schools about environmental conservation. We divided our teaching into four topics: pollution, sanitation and hygiene, environmental health and global warming.
Photo with the LC students and intern from other countries
1st time standing in front of a class as a teacher The knowledge we taught them increased their awareness about environmental conservation. They could spread the awareness to the people around, make their living environment a better place and also together to do part in the global environmental conservation. More importantly, the students had chances to see people from other part of the world. Talking with us widened their eye sight and inspired some them to study well and to go out of their country. 32
Photo taken at Oyster Bay Beach We went to Safari at the end of the program, the view of boundless grassland and herds of wild animals were really impressive. In the night, the sky was full of stars. Living in modern city, we never had the chance to see grand sight such like this. Suddenly I felt that all the suffers of poor living conditions were worth it.
Section 3 - Tanzania the modern technology, GPS, together with the direction advice from LC students, we managed to go most of the attractions in and near the city.
Photo taken with school master and teacher at the end of project in Mwegabe Secondary School At the first I thought we were just there to teach the students about conservation. Until one day at the end of class, the school masters told us that many girls were inspired by us, especially inspired by the girls in our group. Looking at what we did, the girls in the school dared to dream bigger and got encouragement to achieve what they what. At that time, we realized that our contribution is far more than teaching knowledge about environment conservation. Because the lack of human power and time stress, there were insufficient students to lead us to the school and go around the city started from the second week. We also had to travel in the city where there is no direction sign and many of the local even do not know English. Thanks to 33
Section 4 - Tunisia
Welcome to Tunisia Tunisia, officially the Republic of Tunisia, is the smallest country in North Africa. It is an Arab Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Tunisiaâ€™s area is almost 165,000 square kilometres, with an estimated population of just under 10.7 million. Its name is derived from the capital Tunis located in the northeast. The south of the country is composed of the Sahara desert, with much of the remainder consisting of particularly fertile soil and 1,300 kilometres of coastline.
Section 4 - Tunisia
My AIESEC Experience in Tunisia By Khairunnisa Zainul Abideen
having plenty of time without meaningful things to do. So then I requested for a switch to another project, which was to teach children English in 4 different schools in the countryside.
Internship Experience and Learning Points My time there was very well spent as the participants had to teach a class in the morning and in the late afternoon. When we got back to our accommodation in the evening we were all busy discussing and preparing for the lessons next day.
Exchange participants with students
y Global Community Development Program was in Tunisia under LC Bardo and I was matched to the drug campaign project. I was all excited to start off my summer holidays in a meaningful way by volunteering and immersing myself in a new culture and environment.
The studentâ€™s command of English varies greatly and to plan a standard lesson to accommodate every student was a challenge. Therefore we came up with the solution to divide the students into two levels (Upper and lower level). The topics regarding the environment, family and ambitions were being taught to the students for the upper level. The environment topic increases the local studentsâ€™ awareness on how they can do their part in keeping the country clean and green. This is because improper disposable of garbage is a very common sight in the city. Â
he excitement slowly dissipated in the first few days that I have stayed in the host country. The reason being there was insufficient accommodation for the exchange participants and the worst part of all there was a delay in the commencement of the project. Soon a mixture of negative emotions such as frustration and disappointment starts to set in. Finally when the project started, the exchange participants were taught on subjects such as first-aid, alcoholism and the negative impact of smoking, which were very useful. However the time spent on the trainings was very minimal and participants ended up
Improper disposal of garbage Therefore through this awareness, they can spread the word and teach others in the society. The other topic was about achieving their ambitions whereby participants share inspirational stories to the students to make them realize that the sky is the limit and that no dream is too big.
Section 4 - Tunisia We had participants from Kenya, Senegal, Guatemala, Mexico and Ukraine etc. and thus only when we stayed together did we manage to interact and share about the lifestyles, education systems, languages, tourist attractions and foods of our own country. And most importantly, we went through good and difficult times together and helped one another to cope the feeling of being homesick. Each participant shared with the students about their own culture as well so that the students get to know more about the world. Â
Some interaction with students
Having been staying in Singapore for all my life has made me complacent about the good education, sense of security and the comfort that I get. Only when I was there in Tunisia that I realized how blessed my life is in Singapore and that I should not have taken it for granted. To conclude, this GCDP has definitely made me more appreciative of Singapore and broaden my horizon to look at things from different perspective, which I could never obtain from books. Despite the hiccups that I met during my stay in Tunisia, the experience I had interacting with the villagers and exchange participants will be kept as wonderful memories.
Section 5 - Uganda
Welcome to Uganda Uganda, officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by Tanzania. Uganda takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a large portion of the south of the country including the capital Kampala. The people of Uganda were huntergatherers until 1,700 to 2,300 years ago, when Bantu-speaking populations migrated to the southern parts of the country. The area was ruled by the British beginning in the late 1800s. Uganda gained independence from Britain on 9 October 1962. The period since then has been marked by intermittent conflicts, most recently a civil war against the Lordâ€™s Resistance Army. The official languages are English and Swahili, but multiple other languages are also spoken in the country.
Section 5 - Uganda
My AIESEC Experience in Uganda
raise the income of the guardian of the student in these schools, cabbage seeds were given to them. When the cabbage seeds matured, they will be sold to the market as young seedlings. The revenue from the sales of cabbage seedlings will be used to buy more cabbage seeds. In order to ensure the cabbage seeds will successfully mature into seedlings, a demonstration on the preparation of nursery bed as well as the transplanting of seedlings into the main field was performed.
By Yeo Zi Lin
he organization that I was working with is called the Ndibwami Integrated Rescue Program (NIRP), in Uganda. The NIRP is a community project that is located in the town called Masaka, 2.5 hours away from the capital city of Uganda, Kampala. NIRP works with various groups of people and they include primary schools, women’s group as well as the HIV/AIDS Infected group. As NIRP works with a different group of people, different goals/objectives are set for the various groups.
