Why are you organizing this event?
‘To increase the awareness of different cultures and for students to get in touch with cultures other than their own. I believe this is imperative for personal development, as well as for understanding the world and the way people think. We collaborate with the Latin American Association La VOZ, the Indonesian Association (PPIE) and the Chinese association (ACSSE) and promote their cultures.’
AIESEC is a global non-profit organization run by students and recent graduates, which provides young people with leadership development, cross-cultural global internships, and volunteer exchange experiences across the globe. It also has a local chapter: AIESEC Twente.
Why is it you chose to work with these specific cultural associations?
‘Many people are interested in participating in our voluntary projects in these respective countries, which is why we decided to promote the cultures of these specific associations. Now, people can ‘meet’ the country they will be living in for the duration of the project. A project like that normally takes about 6-8 weeks.’
How do you choose the countries to implement such projects?
‘One of the main aspects we consider is culture shock. We try to prepare people as well as possible for these kinds of projects. But sometimes, the environment is just too challenging and it could potentially lessen the positive experience of students. Additionally, we also keep in mind the quality of projects in different countries. And every project is linked to one of the sustainable development goals of the United Nations.’
What can you get out of this event?
‘When we find people that are interested in doing a study abroad, we enquire if they would like to participate in one of our projects. This is a way for us to involve people in our projects, while also enabling them to indulge in a new experience.’
The first event is this Thursday, during lunchtime in the Ravelijn.