Brotherhood Defying the Borders

Were you aware that despite the often sour relationship between China and India, both the countries share several similarities?

Both China and India are one of the fastest growing economies with rich heritage and culture. Being the first and second most populated countries respectively, both these nations share their spiritual values and beliefs in Buddhism along with their high regard for ‘teacher’ or ‘guru’ as known in India. Additionally, both countries welcome foreigners with open arms and uphold the standard of hospitality being widely acknowledged in India as ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ which translates to ‘the guest is equivalent to God’.

With the above given facts, would you choose to believe them or still question the validity of ‘Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai’? Would you believe that you could potentially make China your second home and call its people your brothers or still continue to have fixed, rigid mindsets owing to the numerous stereotypes such as ‘the Chinese hate Indians’ or ‘the Chinese eat meat of any and every animal’?

So was the experience for our exchange participants who recently visited China for an AIESEC project. It was extremely heartwarming for them to interact with the locals who were more than happy to help people from different cultures, social and ethnic background and there was hardly any animosity or bitter feelings amongst the Indians and the Chinese as talked about generally. On the contrary, they are very helpful, humble, and calm people who do not discriminate. All our exchange participants agreed that they were made to feel at home and the only problems that they faced were that of language barriers or the difficulty to look for vegetarian food.

Yash, who is one of the exchange participant had lived with a host family in China and shared details such as the Chinese prefer boiled food to spicy food and they love welcoming and treating foreigners. He also shared more about his experience and added how he had the most fun when he and the others jumped into the Jinku late at night and how they sang songs at a bar in China. He further added how the entire experience had taught him how there are no right or wrong perspectives; only different.

Ashutosh on the other hand shed light on the personality and demeanor of the Chinese and how they are extremely punctual and dedicated toward their work and this is something that the Indians should learn from them. Additionally, he also mentioned how the Chinese should learn how to socialise and take a back seat and relax sometimes from the Indians. Ashutosh’s experience also familiarised him with the culture of China, where unlike India protests and anti- national views and opinions are not very appreciated.

The entire experience enabled the exchange participants to break free from the stereotypes that one usually holds for China and its people as they were able to live their experience in a new country, with new people, through their own eyes and truly embrace every single bit of it.

8 things you must do in Sri Lanka

I’m not sure if you know about it, but Sri Lanka is an island full of beautiful places. If you’re young and passionate about exploring new places and living adventures, you should definitely visit this country.

Besides, Sri Lanka it’s also one of the countries with an easy visa process for Indians.

Here are 8 unique things to do in Sri Lanka.

 

1. Go on an Unforgettable Train Ride

When the journey is more important than the destination, you know you’re in for a special treat.

The train route from Kandy to Ella is one of the most beautiful train rides you will ever experience in your life. Surrounded on both sides by lush green forests, tea plantations, charming hills and the occasional waterfall, this is one train journey that you’ll wish would never end.

The trains in Sri Lanka are very clean and rarely crowded, so you might not even need to book your tickets in advance.

2. Stay in a Tree House

No matter where you are in Sri Lanka, you’re never too far from a lush forest. The incredible greenery of this country is one of the top reasons to go there. To get the full experience of these forests, make sure you spend the night in one of the many tree houses for rent here.

Originally built by villagers to protect them from the many wild animals which roam these forests, the tree houses in Sri Lanka are the perfect way to spend a night close to nature. These tree houses aren’t just comfortable to stay in, but also very affordable, making them one of the top things to do in Sri Lanka

3. Try Surfing on the Beaches

No visit to this country is complete without a day spent at the beach, which is one of the top Sri Lanka tourist places. Being a coastal country, Sri Lanka has some of the best beaches in the world.

Just relaxing by the sea watching the sun go down is a great way to spend your time. But if you’re in the mood for something more adventurous, you can also try your hand at surfing. Arugam Bay, in eastern Sri Lanka, is one of the top surfing destinations in the world!

So make sure you visit during the surfing season in March and April, because this is when the waves are at their strongest.