Internship Experience and Learning Points
After preparing the vegetable garden The main objective for the schools (Bright Angels’, Pride Academy, Restoration Centre) is to improve their living conditions by educating them on topics such as hygiene, food & nutrition, malaria prevention, first aid. First aid practical was held so as to test the students’ ability to react to the different type of emergency that might happen in their surroundings. In order to 38
The textbooks that I had contributed to the Bright Angels’ Primary School. Besides, the sharing of knowledge, educational posters were made so as to aid the learning of the nursery students in the schools. Some textbooks were also contributed to Bright Angels Primary School there is a lack of textbooks for their final year students (primary seven). On the other hand, the main objective of the Ssaaza women’s group as well as the HIV/AIDS Infected group (Gayaza) is the empowerment of the members in these groups as well as to inculcate them the important value of cooperating in the group. By equipping them with the various skills, they will be able to make their own keep through self-help in the long run. These groups are currently learning under a tailor so as to improve their sewing skills, so that they can produce goods that are marketable. The groups are also involved in saving and investment. By saving a fixed amount of money in a month, the group will be able to invest in piglet rearing which can serve as a form of income for these groups. Psychological and emotional counseling for people living with HIV/AIDS was also pro-
Section 5 - Uganda
The Gayaza Women’s group! Uganda used to be a colony of Great Britain, which is the same case as for Singapore. As such some interactions with the locals are in English. Moreover, as I am staying with a host family, I was able to learn about their culture, tradition, politics, food, religion, environment as well as their languages from the local’s point of view. From the interactions, I learned that Uganda is divided into different kingdoms and that the most influential of all is the Buganda Kingdom. The country name’s “Uganda” is derived from the Buganda Kingdom and the ‘U’ for Uganda represents unity. Due to the presence of the various kingdoms, different languages are used throughout the whole of Uganda. As such, English language is implemented as their official language. Since the Buganda Kingdom is more influential in the central to northern part of Uganda (which includes the capital city, Kampala), the locals speak Luganda. It is also the language that I have to pick up as not all the locals (especially the villagers) speak English
The Nursery bed that I did in the schools The freedom of speech in Uganda is very high. As such, the Ugandans are very concerned with their political issue. The public is able to response to the broadcasting of news in real time. Uganda’s ecotourism is also famous with more than 1500 species of birds to brag about. Hence, the Uganda government placed a lot of emphasis on the environment. Despite being a developing nation, companies that are heavily polluting the environment are forced to shut down. This suggests that everyone should play a role in protecting the environment and that we should not use being a poorer nation as an excuse to not do our part in protecting the environment. Uganda also has a very calm and peaceful lifestyle. Hence, the locals that I met are often late, and this causes some problems whenever we are introducing our activities to the locals. At the start of the internship, I had difficulties adapting to the lifestyle as we are conditioned to keep to our time in Singapore. However, as the time goes by, I was able to adapt to their pacing of life. To the point that I had difficulties adjusting my lifestyle back in Singapore. That’s my exchange story in Uganda. :)
Teaching material 39
Section 5 - Uganda
My AIESEC Experience in Uganda By Qiu Jinglan
BUVAD SUNFLOWER Project
Agriculture is the most important sector of Uganda economy
in central Uganda with the purpose of improving the income of farmers. Farmers used to grow coffee as cash crop in this area. But due to climate change and fierce competitions with those strong coffee suppliers like Brazil and even other African countries, coffee plantation becomes less and less profitable. Sunflower is a good alternative not only because it is a two-season crop which lowers the risk of getting bad yields for the whole year but also it can be used to make a lot of products, such as cooking oil, soap, animal feeds, etc. North Uganda is the main area of sunflower plantation with several big manufactures of sunflower cooking oil. In the centrum, farmers are not familiar with sunflowers and afraid there is no market for the seeds. BUVAD promised the farmers that they will buy all the seeds from them at an above market price. BUVAD is going to build a factory to turn the seeds into cooking oil and find buyers for the oil.
y project is called BUVAD (Butakoola Village Association for Development) Sunflower Project. BUVAD is a Uganda-based NGO aiming to improve the quality of life of rural area residents. Group photo with local children
t is named after the founder Mr. Stephen’s hometown Butakoola Village. The organization is based in Kayunga District which is to the northeast of Uganda’s capital Kampala and only two hours’ drive from it. I worked in a 5-person team, which included an Australian girl, two Singapore students from NTU, another student from China and me. We are the second batch of volunteering interns working on this pretty recent-started project. The project is about to promote growing sunflowers
One of BUVAD main members Mrs. Sarah is the principal of Bwetyaba Primary School. The first batch of interns together with the students and BUVAD members built a demonstration sunflower garden at the back of the school in March, 2012. When we first arrived there in the late May, there was no flower in the garden. We watched and recorded how the sunflower grew and tried to find solutions for any problems we encountered, like weeds, diseases, and so on. The sunflowers were almost ready for harvesting prior to our leaving. The profits from sale
Section 5 - Uganda of sunflower seeds will be used by the school to buy shoes and food for students. We worked closely with Calitas group-an Australian Christian organization to give presentations regarding to the project and teach them how to grow sunflowers for group leaders, and schools. We also conducted workshops for farmers who were growing sunflowers and those who are interested in growing. The workshops served as forums for farmers to discuss successes or failures regarding to sunflower plantation. We visited sunflower gardens one by one, took photos of the gardens and plants, and recorded the problems the owner had. Some of the farmers had problems with weeding since they were lack of manpower. We talked to Father of Kayunga Parish and found there were many unemployed youths who were interested in farming industry. Therefore we meted with youth leaders and discussed with them about this matter. They agreed to help farmers do weeding for free; in return, they required those farmers to teach them farming skills. We also helped the farmers with sunflower diseases as we took pictures of the bad parts like leaves or roots then showed the pictures to experts in Kampala. Once we heard the solution to disease, we would teach the farmers. We went to several primary schools to promote the sunflower project, which means to set up sunflower club in the school. The club members would learn how to grow sunflowers and then plant them in the school gardens. And the profits would be used by the club and the rest would be distributed to the children from poor families. Some schools have rejected us because farming is not regarded as a respectful job in Uganda and the teachers want their students have bigger dreams like being a doctor or lawyer. However, some schools accepted the idea and considered sunflower plantation as an important way to teach students some farming skills and to appreciate the hard work of farmers. The sunflower project has been helping the residents in central Uganda to increase income and have a better life. The project teaches them skills and methods to make money, instead of giving them money. 41
I lived in Mrs. Sarahâ€™s house during the 6-week internship. She was a very good friend and teacher to us. We learnt many interesting central Uganda traditions and some words and phrases from Luganda-the local language. We lived a very happy life together which was full of love and laughter. One interesting story could be The Chicken. We ate beef for the first a few days. We thought it was kind of expensive meat so we asked for chicken since we assumed it was cheaper. But later after we talked to Mrs. Sarah we realized that in Uganda chicken meat is more expensive than beef. This is quite different from most countries in the world. Finally, we decided not eat any kind of meat to save money.
