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AIESEC: Leadership Through Exchange

“Ang kabataan ay ang pag-asa ng bayan,” a quote popularized by the Philippines’ national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.

Applicable up to this day, the salvation of the country can be found in the hands of the youth. It has been proven that as time progresses, they are becoming more aware and involved in the current issues that are threatening us. They are also becoming more expressive by raising awareness in different platforms such as social media. For the youth and by the youth, an organization present in over a 120 countries and territories, including the Philippines, gives justice to the wise words Dr. Rizal had said. This non-profit organization strives to achieve peace and fulfillment of humankind’s potential. If you think that’s a mouthful, they basically want the youth to become aware to certain issues, and do something to develop their leadership potential. This organization is AIESEC.

“It’s always good to help others and change their lives”

Therese Joy Chen, AIESECer

AIESEC was established in 1948 by a group of young people who want the youth to become more involved after the second world war, and prevent possible conflicts of nations from happening. The organization progressed from being a small group that offers study tours to being the largest youth-run organization. But, the question is, what is so unique about AIESEC?

Leadership through Exchange

By being a member of AIESEC or by supporting engagements with the organization that creates awareness to certain causes, AIESEC develops the youth’s leadership potential. The main product of AIESEC, however, is cross-cultural exchanges. AIESEC believes that by sending the youth abroad to either volunteer or work, it allows them to step out of their comfort zones and create impact to others. By exposing them to challenging environments, they can learn practical experiences that will help them grow.

Photos by Therese Joy Chen during her time in Thailand as an exchange participant for AIESEC

There are three types of exchanges offered by AIESEC: Global Volunteer, Global Talent, and Global Entrepreneur.

Global Volunteer is volunteering with a Non-Government Organization (NGO) or on a project that contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On the other hand, both Global Talent and Global Entrepreneur allow the youth to participate in a professional experience. The difference is that the former is an opportunity to work for a company, while the latter is for startup companies and businesses.

A Lasallian’s Point-of-View of an AIESEC Exchange

A BS Advertising Management student of De La Salle University-Manila, Therese Joy Chen, participated in a Global Volunteer Exchange (then known as Global Citizen) in Vietnam.

Volunteered as a teacher for the Chance Giver Project, she learned to appreciate life more. “It’s always good to help others and change their lives,” said Chen. Aside from developing her social and communication skills, she learned to be more independent. “This experience helped me grow as a person and taught me to be more globally aware about the situations in other countries.” After the exchange, she joined the organization to become a member.


An Article by AIESEC in De La Salle University – Manila.
Written by Therese Joy Chen.

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