4. Go on a Bicycle Adventure

The best way to explore the small villages of Sri Lanka is on two wheels. There are many places here which allow you to rent bicycles at a very low price. Just cycling through narrow lanes, dirt paths and patches of greenery can be an incredible way to spend the day.

Don’t bother sticking to a map or a set bicycle route. Going where the road takes you can help you discover more of this beautiful country.

5. Go Dolphin and Whale-Spotting

How often do you get to see the biggest mammal in the world up close?

The ocean surrounding Sri Lanka is teeming with blue whales and dolphins, which can be easily spotted. Every morning, boats leave from places like Galle and Mirissa, in southern Sri Lanka, to popular whale-spotting areas in the sea.

For a very low price, you can buy a seat on one of these boats and see these beautiful underwater creatures for yourself.

6. Hike Your Way to a Waterfall

Sri Lanka is home to hundreds of beautiful waterfalls, set in the middle of green forests. While the popular ones are usually packed with tourists, you can ask the locals for lesser-known falls where you can enjoy your own privacy.

These falls can usually be reached by trekking up hills, many of which aren’t very difficult to reach. Depending on your level of experience, you can find a waterfall to trek your way to so you can fully immerse yourself in its natural beauty.

7. Visit a Tea Plantation

Lipton, a name that is now synonymous with tea, was first started by Sir Thomas Lipton in the tea plantations of Sri Lanka. Even today, decades later, Sri Lanka’s tea plantations remain beautifully green, making them a must-visit for every traveller.

When you explore the tea plantations, don’t forget to also visit the tea factories nearby. If tea makes your world go round, it will be wonderful to see how it’s made from start to finish. The factories even give you a cup of tea by the end of the tour so you can taste the fruits of their labour.

8. Volunteer for a cause you support

Sri Lanka should be at the top of every volunteer’s list.

This incredible island country has some of the most dynamic non-profit organizations, which are bringing about a world of change. Ranging from educating children to preserving marine ecosystems, one can find incredible opportunities to contribute to a better world.

Every minute you spend in this beautiful island will be filled with unforgettable experiences.

 

Have you ever been to Sri Lanka before? Tell us how was it!

If not, what are you waiting for?

If you are eager for an opportunity to experience Sri Lanka, we can help you with that. Check our opportunities for the Global Volunteer Program.

As a volunteer with us, you will not only be able to bring about a positive impact, but also explore new countries and learn about different cultures.

How an Internship in Malaysia Can Help Further Your Career

Beginning your journey in academia is a phenomenal experience, an experience that is not only rewarding in its imparting of knowledge and wisdom, but also an experience that presents you with the opportunity to shape your career and life as a whole.

You have done the hard work in studying and preparing yourself to get into a college and pursue your dream education, and what comes next is a world of possibilities. One such possibility, a great opening to your career, is going for an internship that will not only give you a taste of what lies ahead, but will also apply your current education into real-life perspective, and, thereby, strengthen your preparation for the future. With this rationale in mind, a chance to pursue an international internship or volunteer abroad looks good on every college student’s CV; and Malaysia brings forth a destination for all that and more. Let’s take a look at the benefits of an internship in Malaysia for Indian students.

Malaysia – The Destination

Situated in South-East Asia, Malaysia is one of the highest rated tourist destinations in Asia, and an enormous multi-cultural business hub on the world map, featuring some of the modern world’s best architectural marvels.

With a booming economy, growing cultural diversity, year-round moderate, warm weather, and a food paradise, Malaysia is truly the place to be.

The Organizations

When you chalk out your education plan, with a certain goal set for your career path, you also plan and look forward to working for or be associated with the organisations of your dreams.

With a cornucopia of organisations from all around the world, carving your way into a favoured career is what an internship in Malaysia for Indian students has to offer.

The Multicultural Learning

The world today is a small place, everyone is connected with each other, and the working environment is no longer limited to one office or one country or one kind of people. It’s a global community we are living in, and international exposure and cross-cultural communications, in particular, are the order of the day in the pursuit to make a mark amongst fellow people of your global community or industry.