The living conditions in the village were quite poor. The biggest problem is cleaning water. There was no hot water for bathing and the water we used is a little greenish yellow. Within our team all people got sick except me. Most of them did not feel well after consuming the local food. One Singapore guy got food poison and the Australian girl got virus in her stomach and was sent to hospital. Another Chinese guy got malaria and rested in AIESEC HOUSE for one whole week. I was very lucky because sickness always makes us suffer. When I looked at my teammates, I decided to exercise more and have a healthier diet. The experience in Uganda was quite exciting and unforgettable. It is an adventure and eternal memory to me. For anyone who is interested in this project, I have one advice, do take vaccinations and buy insurance before departure.
Chapter 3 - Europe
HERE IS EUROPE Europe is, by convention, one of the world’s seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally ‘divided’ from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting the Black and Aegean Seas. Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and the Black Sea and connected waterways to the southeast. Yet the borders of Europe—a concept dating back to classical antiquity—are somewhat arbitrary, as the primarily physiographic term “continent” can incorporate cultural and political elements. Europe is also the birthplace of Western culture. It played a predominant role in global affairs from the 15th century onwards, especially after the beginning of colonialism. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European nations controlled at various times the Americas, most of Africa, Oceania, and large portions of Asia 42
Section 1 - Czech Republic
Welcome to Brno, Czech Republic Brno by population and area is the second largest city in the Czech Republic, the largest Moravian city, and the historical capital city of the Margraviate of Moravia. Brno is the administrative center of the South Moravian Region where it forms a separate district Brno-City District. The city lies at the confluence of the Svitava and Svratka rivers and has about 400,000 residents. The most important sights of the city include the castle and fortress Ĺ pilberk and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on Petrov hill, these two formerly medieval buildings form the characteristic cityscape and are often depicted as its traditional symbols. The other large and preserved castle in the city is VeveĹ™Ă Castle near the Brno Dam Lake, this castle is a subject for a couple of legends like a number of other places in Brno. Another important monument of Brno is the functionalist Villa Tugendhat which has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Brno is surrounded by relatively pleasant nature, one of the especially attractive areas nearby being the Moravian Karst.
Section 1 - Czech Republic
My AIESEC Experience in Czech Republic By Charlotte Ng
t’s fun and creativity that can help the students enjoy the lessons. Building rapport initially might also be difficult but I overcame this by sharing personal experiences
As for the social impact on the environment, I would say that the impact was only felt greatest on the students who were most interested in the financial world. Despite the initial communication barrier, there were some students who put in the effort to bring in translation dictionaries to class and ask me questions or express interest on the topics I was covering. As they were high school students, I also felt that it was easy to ‘click’ with them, being more of a studentteacher than the stereotypical teacher that we have in mind that teaches with a top-down approach. However, I don’t think the social impact of what I taught will hit them anytime soon until they enter university when they start to have a better understanding about the financial world.
Photo with my students
y internship in Brno was mainly to impart financial literacy to the students in high schools. Given that I’m studying accountancy and business, this was quite an easy task to do. My friends (other EPs from different countries) were allocated to different schools and I was allocated to a grammar school (more focus on academics). My first lesson with them was to share some information about Singapore (cultural presentation) and they were really interested and amazed by my country.
This is a photo of all the EPs (Indian, two Chinese, a Canadian and Singaporean) and our buddies during our Food & Economy night. Our buddies put in extra effort to bring us around and settle the administrative matters (such as transport passes) and accommodation despite their upcoming examinations.
Section 1 - Czech Republic This photo is of my buddy demonstrating how to get beer (part of their culture) from a beer tap and it’s all DIY and they charge by the amount you drink. We travelled every weekend and I went to Hungary and watched a ballet for S$1.50! It was a really good deal and a good experience. Food wise, we tried a lot of Czech food and found out that their ‘dumplings’ are actually potato flour or bread and not our traditional Chinese dumplings!
Key Learning Points
understand. When they couldn’t relate to ‘eBay’, I tried to find alternatives and asked teachers if there were similar websites in the Czech Republic. They enjoyed the class activities where they got to come up with wacky ideas and hard-sell them to their classmates. It’s fun and creativity that can help the students enjoy the lessons. Building rapport initially might also be difficult but I overcame this by sharing personal experiences related to school, shopping and life in general. The more receptive you are to students (not a top-down approach), the more receptive they are to you as well.
Having a communication barrier may be difficult and daunting at times but being able to think on the spot and being creative will help a lot. I was faced with this difficulty when teaching my students and after my first lesson, I realized that I needed to do something to help them understand better. I started to add more videos and going through them bit by bit to help the students
My school -- Klasické a španělské gymnázium
Photo with my students
Section 2 - Germany
Welcome to Bielefeld, Germany Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic in west-central Europe. Germany has the worldâ€™s fourth largest economy by nominal GDP, Germany has been the home of many influential philosophers, music composers, scientists and inventors, and is known for its cultural and political history. Bielefeld is a city in the Ostwestfalen-Lippe Region in the north-east of North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany. With a population of 323,000, it is also the most populous city in the Regierungsbezirk Detmold. Bielefeld is home to a significant number of internationally operating companies, including Dr. Oetker, Gildemeister and SchĂźco. Bielefeld is also famous among Germans for its internet meme the Bielefeld VerschwĂśrung.
Section 2 - Germany
My AIESEC Experience in Germany By Ci Rui Xiang
My host family and I at the city hall
he project is called “BI in a box”, and it was held in Bielefeld (the abbreviation is BI), Germany.
