7 Things I Achieved Thanks to My Exchange in Turkey

“It started during my winter vacations. I kept hearing all my friends super excited about going home for a while, and how they couldn’t wait for summer vacations to be with their loved ones for entire 2 months!

I, on the other hand, had a really strange feeling evoking inside me. I didn’t want to spend all that time sitting at home doing nothing! Hence, I spent my entire winter vacation searching about things that would keep me busy during my summer holidays, as well as add on to my CV.

That was when I stumbled across AIESEC.

A few days later, after researching about all the projects and giving interviews, I finalized my exchange in Turkey! To my surprise, it didn’t take me more than a day to convince my parents to let me go abroad all alone – when I was just 18!

That’s how I got to spend 6 weeks in Turkey, and I had the best days of my life.

This Global Volunteer exchange made me explore and uncover parts of me buried deep within, and I couldn’t have been more grateful to AIESEC for giving me this beautiful opportunity.

I wish everyone could live something like that, so I’ll share a bit more with you right now.

Here are 7 things I achieved thanks to my Global Volunteer Exchange to Turkey, with  AIESEC:

1. Contributing to a better world and travel to another country

The concept of volunteering has always fascinated me the most. Helping others around the world while fulfilling your travel bucket list is a really great combination that AIESEC offers you.

I was working at a rehab center with specially-abled kids and adults and at the same time quenching my thirst for wanderlust on the go. All thanks to AIESEC!

2. Traveling on a budget

If at all I have dreamt about something passionately, it was traveling the world. But I never had enough funds to finance any of my trips!

AIESEC was my one-stop solution for affordable traveling.

The thing with traveling that drains out your pocket the most is when it comes to accommodation. But while I was in Turkey, I stayed along with my host family for 6 long weeks and I couldn’t have asked for better hosts than them.

They are more than family to me now!

3. Experiencing solo traveling

One of the most important things of what an individual must strike off his checklist before he turns 30 is a solo trip! I was beaming with joy when I strike this off my list merely at the age of 18! The feeling was just amazing!

4. Getting to know my latent talent

I strongly believe that traveling solo changes you as a person from within.

I never knew I could handle the pressure of surviving in a country without even knowing its native language. I never knew I could keep myself at cool while I changed 5 flights to get back home because I missed my connecting flight. I never knew I had the courage to go around exploring different cities within Turkey, all by myself!

I was truly surprised getting to know my all the things I was able to do by myself.

And most importantly, this experience helped me realize that I was a person of content, and to ignite my latent passion for writing once again – so much so that my first travel blog made to the top 5 on Google’s first page!

5. Learning about a different culture

Being a huge fan of Turkish drama, I thought I knew almost everything about Turkey, but I was so wrong!

It’s only when one goes and actually stays there, one gets to understand the real essence of the culture. I ended up loving their culture so much that now my house is full of Turkish chai and souvenirs.

My vocabulary of Turkish words and phrases increased from a mere 50 words to approximately 250 words when I returned from my exchange. By the end, I was even speaking in Turkish with my family members for almost a week since I got so used to the culture.

6. Making new friends from all around the world

My favorite and the most exciting part of the Global Volunteer was that AIESEC conducts a lot of cultural evenings!

Volunteers from all across the world gather around, wearing best of their traditional outfits, and bringing a bit of their traditional cuisines.

At first, I was skeptical about how it would all turn out to be, What will these people think about India? But the cultural eve was the best ice breaking session we all had.

We tasted flavors of different countries, danced in Spanish, French, Turkish, Hindi and Arabic music and what not! Now I can say that I know a bit about many many countries around the world.

7. Winning the trust of my parents

It wasn’t just me who started believing in myself, but also my parents and the people around me.

I was a whole new version of me when I returned from my exchange. I was more confident and even more independent, and my parents, my friends, and family noticed and felt the same.

I could see that my parents were really proud of me, and I could make out from their sparkling eyes that I had won their trust.  Sending a girl all alone when she just turned 18 to a country overseas was a brave thing my parents did.  And AIESEC made sure it reaped great results for their daughter.

To summarize it all, my exchange has helped me grow as an individual.

This trip has invoked a unique kind of spirit and passion in me.

I have never felt closer to accomplishing my dreams. It made me turn my CAN’Ts into CANs.  It truly was a life-changing experience for me.

