“Ohai there!” (from pinterest.com)
A friend of yours has just finally got back from an AIESEC program called the Global Citizen Program. You see that she was a bit tanned, you start assuming that she might have been back from a really sunny country—sunnier than Indonesia, you suppose— and done lots of things outdoor. Despite the burn and the jetlag eye bags, there’s one thing you can see in her face: a sincere smile, a pure bliss just every time she answers people’s “How was your 6 weeks?”
She looks very happy—as if she had gone through the best 6 weeks in her life. She said she had done a volunteering work and helped lots of people, and that’s what makes her elated.
Helping people? Doing volunteer work? You start to listen to her in wonder, what program Global Citizen Program really is, because you have always had this thought that going abroad for an exchange is always for academic purposes!
What Global Citizen Program Really Is
Yes, Global Citizen Program (GCP) is not an ordinary program in which you go abroad, study in foreign universities, and merely have fun. It works in a different perspective: GCP puts you in a project abroad that encourages you to do volunteer work, that lets you grow and make a change—both to the society where you are in and to yourself—that aligns your interests. There are five branches of project themes that youngsters can choose to take part and make impact in: culture, education, environment, health, and entrepreneurship. During the project, which lasts for 6-8 weeks and takes place in developing countries in ASEAN and beyond, the participants of GCP (you can be one, too!) will do unpaid volunteer work that ranges from teaching languages, giving dance lessons, and dealing with children.
The hustle-bustle and joy of volunteering. (Illustration by Quentin Blake, from http://www.sulisfineart.com/)
Besides working, having fun is also in. Global Citizen Program provides you with rich cultural experience—from living in a local housing, meeting new people with native culture, tasting savory delicacies, roaming around the town, and having a buddy who will accompany you along the project.
It’s truly a study outside of class, a lesson you cannot get anywhere else unless by participating actively—with people around you, your own experience, and the world as the teachers!
You just won’t believe how much change you can bring along with your suitcases when you’re in the airport, homebound. Your scarf might smell like your last lunch there, or your shoes dirty with the soil you step on every day on your way to the project place; but the most memorable thing from taking part in changing the world with volunteering is the smiles you bring to the faces of the people and the self-development you create for yourself. You’ve defeated your fear, you open your eyes to the world, you make people happy.
That’s why you should totally consider to take part in this life-changing project—because doing good and being kind is never out of style.