I started this project with 8 other interns from all around the world: Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Ghana, Mexico, Ecuador and Brazil—it was just like a small United Nation! The theme of the project is globalization, and we went to different schools and social organizations to have workshops and share our cultures, as well as organizing public events in the university about globalization. There are usually very few GCDP projects in developed countries like Germany, and I also felt puzzled about what I could bring to the local community there. This was solved on the first day. The AIESECers there told me that Germany, unlike US or UK which are quite multi-cultural, is a society which the German culture is predominant especially in cities like Bielefeld. So they wanted us to bring different thoughts and lifestyles to the people in Bielefeld and raise people’s awareness of globalization. We have gone to more than 20 schools and social organizations to organize workshops (for example, teaching cookery, playing traditional sports from our countries and having language classes) and have held 5 public events in the university
t has been 2 months since the internship ended, but my memories are still so fresh as if it just happened yesterday. It was such an amazing story and I truly enjoy this GCDP journey very much. I feel so honored and fortunate that I have met all those people there, together with all the unforgettable stories this summer. Bielefeld itself is not a well-known city. Although the population is 300,000 which is regarded as a big city in Germany, I had never heard of it before I was in this project, and even Germans are not familiarized with the city so they have a joke called “Bielefeld doesn’t exist”. However, when I arrive there and start my project, I would yell from my heart that Bielefeld does exist! The people there are really nice and friendly, and they make my journey so colorful and fruitful.
Internship Experience and Learning Points 47
BBQ in the university as well as 3 international nights in ESG (abbreviation for Protestant Students Congregation in German). All these events were very successful, and we have brought a lot of new thoughts to the local people. Personally, I have been on the local newspaper for four times. It was such an honor and demonstrated our impact on the local community. Once I went to a bakery and the shop assistant even recognized me and asked whether I was the person on newspaper.
Section 2 - Germany common thoughts like most people that Germans are serious, rigid and quite cold. However, when I began to interact with the Germans, not only the AIESECers but also the common people in the city, I found that the stereotype was only the first-time impression and was not really true. Usually it is simply that Germans would not like to show their emotions to strangers. When they get to know more about a person, they begin to show their friendliness and they really talk a lot with you. Meeting with a teacher in a school
Visit to Sparrenburgâ€”a landmark of Bielefeld
I really appreciate it a lot that the reception of the local committee was wonderful. The AIESECers there organized various events for us, including weekly dinner at an AIESECerâ€™s house, BBQ, bakery, parties, playing different types of German games and so on. They also arranged a lot of trips for us, including city sightseeing, short trips to nearby towns and cities and a weekend visit to Berlin. As all of them are still current students and are still in their semesters (universities in Germany usually end in July or August), it was so kind of them to take up so much time to entertain us, especially with so many events and activities. I truly thank for their efforts, not only because what they did made the entire journey so interesting, but also gave me a lot of knowledge and information about Germany.
Besides, I would like to give thanks to my host family as well. My host was a very friendly person and he indeed gave me so much help during the six weeks. Although he was living alone in a small flat and there was only one bedroom, he gladly took the responsibilities of being a host family after hearing the project and moved out from the bedroom to the study, leaving the comfortable bedroom to me. In the six weeks, we had a great staying together. He seemed very interested to hear about my culture, and I also knew a lot of German culture from his words. The only pity was that my schedule in the project was so full that I did not have much time to talk to him.
International night in ESG There were activities organized by the LC nearly every day and when I came back it was usually 11pm and he was about to sleep. And he planned to drive me to his parentsâ€™ home at the first day when he picked me up, but until the last day of the project, as there are so many things to do, it still did not come to realization.
Section 2 - Germany 2 months truly passed, but those memories would never fade. It was the best summer vacation I have ever had: I have learnt so much, I have experienced so much and I have remembered so much.
Public viewing of the Euro Cup Thanks to the hard work of the AIESECers in LC Bielefeld, and thanks to everyone concerned in this project: my host family, my project colleagues, the teachers and students in all the schools I visited, the staff in the social organizationsâ€Ś Without you, this project would never be so successful. I could think of so much help from you: When I first arrived, the LC provided 25 euros to purchase necessities, not much but making my life there start so sweetly. When I did not know how to handle the pupils who started to lose interest from me, the teachers said some funny words to retain their interest and keep the class going. When I did not feel well once when all interns travelled to Amsterdam, all of them stayed around me to give me suggestions, buy me food and drinks or simply hold and console me, waiting until I felt better laterâ€Ś There were so many touching moments during the six weeks that I would always keep in my heart. It was their help and care that made my staying so smooth and delightful. Moreover, I sincerely thank AIESEC for having such a wonderful programme called GCDP. It brings about the possibility of letting various people from different countries, different races, different religions, and different backgrounds to come together, helping the local community to develop and also sharing stories that happened back in our countries. Throughout the programme, I experience that the world is so big, and the world is so small.
Section 3 - Hungary
Welcome to Budapest, Hungary Budapest is the capital and the largest city of Hungary, the largest in EastCentral Europe and the seventh largest in the European Union. It is the country’s principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre, sometimes described as the primate city of Hungary. Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe,its extensive World Heritage Site includes the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue, Heroes’ Square and the Millennium Underground Railway, the second oldest in the world.Other highlights include a total of 80 geothermal springs, the world’s largest thermal water cave system, second largest synagogue, and third largest Parliament building. The city attracts about 2.7 million tourists a year, making it the 37th most popular city in the world according to Euromonitor
Section 3 - Hungary
My AIESEC Experience in Hungary By Nicholas Quek Jian-Hui
reached Budapest on the 11th of June, the time spent on my GCDP have been nothing short of sensational and have completely exceeded my expectations. I have heard stories about GCDP experiences, but only being after personally involved do you actually understand how impactful the experience is.