So if you are someone having second thoughts about going for an exchange, don’t!

Just go with the flow and you will do wonders. You won’t even realize, but you will be surprising yourself each day on this journey!”

Nimisha Modi did her Global Volunteer in Turkey in July 2018. If you also want an experience like her, check out our opportunities at aiesec.org.  

4 Valuable Lessons I Learnt from my Exchange in Mauritius

Mauritius is a stunning island nation, known widely for its beautiful beaches, lagoons, and reefs. However, Naman Ahuja, who went for a Global Volunteer Programme as an Exchange Participant has a lot more to add, besides the aesthetic landscapes of this republic.

This is the story of how this exchange helped him develop his personality while adding to the positive changes that these programmes sought to initiate in the world!


“The exchange made me self-aware in so many ways! I got to know and explore my own abilities and capabilities. For example, I didn’t know I could deliver a  speech in front of 50 students and teach them too!” says Naman, who had been a reluctant introvert.

“Another self-realization I had was about my physical fitness.

We went on a lot of trekkings and that’s when it posed a challenge. I realized I wasn’t as fit as I needed to be to go hiking, unlike everyone else (who did not face this problem). It made me self-aware that I needed to build my stamina in order to live up to the tasks which were essential for my exchange projects.

exchange on Mauritius

If there’s something I couldn’t do, I had to work on that.

One more thing that this exchange helped me realize was how efficient I was with introducing myself to a group of total strangers, getting to know them and building a strong bond with them. These are qualities I thought I really lacked because I never really put myself out there.” he adds.


Communicating effectively in diverse environments, and engaging with others to achieve a bigger purpose play a pivotal role in empowering others, which is a key component of AIESEC’s leadership development model.

“My job role was to work on projects that were assigned to us: The Women Empowerment Project with the National Women Council of Mauritius, which was a huge deal.

There were three projects under this: Awareness Project, Self Defence project and the IT project.

One of the best things about this programme was that we were allowed to introduce our own projects, give our inputs and ideas for an entirely new scope, and they would create it for us! It was absolutely amazing.

“We worked with the National Women Council, and all their employees were women. Me and two other EPs from Kenya and China were the only males working in the organization, and all the other people who worked on this project were women!

The team I worked with conducted workshops on Information and Technology, teaching women basic Microsoft skills, etc. We taught around 500 women regarding this.

IT workshops for woman in Mauritius

We also took part in teaching specially-abled children during some days of the week, and it was an enlightening experience.

In the self-defense project, we had to organize a proper workshop and invited a self-defense trainer from Lebanon, the only woman in the entire middle-east for the job. So we understood the level we were actually working on.” he adds.


“One time we were locked in our house for two days, because of a Level 3 Tropical Cyclone that was going on at the island.

It was a sudden crisis, as we had to arrange food for everyone, and we had no external resources in case we ran out of food! Besides that, we also had to come up with ways to protect the house we were living in from the physical damage of the cyclone.

So the ten of us came together and planned out how we were going to protect the windows, we rationed food and cooked it together to effectively manage the limited resources we had!”

Hence, being solution-oriented in times of crisis is an essential lesson that one can learn from such circumstances.


People from all around the world aren’t so different, according to Naman.

Living together with people from different countries under one roof taught him that people may look different and dress different, speak different languages, but they connect. Because deep down we are all humans and that is the power of human connection.

exchange participants from AIESEC connecting in Mauritius

“There wasn’t a huge cultural shock as I expected. Mauritians are mostly of an Asian-African descent, and I kind of felt at home, within a few days of being there.

The nationalities of other EPs differed: there were people from Kenya, Australia, China, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Taiwan. These were people with dynamic personalities who helped me develop and even discover the hidden aspects of mine.

One thing I was worried about before going for my exchange was what do people think of India? Everyone I met in my exchange loved India and were totally fascinated by the Indian culture, so being the only Indian in the exchange was an amazing experience.

The one thing that absolutely stood out for me were the people of Mauritius. They are one of the kindest, most considerate and grateful people that I have ever come across. They are always there for you.

I didn’t know the local language, but whenever I traveled alone, I felt that there were people who would help out with the smallest of things. Even if I found myself lost for a second, they helped out and were super-approachable.

