Looking for a different perspective sometimes can become a turning point in our daily routine. It helps us to see deeply all of the details around us and re-discover the beauty of the simple actions.
My name is Alessio, I am 23 and and for this reason I decided to challenge myself and leave for a 6 weeks volunteering experience in China, thanks to AIESEC Italia. My project was about teaching English to young children: the project was held by different educational institutes in the cities of Guangzhou, Foshan and Shunde.
Volunteering is an opportunity to challenge your limits. I decided to leave because I wanted an experience out of my comfort zone, in a totally different environment from what I was used to. I also wanted to challenge myself by doing something I was experiencing for the first time, as teaching to kids was for me, back then. I found those expectations totally fulfilled in China as every single thing there is different, from food to daily routine, from the cultural traditions to public transportation, yet amazing in its particular way.
All of the things that we take for granted, can turn out to be special in their diversity. Many people in China are not used to Western foreigners. Indeed, I was asked to take pictures by strangers. In smaller villages folks used to stare at us (the group of Volunteers I was sharing the experience with) as it was very uncommon to see nonChinese people there. It was weird at the beginning, but in the end I got used to it, and also some of the people I met used to ask questions about me. They wanted to know my story and why I felt attracted by China. It was nice to have these small talks with strangers around who looked so glad to have met me.
Make the difference with little daily actions. I understood that I was making a difference in the new local reality from the very beginning, by interacting with both children and young chinese members of AIESEC: China doesn’t offer many internationalization opportunities to children and young adults. Indeed, my presence there was a chance for them to understand and get to know the world in a way they couldn’t even imagine before. The look in their eyes and their curiosity was pushing me everyday to share more and be more open so that I could give as much as possible in the short time I was spending with them.
It’s a unique chance to get to know more about your potential. By pushing me far out of my comfort zone, this experience put me in new and unknown situations to deal with. It let me discover my strengths and my weaknesses, showed me my limits and pushed me to overcome them.
AIESEC gives you the possibility to live a volunteering experience in more than 120 countries, like Brazil, Romania, Colombia, Poland, Serbia, Russia, Greece and India. Many opportunities are waiting for young people between 18 and 30 years old, to make themdiscover their full potential and change the world.