Nonetheless, the people from my host family were great. A really friendly bunch who never failed to ensure I was well-taken care of. The late night rides from the bus station when I had missed the last bus, coming all the way down to the club to pick me when my luggage let me down, the daily breakfast with various spreads and fillings, the packed lunch which made me feel privileged, the concessions they made for my comfort at home and that final trip to the dormitory. I don’t think many people would go that far out of their way to help a foreign kid. I have never felt more frustrated at not being able to express my appreciation for their efforts, adding to the guilt for troubling them at times. Luckily I found means to address this issue. (Thanks to handwritten notes by a close local friend) I was happy to leave for the dormitory, but it was tough saying good-bye to them.
he first day was short. I arrived in the afternoon but needed to leave early since I had to be shipped off to my host family in an unknown village on the outskirts of the city – a village whose name I had problems even pronouncing, much less find my way to and fro from it the next day. It didn’t help that I was picked up by an AIESEC-er, Zsofi, who seemed to be in a frantic hurry as she tore through the maze of streets, giving little explanation other than a brief mention about catching the bus. We arrived at the bus station, following the metro ride and the brisk walk that bordered on running, and began my trip towards the north of Hungary, away from the city. Little did I know, I was still in for more surprises. I wasn’t sure whether it was the ride, as the bus weaved its way through the Hungarian streets, passing though roads as the city lights faded away as we moved into the darkness of the countryside and the raw feeling of being detached began to engulf me, or when upon meeting my host family, I realized that I should have put more effort into the times I played Charades. Basically, being in a family that didn’t speak English wasn’t easy.
All of the trainees at Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Europe! The lonely nights due to my late arrivals home and the lack of any viable means of communication meant that I sought solace from the people at camp, namely the other trainees. The trainees at this camp have been the greatest bunch of people I have ever met. The diverse backgrounds and cultural differences stood for nothing. Brought together to organize the camps, the amount of time we spent together only meant that we would get closer. Whether it was staying back each day after the camp being barely productive, the times we hung out in the night or
Section 3 - Hungary just planning the dreaded agenda, it brought us to where we are today.
continued from a distance, as we both return to the lives we came from. For some, this trip might have been an escape from the realities back home or for a new challenge to grow. I saw this trip as an opportunity to be more independent and to try something new. The closest I have ever been to that was probably while I was conscripted but it was never for a period this long, nor did I see it as fun. I also wanted to meet new people, new cultures and share new experiences. Detaching myself from my comfort zone for two months and throwing myself into the unknown alone was a challenge and I now understand why I did it. I never though I would regret anyway, but I never saw it as being this fun either.
Trainees from the first week!
The wonderful experience I had would never be the same without the people I met. Whether we meet up again remains to be seen, but this two months was really special. Iâ€™d willingly do it all over again, without changing any of it.
Our initial group of six, when I arrived, started to grow with the rest slowly filtering in as we became ten. The jobs we undertook were not easy. Organizing camps for children can be difficult, organizing differently camps weekly for high school students, with their varied interests and attention spans proved a challenge. Our daily working hours spanned more than the required 9 am to 5 pm since we had to come in early and leave late as preparation was key to how we executed our program for the day. Topics ranged mainly from our various cultures, with myself focusing on the multi-racial and multi-cultural nature of Singapore, and the modern nature of this city state. We also sought to impart English exercises as we aimed to improve their English. With these two main aspects of our curriculum, aided by interaction PowerPoint presentations, videos, pictures and games, we managed to play an enriching role into the lives of Hungarian teenagers. The joy of playing a significant role in broadening their knowledge and perspectives of other cities in the world made the sacrifices worth it. You know youâ€™ve met great people when thereâ€™s a strong urge to keep in contact after everything ends and to try to meet again in the future. It seems sad that these friendships will have to be 52
European Championships 2012 Final
Chain Bridge, Budapest and the view from it!
Section 4 -Poland
Welcome to Poland Poland, now renowned as a blossoming country, is located at the centre of Europe. The neighbours of Poland are Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Russia. Also located in the northwest of Poland is the Baltic Sea. Poland is the 9th largest country in Europe. Moreover, the population of Poland is about 38 million mostly comprising of people below the age of thirty. The national colours of Poland are red and white. The Polish flag also has the same colours.The national anthem of Poland is ‘Poland has not died(Jeszcze Polska nie zginela)’. This was written by J. Wybicki and composed by M. Oginski. Poland’s slogan is ‘Poland is the republic of family’. This slogan shows us that being family is quite important in Poland.
Section 4 - Poland
My AIESEC Experience in Nowy Sacz, Poland By Liu Song
Sharing our culture to primary/middle school students
y exchange story started on 7th of May, 2012. It was incredibly cold when I eventually made my way to the destination bus station around t1am and as I still remember, I was trembling and thanking god I did bring a coat for winter when I go off the bus.
were basically involved in sharing our culture to primary/middle school students. For example, we would present them our own customs from China, Chinese food, interesting animals, or play some Chinese songs and teach them a little bit of Chinese. There were EPs from other countries and regions as well, such as Singapore, Ukraine and Hong Kong. Sometimes we also went to Kindergarten and did a short presentation on animals and play games with them. It was a very cheerful experience with those kids and it reminded me of all the happiness, fun and innocence in my childhood. The kids were enjoying the lessons and apparently they were most interested in Chinese languages, especially how the characters originate from real word objects like sun, moon and mountains etc. While it gave us a glimpse of the culture in Poland, this project also provided students with opportunities to meet people from other continents, to experience different cultures in a 15-hour-flight away land and to appreciate the cultural diversity.
t was my first time travelling so far away on my own to a place I barely knew before. Actually my friends kept suggesting me to ask the host LC to fetch me in the airport which is quite far away from the pick-up point. I thought Iâ€™d get lost too. It turned out that I didnâ€™t get lost at all. I was chatting with a lady sitting next to me and eventually she was friendly enough to take me all the way to the bus station across several streets, at night. There you go. I spent the next two months, 7 weeks to be exact, in Nowy Sacz, a nice and quiet town in the South of Poland, near the border of Slovakia. During this cultural exchange program, we
Apart from my work, there were a lot interesting things happening and cultural shocks of course. The first thing I was deeply impressed was their favours of alcohol. I liked their parties too, especially their AIESEC Dance. It was very energetic and fun.
Section 4 - Poland There was a joke among EPs that we all agreed that we could do the presentations for the rest of group members already, and that each of us could remember what the rest is saying exactly. Sometimes the polish translating for us simply was not working hard and it could be really discouraging as those students didn’t understand what we are talking at all. All in all, we somehow managed to overcome all the boring parts of the exchange and I was actually feeling quite good and there was a sense of achievement when I shared my culture with those students. After the exchange program I got to know more about myself and what kind of person I want to be. I was deeply impressed by the kind of lifestyle in Europe – the kind of openness, appreciation of life and happiness. There my story ended, and a brand new journey awaits.