The skills you develop – in learning new languages, picking up and sharing cross-cultural wisdom, and making a social network in a true worldwide context – are precious career tools to acquire today, for the world of tomorrow.

The Lessons

The globalised outlook and years of foreign trade and investments, within a controlled setting, give Malaysia a distinct edge over many other Asian countries, especially in its humble ways of imparting career and life lessons via growing companies with a mix of Western and Eastern cultural wisdom. This is a great boon for student interns.

These are invaluable lessons that will take you a long way in your career, whether they are directly taught, or you naturally happen to pick them up during your internship.

The Profile Boost

The opportunity to work and learn in the real world, applying practical actions to theoretical knowledge, in itself, is a gratifying and humbling experience. Besides this obvious gain, an internship, particularly in an advanced country like Malaysia, is the perfect boost you need to start off your career expedition with an impressive profile and résumé, even before you have graduated.

The Economic Stability

The Malaysian economy has grown exponentially over the last two decades, and despite global recessions and depressions in South-East Asia, Malaysia has sustained, and a stable and sound economy prevails. Hence, interns can reap rich benefits out of the nation’s improving economic structure and stability.

The Professional Network

With a country that is thriving in its economy, along with a growing number of companies and global industrialisation, an internship in Malaysia opens the door to meeting and building relationships with innumerable high-calibre professionals, and that, in today’s world, is an indispensable treasure to have. It is a privilege to be able to start building a solid professional network as an intern.

The Empowerment

Once you travel abroad, to a country like Malaysia, amongst all other palpable benefits, an indirect value of the entire experience of going out of your family, your country, and your comfort zone, is empowerment.

The Cost-Saving Advantage

International students, especially interns, can live in Malaysia at meagre expenses, and, therefore, save money for their future. Students and young people can easily manage their living with just RM1100 a month, which includes their food, accommodation and other miscellaneous expenses.

In conclusion, an internship in Malaysia for Indian students is a seamless platform to begin your career on a high note, while also procuring a treasure of learnings and wisdom along an unforgettable journey. Visit AIESEC for international internships and a global volunteer program spread over 25 countries. Whether you want to pursue an internship in Indonesia or volunteer in Vietnam, we’ve got you covered.

7 Characteristics That Every Great Volunteer Has In Common

Volunteers around the world are driven by a single purpose: to leave the world in a better place than they found it. If you have been inspired by the many reasons to volunteer, you might not know what to expect. Volunteering is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, adventures you will ever experience in your life. If you want to make the biggest impact during your volunteering stint, you need to go above and beyond what is asked of you. What distinguishes good volunteers from great volunteers is their passion and drive to bring about a positive change with their work. Here are a few skills of a volunteer that they live by which can motivate you as well.

1. They Have A Fearless Approach

 To be a volunteer, especially in a new country, requires a lot of courage. You need to push yourself far from your comfort zone and adjust to new cultures, languages and people. Volunteering also requires you to come face-to-face with many harsh realities of the world. You will be meeting children who have experienced unimaginable pain, women trying to rebuild their lives after trauma and even animals who have faced inhumane cruelty. But as a volunteer, you need to be fearless and put their needs before your own emotions.

2. They Have Infinite Patience

A bottomless reservoir of patience and tenacity are crucial skills of a volunteer. When you first decide to volunteer, you might have big dreams about bringing about a revolutionary change with your work. However, when you actually start working, the realities of the situation begin to creep in. Not everything moves as quickly as you’d like and more often than not, things don’t fall into place as easily as you’d expect. But if you’re serious about bringing about change as a volunteer, you need to be patient and stick it out. If things don’t go your way (and most times, they won’t), never stop persisting. This is the only way young people can contribute to changing the world.

3. They Can Think Creatively

A good volunteer takes instructions and executes them. A great volunteer doesn’t just do their work perfectly, but also finds newer, better ways of getting it done. As a volunteer, there will be many times where you are faced with complex situations, which require novel solutions to maneuver through. In non-profit organisations, there is usually a scarcity of resources due to lack of funds. In these situations, volunteers need to be resourceful and overcome these obstacles. An ability to think creatively and bring innovative ideas to the table will make you more valuable as a volunteer.

