Experiences You Have On An AIESEC exchange

It's that time of year again folks. Summer season means one thing- exchange and internships. Whether your a newbie heading off on your first AIESEC experience or a seasoned exchange veteran, one thing is for sure- you have no idea what to expect from this experience. Choose to embrace it.

You pack your bag and head off for a summer with an ultimate goal of achieving peace and fulfilment of human's kind potential.... and the occasional party or two.


1- Preparation

Hot country? Cold country? WHAT SHOULD YOU BRING? That moment of panic when you realise you have no idea what you're doing.


2- Arriving in the airport and realising you have no way of contacting your host

No wifi, no signal, no credit. Well this is going to be interesting.

3- Relief when you finally find your airport pick-up


When I arrived on my first exchange in Rio I can't describe the relief of seeing someone standing there with a sign with my name in one hand and a picture of me on there phone in the other. It had begun. Pure excitement.


4-Meeting your host/buddy for the first time

and realising everything is going to be okay...


5-New Cultural Experiences

and having the "that would never happen in my country" moment..



And your constant struggle trying to find it. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO TELL THE WORLD WHAT YOUR DOING?

7-Getting used to sleeping wherever you can

Sleep is precious and on your exchange you will not care where your bed is or even if it's just a mattress on the floor.


8-Your first day of work.

Figuring out working with children isn't as easy as you thought..

9-Trying to learn a new language..



10- Having the occasional moment of self doubt..

and realising that everything is going to be okay..


11- Ramen noodles become your main food group

It doesn't matter if you're in Europe, South America or Asia. Instant noodles are always your friend.

12-Stopping every few minutes for photos...


snap snap snap.

13-First time you experience cultural shock:

It's always going to happen and it always hits you when you least expect it.


14-Then dealing with it because you're an AIESECer

and lets face it- AIESECer's can deal with anything..

15- Getting lost. All. The. Time.

It's all part of the experience guys..


16-Newbies reaction to seeing roll call's for the first time:

It  looks like some kind of high school musical, pre-rehearsed, group dance.


17- Working hard and partying even harder:

When you're not working it's time to do something fun..

18-Realising that you actually can't stay on exchange forever and actually have to go home..

What ? You mean we can't do this for the rest of our lives..


19-However you're still smug about having been a traveller not a tourist for the past 8 weeks..

You're a global citizen now.


20-Although you still have that one day where you take those touristy photo's:

You just can't resist pretending to pinch large monuments from afar..

21-Heartbreak when you finally say goodbye to your group..

22-Then understanding that going on exchange was one of the best decisions you've ever made..


Therese Walsh
Article written by
Therese Walsh is a recent graduate of University College Dublin with the entirely employable degree of English and music. She enjoys the facts on the inside of snapple caps and writing mini biographies.

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