I still remember some of the shopkeepers and the people I used to wait with at the bus stand.”


group of young people on exchange in Mauritius with AIESEC

For as short as it is, and exchange really teaches you how to bond with the people, be vulnerable, strong, flexible. You connect with those with similar vision and goals as you, you achieve something by putting in your hard work, and appreciate the result together!

Naman’s experience changed his way of seeing life and helped him become a better version of himself. If you want to read about another breathtaking country, check this article about Vietnam!

If you also want to live an experience like this, check our exchange programs at aiesec.in!

Things we wish the school would have taught us

Until now, most of us might have realized that we’ve been utilizing less and less of what we learned in school . There are number of aptitudes that are essential to progress which were never at any point offered in school!

The History, English, Biology and Material Science? Besides giving us a general understanding of the world and influencing us to sound intellectual at parties, most of us can’t consider anything in there that we truly use on everyday basis. Today we live in a world that is full of tension, anxiety and stress. Most of the people are unhappy because of some or the other things. Our happiness has become dependent. But to be honest,  

Our happiness is our choice.

Yes! Joyfulness is a perspective and your perspective is your responsibility. Our Joy isn’t dependent on some other person, our connections improves our lives however they don’t make us happy. WE DO. By happiness, let’s come to a very affirmative word known as


Our positive attitude is a guide to our positive life, it brings us millions of positive opportunities. Hardships are just to make us strong and to make us realize the value of small admirable things but if we don’t challenge those hardships with a positive attitude, that’s when we actually start failing.  But failure doesn’t stand for not getting good grades, because schools never thought about

Prioritising learning over grades.

A large portion of us generally felt that grades were inconceivably important. While this is valid, grades aren’t the main thing you need to land a position or get through life. Now, on the grounds that they aren’t everything doesn’t impliy that you should avoid each one of those irritating classes and still be alright. They aren’t an impression of capacity or knowledge yet, they are an impression of hard work!
Prioritising learning over evaluations is vital to progress. Learning also implies on learning skills of Adaptation, because today,

Adaptation is necessary for survival.  

We learned that animals adapt according to climatic changes but same goes for human. In a world full of Global Warming, Ozone Depletion, Pollution, we need to adapt. We all know we need to work on it for sustainability but we need to adapt as well. We need to adapt with the new innovations in technology to survive in a corporate world. It’s difficult to survive without Networking and Upgraded technology. Imagine a person still using floppy disk?
And the most important thing,

Be yourself.

The world we live in, tries to transform us into something we are most certainly not. There are number of gauges about the way we should talk, carry on and look. Express, and have confidence in your own self. Try not to go out and search for a successful personality and copy it. Being certain is the way to life. Try not to be hesitant to be you!
You might not be like as many individuals around you, with your own style and identity, and be okay with it. If you are okay with it, the world will be too.


But, as it is said, better late than never. So what if we tell you that there’s still a classroom where we can learn the most important chapters of our life book, a classroom beyond the 4 walls, a classroom full of students who don’t compete but join hands together to make a change for better future.

Sign Up Today!

10 Things “Friends” will teach you while Volunteering Abroad

If a youth-run organisation has been engaging over 100,000 members across 127 countries, the international experiences it provides are definitely worth probing into too.

When we talk about an ‘experience’, it becomes very difficult to decide on the plausible perks shadowing that experience. Here’s something we have brought forth, to allow you to understand some of the unique learnings you will gain and realisations that will dawn upon you while you are on a volunteer program abroad lasting as brief as 6 weeks.


#1 You Need To Ask To Get

With most things within the span of our hands, ‘asking’ seems to have become a forgotten art. The rule is simple. Unless we identify what we need, communicate it clearly and boldly to the right person, the answer will remain “no!”.



#2 Becoming Independent

When it’s all up to you to figure ways out in a new place, you will tend to become less dependent on others for your needs.



#3 Be Yourself

Volunteering abroad will offer you the chance of being surrounded by new people. In an environment where everyone is away from home and new to one another, no body will judge you for who you truly are. You can feel at home, although you’re away from one.



#4 What Are You Capable Of?

Given the opportunity to work for a cause and given interesting job roles to uphold, you are sure to learn some of the tricks of management in a short period. You will realise that there are certain aspects of work that suit you well and you are cut out for it.



