After 4 years working in AIESEC in University of Antwerp I thought I knew everything that had to be known about our exchanges, I thought I knew what was going to happen, how I had to deal with the difficulties that might cross my path and I thought a cultural shock would never happen to me.
Waking up in a bed that is not the one I’m used to feels very bizarre. Cooking in a kitchen that isn’t mine is a challenge (if you add the fact that not even ingredients are the same, it gets even weirder). Language has proven to be a big barrier. However, all of this is a big opportunity to learn something new and that is what I did, being a global volunteer thought me my life’s greatest lesson.
I’ll never be able to thank my hosts enough, they thought me what it really takes to be a Brazilian and encouraged me to embrace all the challenges that crossed my path the last 6 weeks (and not to forget: they taught me how to make Brazilian cake :P).
While contributing to Sustainable Development Goal number 17, partnership for the goals. My main activities where online marketing and teaching classes about Human Rights and Sustainable Development Goals.
When it comes to our work, one thing is clear: we taught a lesson not only for the kids, but for us as well. By trying to teach them a lesson I was reminded of what I needed to learn myself.
Teaching a subject we take for granted, in a language we know, brought me a confrontational mirror to reality. Human rights are unfortunately not accessible to everyone in my project, and neither is learning a foreign language.
The kids might not have understood the teach, but they surely understood the inspire. Inspiring the kids not to wait for a very special moment to come, but to take action themselves cause it is every little step that matters. All they need are the right models and the right activities to help shape them into their best selves.
So YES, however I have been active in AIESEC for 4 years already, Global Volunteer did teach me an unexpected lesson: how to lead children to a better version of themselves.
If you have the power to give, it’s your responsibility to do so. Go to AIESEC.org and start your experience.