My AIESEC volunteering project in Italy

This post is written by Niklas, who did a volunteering project in Italy.

In January 2020 I participated in an AIESEC Project on environment and sustainability in Castellana Grotte, Italy. I was lucky to stay six weeks in one of the most beautiful small villages I have been to. My work was about teaching the kids in the local Highschool on the UN SDGs and sustainability.Explore the towns during your volunteering project in ItalyMy fellow AIESEC students were so kind to pick me up in Bari. They made sure I was safe and showed me how to travel to my destination. This was about an hour from Bari by bus.

My companion Mustafa and I most of the time lived together in a small apartment, or with families of the village. We switched our location almost every week to another place. This was rather inconvenient, but nothing too terrible. Every family made sure we were doing fine. All of them went above and beyond to make our experience as pleasurable as possible. In our free time Mustafa and I explored the city, and we enjoyed the amazing surroundings due to the closeness of the sea. It was one of a kind experience. I am sure that I will never forget the warmth of the people over there.

Go on weekend trips during your volunteering project in Italy

The teaching was quite difficult at first. I am so used to speak and think in English, that I did not think about the kids and their level of language skills. The first day in the first class I basically did a lecture on the UN and SDGs, in which I talked and talked. The kids faces were lit up and excitement was filling the roomGo volunteering it Italy and work in a schoolI thought to myself wow this is amazing! Then I realized that they just pretended to be understanding what I was saying. Only then I realized that I should take it more slowly. We warmed up by playing games, asking questions and watching movies. Pink Panther was the hit in all classes. Slowly I was able to direct them into thinking about the environment. After a couple of weeks, with the help of the teachers, I had real discussions with the kids.

All of the kids were amazing, and the teachers were also incredibly caring and helpful to not only me, but also the kids. One of the older boys really caught me by surprise. I think he was about 13 and he was casually asking me on my view on a certain type of social constructivism, and shared his concern on flaws in its logic. He made an excellent point, and this little fella baffles me to this day. I hope that one day we will become colleagues. My time in Castellana Grotte showed me that the Italians are very compassionate and loving people. There was no real culture shock or anything, just small things that come along with being in a small village in the middle of nowhere. If you can handle that, this experience is more than worth to go for!

 


Read more
The power of cultural intelligence

The power of cultural intelligence

A third type of intelligence, only introduced after the start of the 21st century, is CQ; Cultural Quotient, or cultural intelligence. Every person’s cultural expression (e.g. their way of speech, beliefs, norms, body language, rituals and so on) are influenced by the cultural society they are or used to be part of. Due to this unique, intrinsic collection of culture every person carries with them, we are all different.

Connect Youth: Purpose Driven Networking

Connect Youth: Purpose Driven Networking

Covid-19 triggered us to be more creative in finding ways to finding new ways to create value for our members and to make use of the possibilities that the online world has to offer. Hence, we wanted to create an inspiring online network event for our members. An opportunity for them to connect to the national network and to get to know different types of organisations in a valuable way.

What is Climate Change?

What is Climate Change?

Climate change is defined as a shift in the average conditions of global or regional climate patterns over approximately 30 years. This causes global warming and unexpected weather conditions in every country on every continent.

6 Ways to Improve Your Productivity

6 Ways to Improve Your Productivity

Ugh, Corona, right?  I mean, it has been going through our conversations all year. And this small thing has kept us home for such a long time. OH MY GOD! I felt like my brain had lost its will to work for the longest time. However, this blog will hopefully help you to...

6 Simple Tips to Contribute to a More Sustainable World

6 Simple Tips to Contribute to a More Sustainable World

We only have one planet. If we continue to behave like we have in the last years, this planet as we know it will not exist for our off-spring. If this misuse of the resources continues in the future, chances are that our planet might become like the other seven...

Una experiencia para nunca olvidar

Una experiencia para nunca olvidar

At the start of July 2019, my sister and I took the big leap to pack our bags and visit our family in Colombia. During this time I was still deciding on doing a volunteering job for AIESEC. It was my luck to have my sister as my AIESEC exchange participant manager....

The Importance of Self Awareness for a Leader

The Importance of Self Awareness for a Leader

We often try to identify our existence with our position in society, friends and family, our desires of our body and the emotional and intellectual expressions of our mind. For instance, we might introduce ourselves as ‘I am a business administration student, I have...

3 Tips to Stay Motivated During Lockdown

3 Tips to Stay Motivated During Lockdown

Normally it can be difficult to stay motivated when working or studying. Now, the pandemic forces the most of us to work and study at home, staying motivated can become an even bigger issue. Some important things to keep track of during the pandemic to stay motivated...

Interested?

Take the first step.

Book a free consultation call in one of our cities to explore your opportunities!