#5 Lingo Bingo!

A few elementary words of a new language shouldn’t be very hard. These days, knowing more than two languages has its own advantages. Learn a new language, sing to cats and become a polyglot!


#6 One For The Tummy

What’s a good trip without some good food? Relish the formability of a new cuisine and get your taste-buds tickled. It is not very easy to find authentic food of a particular country in any other place, hence exploit your chances!


#7 Listen To All The Stories

Every place on the planet is adorned by monuments, parks, museums and other historic sites that speak the stories of that land and of years we’d never be able to see. You will get to visit such places, make memories and relive history in your own capacity.



#8 Taste The Culture

This should be that one opportunity where you get to understand the traditions, social and behavioural norms of another nation. Every country is rich in its heritage and culture. You will be amazed, shocked and amused at a culture you are not used to.



#9 Meet New You-s!

You will realise that there are many young people just like you, who’ve chosen to make a difference by volunteering for a cause in a place far away from their homes. Together, you are the change-makers that are not only impacting lives, but essentially, getting impacted through the process. The world is on the look-out for entrepreneurial leaders like you!



#10 None Like This

An opportunity like this is not one that can be missed.


An opportunity like this is an indication that it’s your turn.


An opportunity like this is life-changing.


An opportunity like this may never knock on your door again!


So take up an international volunteering program and come out with flying colours. (Black and white, maybe?)




The Youth Global Entrepreneurial Program is a 6 week AIESEC program that provides undergraduate students an opportunity to develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills through international internships centred around social issues. The objective is to target our country’s youth and help them enrich their education by offering them a holistic international experience.

As a YGEP exchange participant, you will work on a developmental project along with other participants from across the globe, take complete ownership in an unfamiliar environment, manage your own projects and track your results – exactly as an entrepreneur would. We will support you through this experience and ensure that it challenges your world view and helps you gain a unique combination of multi-cultural, social and entrepreneurial exposure.

Visit http://ygep.aiesec.in for further details!

The Unique Benefits of Volunteering Abroad

Lately there have been countless discussions about the benefits of volunteering and about the benefits of traveling. But what happens when you put the two of them together? What happens when you don’t only travel but you dive into a new culture? When you have to work with volunteers from 10 or 20 different countries?

Well, this kind of experience doesn’t offer you just a random range of benefits but it changes you fundamentally. It challenges you and it makes you strive to be at your best.

So what exactly makes these volunteering abroad experiences so unique?

While volunteering, you will face events that will challenge your mindset

An internship abroad will give you the chance to travel to new places, make new friends, make new memories and learn new skills. But it also challenges you; it teaches you first hand what intercultural communication really is; it will challenge your mindset and it will help you become more open minded and more culturally aware.

“I’ve worked on the project with people from Ukraine, Russia, Bahrain, Poland, Egypt, Turkey, Portugal, Argentina, Germany and USA. I now feel that student exchange programs are crucial in getting to know so many different nationalities at once. It’s never too late to learn new things. The awesome experience has just taught me that life is not all about yourself, it’s about you in a society and how you adapt to it.”  – Jaya, on her internship in Ukraine

Volunteering abroad changes you because it gives you the chance to change others

The volunteering internships that AIESEC is providing are focused on solving particular issues in society, such as: cultural education, environment, cultural understanding or career development. This means that in most cases interns work with children or with students, and they have a chance to impact their life either directly in the short-term, or long-term, providing them with the skills and knowledge to be more successful.

Raluca was a volunteer in Poland. She says that: “this experience is about stepping out your comfort zone; about being crazy and letting go of what others think about you; about leaving a mark on some people’s lives. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to do this. To be that person that changes lives. But one day, during the last moments we had in one of the schools, the teachers came to us and told us: “You don’t know what an impact you had on these kids. You changed their lives.”

But we must admit there is one downside of volunteering abroad: it’s addictive.

Mihaela, who volunteered this autumn in Ghana, says that “now I’m even hungrier for adrenaline and adventure so I can’t wait to see what the future will bring regarding any new internship.”


AIESEC provides over 26,000 young people with the chance to go abroad each year. If you are looking to go on an internship or volunteer experience abroad, please go to opportunities.aiesec.org and check out all our available opportunities.