AIESEC 101: A mini guide


AIESEC Canada is recruiting, and we want you!

Still confused as to what AIESEC actually is? It can be difficult to explain sometimes, so here are some fun facts that will help you understand the organization a little bit better:

  • It’s pronounced /Eye-sek/
  • We are a completely student-run, non-profit organization. The largest of its kind in the world in fact
  • AIESEC is present in over 125 countries, and in 2600 Universities worldwide
  • AIESEC was formed after World War II (1948) in Europe
  • Horrified by World War II, the founders hoped that AIESEC would help avoid future conflicts
  • AIESEC originally stood for “Association internationale des étudiants en sciences économiques et commerciales” (English: International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Sciences). We no longer use this long form because it has evolved into something much more than that. Still kept the name though!
  • AIESEC comprises of students from across all disciplines
  • The bare minimum summary of what the organization does is: we send students abroad for either a volunteer or paid internship, and conversely accept students from other countries as well, all in order to develop successful global leaders
  • We use a lot of acronyms… And I mean a lot of acronyms (e.g. OC, OGX, ICX, LCP, NST, MC, TMP, IC etc. etc.)
  • We also dance sometimes, and we call these dances, “roll calls”
  • We do roll calls because we think that body language is a Universal language that people all over the world can understand and participate in together. They create this kind of powerful atmosphere that reminds everyone that we all have the same vision of acceptance; of peace, no matter where we’re from
  • If I were to describe the atmosphere of AIESEC in one word it would be: Supportive. Everybody is so encouraging of one another to achieve their goals
  • This is all part of AIESEC culture
  • AIESEC members are those who help send students go on exchange (as well as several other functions such as marketing and finance), while exchange participants are those who actually go abroad and complete either a volunteer or internship program
  • You can join your local University chapter as a member, become an exchange participant, or even do both!
  • Through the process of sending students on exchange, AIESEC also helps its members gain many valuable leadership skills
  • All of this is done in the name of AIESEC’s vision: The peace and fulfillment of humankind’s potential

There is so much more to AIESEC than just this. We could list a thousand fun facts and it would never embody what AIESEC really does. It’s not just a program for people to go abroad, or a leadership training facility. AIESEC helps people thrive in this increasingly globalized world. The AIESEC experience depends on the individual; it is whatever you need or want it to be.

The result then, of AIESEC being this dynamic tool that you can use to improve yourself, is a collection of different impactful, powerful, stories from people all over the world, and how it has transformed them for the better.


Find out why it’s been life-changing for tens of thousands of students all over the globe by attending an info session at your local University chapter!


This post is also available in: French

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