“After the exchange program I got to know more about myself and what kind of person I want to be” ---- Liu Song
Section 4 - Poland
My AIESEC Experience in Wroclaw, Poland By Mao Yuemeng
PROJECT: Enjoy My Origin
claw. It is a cultural immersion project which sent us to different primary schools and kindergartens to teach students about cultural differences. I taught about Chinese culture in English for almost every class in that school during my 6-week project. I felt proud to introduce two Asian countries, China and Singapore to young kids in Europe, especially when they were quite ignorant about Asia. I was delighted to see so many students, even teachers wishing to know more about Asia. I taught them how to sing the birthday song in Chinese, how to use chopsticks, clarify the difference between Japan and other Asian cultures etc. There were quite a few times when I was deeply moved by the kids there when they greeted me using “ni hao” (Chinese word for “Hello” ) after I taught them, giving me hugs when they saw me, performing their favourite songs for me and giving me their wonderful drawings as presents.
y name is Mao Yuemeng. I joined AIESEC one year ago when I just entered the university and became an ICX member in AIESEC. I set off to Wroclaw, Poland, on the last day of my last exam, with excitement of embracing a whole new world as well as anxiety of immersing in an environment that I am completely unfamiliar with.
y project ,“Enjoy my Origin”, was organized by University of Economics in Wro-
Besides my routine work, I also actively helped disadvantaged people in the local community. My buddy Isabella, who is a volunteer worker at a local nursing home for mentally disabled people, invited me to present about Chinese culture during their Chinese Culture week. It was very meaningful to help those people in need of normal social interaction and I am proud that I was there to be their friend. I was so touched to see them actually enjoying the session with me and asking me a lot of questions. It is probably the most fulfilling experience I have had during my trip in Poland.
In my free time after work or during weekends, I spent quite a lot of time with other EPs and AIESECers. It was amazing to have people from different countries and cultural backgrounds coming together, speaking in the same language,joking, travelling together as a group and having the same objective of creating an impact on Poland. Together with the extremely friendly and caring AIESECers in Poland, we were like a family during the 6 weeks.
There were also challenges along the way. I managed to overcome all the difficulties and in
Section 4 - Poland the end, everything to me is just valuable experiences and memories that will impact my whole life.
What I have gained from this trip is tremendous. It has given me global perspective and insights about the world and people. The people I met in Wroclaw and the stories that happened there are some things I will never forget. Before I went there, I couldnâ€™t even imagine meeting so many interesting people, seeing so many different countries and cultures and making such an impact to people around me. Thanks to AIESEC for making all these impossibles possible.
Thanks to AIESEC for making all these impossibles possible. ---- Mao Yuemeng
Section 5 - Romania
Welcome to Romaina Romania, in southeast Europe, is mountainous in the north while the main feature in the south is the vast Danube valley. The river forms a delta as it approaches the Black Sea, which is a wildlife reserve for countless native and migratory birds. The Romanian language, like a number of others in southern Europe, is directly descended from Latin, although Romania is separated from other Romance-language countries by Slav speakers. Romanian speciality dishes include grilled meatballs, meat wrapped in cabbage leaves, pork stew with garlic and onions and doughnuts made with cream and cheese. The spine-chilling tale of Dracula was inspired by the 15 th century Romanian Count Vlad Dracul whose son was famous in wartime for impaling captured enemies. Less notorious Romanians include the writer Eugene Ionesco, the gymnast Nadia Comﾄハeci and the composer George Enescu.
Section 5 - Romaina
My AIESEC Experience in Galati, Romania PROJECT: ACT SUSTAINABLE By Jian Han
i, I’m Jian Han and I was in Galati, Romania for my GCDP from 11th May to 3rd July 2012. I was involved in the project “Act Sustainable” which is centered on teaching high school students about financial sustainability.
y internship was really awesome and I felt really at home over there, which must be rightfully attributed to the great LC there. They were a really warm and welcoming crowd and I was both shocked and glad to see a group of 20+ people waiting for me when I arrived at the train station. I was mainly involved in my project “Act
Sustainable”, where I had to craft lessons based on a general outline with the help of the other 4 international trainees and then take turns to deliver the trainings to students from different schools. The 5 of us were each from a different country and we tried to make the lessons more interesting by incorporating games that we know from our different cultures into our lessons. This was my first time in Eastern Europe and honestly I had no idea what kind of culture shocks I was going to encounter and what kind of environment I was going to be living in. My experiences with the local Romanians were all positive, and I was surprised at how friendly they were. I would get people approaching me just to talk and find out what was my story and where did I come from. The first cultural interactions I would have would be learning some of the Romanian words. The Romanians claim to have a really rich lexicon in swear words and that were some of the first words I picked up, along with words of food I would need to be able to read in order to order from the menu. I was invited to join the AIESEC members on outings and it was a really good way for me to understand the kind of lifestyle people over there lead. The long duration of stay allowed me to be able to immerse myself in their culture and experience what living in such a society would be like. I got familiar with the roads and how to take the public transports over there, and got to know the waitresses at the restaurants we always frequent and the girl at the magazine stand. It felt good to be part of the society, rather than being just a tourist or outsider looking in. The locals were also very interested in our cultures, such as how Mandarin is a language with different tones. My cultural interactions was not limited to just the locals. I was sharing my room with 2 other guys and one was Indian while the other was Spanish. It was really interesting to chat about the things we would do, the food we would eat and the prices of things back in our own countries.
