Back in summer 2014, I was about to finish my bachelor degree with very unclear ideas about what to do after, which were my strengths and what should be my stand in life.
I just broke up with my historical boyfriend after years and I wanted to see what I was able to do completely alone, in a place in which I didn't have any support system at all.
I chose volunteering abroad.
That summer, Taiwan was a breath of fresh air. My volunteering project was about Culture sharing; during the first part I was teaching English and showcasing my own culture to young students between 6-17 years old; during the second part of the project I was working in Aboriginal Tribe NGO aiming at improving life conditions of elderly and children: I was present in their activities and promoting international tourism in the village creating marketing material in English and Chinese.
Taiwan: an ancient flower proudly shining
I was impressed a lot by how passionate and patriotic people were: as Italians we are very used to neglect and underestimate the potential and strengths of our country; in Taiwan I have met so many proud aboriginal taiwanese. I was impressed by their love and pride towards their identity, their historical heritage, their independence. Of course there are downsides in Taiwan too, but generally people are very open towards internationals, happy to share with them their identity, food, traditions.
They also love and celebrate food as Italians do. It was an everyday discovery and challenge, but especially as Italians nothing connects people more than sharing a meal at the same table and telling each other stories.
It’s the place where I collected sweet memories and made the difference
I think it was during an evening with the elderly: we were doing handicraft together and they seemed to be happier in doing it. They were not happy for the activity itself, but for the fact that we were doing it together and they were showing me and the other interns how proud they were.
That was the time in which I saw with my eyes the meaning of the quote "happiness is real, only when shared".
This experience was helpful for me to better understand my values and what I care about. Now I have more clarity about my stand in life and my possible career.
I lived my personal growth path, since I had to work a lot on trust and solution orientation.
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 them discover their full potential and change the world.
Search a project for you on aiesec.org