4. They Are Eager to Take Initiative

Most non-profit organisations have too much work and too few people to handle it. Your supervisors will probably be too busy to guide you every single day. This is why, once you familiarise yourself with the work, it’s important that you start taking initiative and become more proactive about your duties. Instead of looking to your supervisor for direction, identify what needs to be done and start working on it yourself. This way, volunteering will help you develop a strong work ethic which can become extremely useful later.

5. They Stay Humble About Their Work

When you begin volunteering, it’s important that you remember you’re there to help, not to prove yourself. Volunteering requires you to be selfless and focus only on how you can create a meaningful impact. Great volunteers understand this and are eager to do everything possible to bring about a positive change. When you are working as a volunteer, it’s important to stay humble about your past accomplishments and skills. Having too much pride can hold you back as a volunteer because it prevents you from learning and making meaningful contributions.

6. They Are Driven by Passion

When nothing seems to be going well and the situation looks dire, the one thing that keeps a great volunteer going is genuine passion for their work. If you’re volunteering just for college credit, you might not be able to make the most out of your volunteering experience. Many of the duties you will be carrying out when you’re volunteering will be day-to-day admin tasks. Passion can help you stop looking at this work as drudgery and instead, as important duties that keep the organisation running smoothly. Volunteers across the globe are making a huge difference fuelled by their passion to create an impact.

7. They Can Work In Teams

Volunteering is about working towards something bigger than yourself. Great volunteers distance themselves from petty fights and politics because they’re focused on more important things. When you start volunteering, there will be many projects where you will have to work with a team. Even if personal differences arise, you need to recognise that every member brings a special set of skills to the table and is important. What you can accomplish as part of a team will always be greater than what you would be able to on your own. Learning the art of teamwork will be one of the biggest lessons you can learn from volunteering.

If you believe you have many of these prized skills of a volunteer and are eager transform the world, take your first step with AIESEC. As part of our Global Volunteer Program, you can travel to over 25 countries for unique, fulfilling volunteering opportunities. Become an AIESEC volunteer and help countries around the world move closer to achieving the UN development goals.

Chasing new footprints

How many times have you thought of making a difference in the world? Or how often have you pondered over your purpose on this planet?

We spend almost our entire lives trying to do something worthwhile; to be remembered once we’re gone; and to make an impact. Believe it or not, volunteering makes it all happen.

 

1. Contribute to the bigger picture

It is important to realise that when you volunteer, you automatically become a part of a big change which improves the condition of the world and its people. By volunteering you not only become an agent of change but you also become the change yourself as your actions bring about a difference in the world around you.

 

2. Breaking Stereotypes

When you volunteer, you not only change your mindset and perspective but also that of others. You facilitate and become that change where you can successfully break stereotype and common, fixed notions.

Volunteering abroad, especially helps in breaking stereotypes as you engage and interact with people from different cultures and nationalities and actually understand their culture and ethics than just jump onto baseless conclusions, forming stereotypes.

 

3. Personal Transformation

Volunteering is not a destination, but a journey where you witness all aspects of your personality and rediscover yourself. You tend to become more aware of yourself and sensitive towards the world around you as you push yourself beyond your comfort zone. By the end of it, you are a changed individual; a better version of yourself.

 

 

4. Leave your mark

Benjamin Franklin rightly said, Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.’

Volunteering makes that happen as you tend to affect more lives than just yours. You not only touch lives but also change them. It is a process where you manage to leave an impression everywhere you go.

 

5.  Find your purpose

When you volunteer, you allow yourself to be exposed to different situations and circumstances; and it is only then that you start viewing things in a different light. Volunteering allows you to try out new things and look for your purpose in life; it provides you with clarity.

It is not an easy task to do something for others without an ounce of selfishness, but once you do, you see the difference. So, imagine changing and impacting the lives of others, as you do so for yourself; one impact leading to another.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi

 

Take a step ahead today. Volunteer abroad and be the change that you wish to see in the world. Signup here and start looking for opportunities: www.aiesec.org

 

Blog by- Mehak Narang