Section 5 - Romaina I also got to know other people from France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Madagascar etc who were there on study exchange. Despite the diversity of cultures, we all spoke English and would hang out to watch football or to have some beers. I would say that getting to know these other internationals, both here for GCDP or for their studies, was one of the most memorable part. I was really glad to be able to meet this particular group of people. Knowing the locals and the internationals really broaden my horizons, and seeing what they are doing really inspires and motivates me to pursue more challenges in my own life. It makes me realize there is so much one can experience if they are willing tostep out of their own comfort zones. Also, I later found out from students I talked to that many of them actually were mainly drawn to attend this project so that they could meet new people and become friends with us This project was definitely challenging in terms of working with my team members from different countries and coming up with ideas to spice our long lessons. Although our students were very respectful during ourpresentation, finance is a pretty dry subject and the students all came for lessons after finishing their school lessons. Furthermore, English is not their first language. Hence, we really put in a lot of effort to make the lessons more engaging. It was really heartwarming to see that so many students actually took time to join us on the games day at the end of the project to spend an afternoon with us. All in all, I feel the GCDP is a success, and all parties involved gained something from being part of this project
It makes me realize there is so much one can experience if they are willing tostep out of their own comfort zones. ---- Jian Han
Section 6 -Turkey
Welcome to Turkey Turkey is a land of myth, a cradle of various civilizations, a canvas of nature`s most aesthetic bounties and a confluence of varied streams of culture. Owing to its favorable position, Turkey happens to be the bridging nation between two most important continents of the east and west (Europe and Asia) and the point where the three continents of the old world (Europe, Asia and Africa) meet. This country therefore boasts of a spicy blend of oriental and modern, East and West, splendor and sleekness, which makes diversity its other name. This is a place where every visitor can find something for himself. The world-class cuisine, vibrant market places, warm hospitality of the Turkish people, recreational facilities, architectural splendor of the mosques and castles and an unparallel natural beauty make Turkey an invincible tourist attraction and answer the question of your wonder-lusting heart
Section 6 - Turkey
My AIESEC Experience in Turkey By Hari Rajmohan
he month and a half that I spent in Turkey has been one of the most memorable periods of days in my life so far.
ight from the day I arrived to see a bunch AIESECERs waiting for me at 3 am by the roadside to the day I said bye to my OCP, there are a lot of beautiful images that fill my mind. Turkey offers an unimaginable blend of the modern life with a very rich set of traditions and culture. With a multitude of geographically and historically breathtaking sights, amazing cuisine and zestful people, Turkey gives a traveller almost everything he wishes for. If I get another opportunity, there is no doubt I am going back to the beautiful city that is Eskisehir. The best part of the internship was the friends that I made among the interns and the Turkish people that I met during the stint. I worked with interns from Ukraine, China, Canada, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Pakistan, Ghana, Tunisia and Lithuania. Travelling around with such a
diverse group, and the various conversations enhances oneâ€™s perspectives on many world issues. I heard first hand accounts of terrorism in Pakistan, disputes between Taiwan and China, the atrocities that people of Ghana face every day, effects of dictators in the Middle-East and lots more. The project itself was quite enriching too. Working with high-school students and trying to each them soft skills using the international medium that is English was not as easy task for an untrained set of interns in their late teens or early twenties. Yet, through various meetings and sessions the OC and the interns were able to come up with newer and better ways to engage the students and make their vacations more productive by teaching them new things in more fun and interesting ways.
Section 7 -Ukraine
Welcome to Ukraine Thinking of traveling around Ukraine? You will find a charming country, the second biggest territory in Europe and its heart. The beauty and variety of Ukraineâ€™s natural environment are truly marvelous! In Western Ukraine, the Carpathian Mountains soar, protecting the country from cold winds and making its summers warm, its winters mild. Travel around Ukraine from the north and you will soon be able to feel the warm breath of subtropical Crimea, while those from the south can savor the frosty breath of the Carpathians. Ukraineâ€™s southern shores are washed by the warm waves of the Black Sea. Travel around Ukraine and feel the grandeur of the Crimean mountains, aromatic pine forests and picturesque landscapes that enchant travelers with their primeval beauty, whether you are in search of R&R or better health.
Section 7 - Ukraine
My AIESEC Experience in Berdyansk, Ukraine By Pauline
GREEN RUSH IN BERDYANSK
resident are not aware of the damaging impact of those beverages packaging towards the environment. So, as part of the requirement for the project, I delivered presentations on environmental protection. The first presentation was for a group of tertiary students and the local AIESECers. The presentation especially has been fruitful because the audience has shown great interest by asking me many relevant and encouraging questions. Hopefully, there can be a change in the way waste like plastic and glass bottles are handled in Berdyansk.
he project was known as â€˜Green Rushâ€™ supposedly a national social ecoproject of AIESEC Ukraine. I went for the program from 18th May 2012 to 25th June 2012. The program took place in Berdyansk, a small port city in Ukraine. There were 8 GCDP interns including myself in the LC.
erdyansk is considered a clean city where all the garbage is properly discarded in the ubiquitous trash bins along road sides. The locals like to consumer soft drinks, bottled water and beers. However, majority of the local
Appreciative and attentive audience in my first Green Rush presentation
The second presentation was for a group of children who were in a summer camp program. I enjoyed the presentation process despite lack of facilities like projector and language barrier. I felt that the most important thing is to convey the importance of environmental preservation to the audience and work together for our sustainable future. Working hand-in-hand with other interns,
Section 7 - Ukraine I organized a 2-hour activity for the local orphanage to celebrate International Children’s Day. The aim of the activity was as simple as making the children happy and appreciated. We incorporated international element into the activity by introducing our different countries’ flags to the children in a coloring session. We also folded paper cranes together to symbolize the optimism and good luck. It was a memorable one because we could see the smile and innocence of the children in Berdyansk. I believe that through the short program, the children would get to appreciate the global diversity and be blessed.
ate what they have done for me. I love my host family. I worked with interns from China,the United States, India, Poland, Kyrgyzstan and Jordan. Even though I was the only intern for the ‘Green Rush’ project, I got to befriend the other interns and travelled to other cities together. We watched the first match between England and France during the Euro Cup 2012. I learned to have an open mind, be understanding and tolerant to the multitude of perspectives that I encountered. I think the interns were really awesome people. I believe our friendship will be everlasting. I was also very surprised with the friendliness of the locals. Although at first the locals observed me like an odd person from another part of the world, they were happy to offer their help. I could feel their sincerity. I also love the norm of hugging each other when saying goodbye. When I went to travel around the Western part of Ukraine with some interns, we got lost and the local policeman extensively ensured that we got to the place we wanted to go.
Holding colored flags and countries’ landmark
One of the priceless and most rewarding take away from my GCDP journey was the cultural experiences. I was hosted by the family of a local AIESECer named Julia. Her family has been very caring and treating me well. We shared our cultures and stories with one another. They liked to cook and serve me Ukrainian traditional food and beverage. I felt the warmth of real family when my host family went the extra mile to cater to my special vegetarian diet. I really appreci65
Chapter 4 - South America
HERE IS SOUTH AMERICA South America is a continent located in the Western Hemisphere. South America ranks fourth in area and fifth in population. Thirteen countries strong, South America is home to astounding natural and cultural wonders, including the snowcapped peaks of the Andes, thousands of kilometers of magnificent white-sand beaches, captivating colonial towns and indigenous villages, and the Amazon rainforest – home to more plant and animal species than anywhere else on earth. Samba spices up the sandy streets of Brazilian beach towns, Argentine folklórica trickles out of truck radios in the pampas and the jolting rhythm of cumbia making those Andean bus rides even more absurd. However, when it comes to experiencing this incredible land the real reward is undoubtedly the South American spirit. The entire continent approaches life with the enthusiasm of an old-fashioned road trip: windows down and stereo blaring. South America is a continent that engulfs you and changes you – your state of mind, your outlook on life. As soon as you step foot on South American soil, the transformation begins. 66
Section1 - Brazil
Welcome to Brazil Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in South America and in the Latin America region. It is the world’s fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 193 million people. It is the largest Lusophone country in the world, and the only one in the Americas. The Brazilian economy is the world’s sixth largest by nominal GDP and the seventh largest by purchasing power parity. Brazil is one of the world’s fastest growing major economies. Economic reforms have given the country new international recognition. Brazil is also one of the 17 Megadiverse countries, home to diverse wildlife, natural environments, and extensive natural resources in a variety of protected habitats.
Section1 - Brazil
berlândia is a municipality in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. With a population of 604,013 inhabitants, according to 2010 estimates, the city is the second largest in the state second only to Belo Horizonte (2,375,244). The city’s name means Fertile Land.
My AIESEC Experience in Brazil
the whole day and even more the other day, but also a fulfilling and meaningful experience. They were really curious about us and our life at home about our culture and customs, even though a lot of them were not good at all in English. After that, during the following days, we helped the local English teachers facilitate their English classes, correct some pronunciation for the students, organize some activities like cross words or making sentences, and also show more about our culture and hobbies through in-class interview. I got to know that in Brazil the English education is not paid enough attentions to, and the public schools don’t even have enough English teachers and classes. Some of the students who are keen in learning English even have to take private tuition after class. And we tried our best to create the awareness of the importance of English, and to help the students to learn more about cultures outside of Brazil.
By Charles Lu Yang Hello everyone, my name is Charles, and I went to Brazil for my GCDP this summer.It was really an amazing eye-opening and lifechangingexperience, and I am really willing to share with everyone of you, about the culture aspects I learned in Brazil, about how many local and international friends I made there and kept in touch with, about how much I tried to make a social impact there, also about some food habits the people there have…Basically Everything! I arrived in Uberlândia, Brasil, on 09 Aug, and stayed with a local family there. The family was really nice and hospitable. We had a lot of fun chatting and going for outings together, going to the local concert, cooking Brazilian food and Chinese food together, fishing together, and a lot more. I started my volunteering internship in a local high school called Messias, where the host family’s son also studied. We organized a global village together with other interns from Germany, France and the US in the high school, showing the kids pictures, cultural souvenirs, flags etc, and telling them stories of life in our home country. It was quite tiring, since we needed to entertain all the students class by class, for 68
Working in the AIESEC UBerlandia Office
Host family picture together
Section1 - Brazil And to be frank, I also learned a lot from them about the culture and their custom in Brazil. They are really a gang of warm-hearted, hospitable, and friendly people. They are keen on getting knowledge and asking questions whenever they have any, and they are really passionate about football and volleyball. Sometimes they will make friendly jokes and tricks, even greet each other with these. And outside school, I also met a lot of hospitable Brazilian people, who were always willing to help me out, in times of my getting lost or taking the wrong bus. And people there are not only passionate about football, but also music, dance, carnivals, drinks, parties etc. I can say that they really enjoy their life and have a lot of fun.
such a nice group of people and we still keep in touch with each other. And after my internship, I also travelled around for 1 week, from Rio, Curitiba, to Sao Paulo. I made a lot of new friends on the way, tried more delicious food and went to a lot of amazing places for sightseeing as well. To summarize, my GCDP experience was quite fulfilling and meaningful, teaching me a lot of things, and through which I also made a lot of good friends. Even though we had some challenges, like the language barrier between English and Portuguese, we managed to make it through hard learning, making gestures, drawing, to make the communication clear to the students. I can see that this project is kind of new ones, with no concrete and mature job scopes and tasks, but it has a lot potential to make it even better from good. And a big pity for me , is that I got my visa late, and the return ticket cannot be changed, so I only have 21days in total and 2 weeks for GCDP. I could have learned more and made more friends if I could have stayed longer.
Brazil High School welcome concert for us EPs Exhibition for Global Village at the school Brazil High School held a welcome concert for us EPs Other than the internship in the high school, I also got to know a lot more AIESECers in Uberlandia. They are really passionate about what they do, and so hospitable and helpful, in picking us up at the airport, taking us to the host family, showing us around the university and their office, inviting us to the parties, and last but not least, staying with me and seeing me off at the end of my GCDP. I am really glad to kno 69
That is my unique exchange story in Brazil, in Uberlandia.
Itâ€™s going to be a great story if it starts with AIESEC
Certain things are universal and always the same, regardless of nationality or race - like, the passion for love and pure happiness. -- Rachel Ren QunFang
Life is like dancing. Some dislike it when the rhythm changes, but life is changing all the time. Change and adapt; experience everything new and live life to the fullest. --Nicolas quek with EPsâ€™ dancing in front of House of Pliament in Budapest, summer 2012
I captured those beautiful moments not only through my camera, but also through my eyes and heart. Friendship can be beyond race, nationality and gender. I believe there are only few organizations can bring youth all around the world together, AIESEC, is one of them! --Xu MingHan 71
Published on Mar 12, 2013