Interview with Omie Dale: what is AIESEC?

By November 28, 2017 No Comments

By Amandine Hess


Back on campus after a well-deserved fall break and already starting thinking about what to do over your summer? If you want to use this long break for an exciting  six week volunteering project in a country you’ve always dreamed of visiting, are willing to be involved for the community, or interesting in gaining leadership and professional skills, you might be interested in reading more about AIESEC opportunities.

First year students a bit lost after attending the Parcours Civic Information session and wondering about how to find a project serving “general interest,” AIESEC might have the perfect opportunity for you!

We interviewed Omie Dale, president of AIESEC at Sciences Po Campus of Reims.

Here we were at a local fast-food restaurant, pre-packing unused food that would otherwise be wasted in order to give to homeless people nearby. Photo: Omie Dale.


How would you describe AIESEC?

AIESEC is a global, non-governmental youth organization, and it is present in 126 countries around the world and focused on youth empowerment. It provides a platform for young people to develop their leadership and professional skills, with the backdrop of aiming towards creating positive social impact.


What is the goal of this association?

The official goal is ‘The Peace and fulfillment of humankind’s potential’, which does sound a bit vague, but in reality it is all about developing professional and personal skills in young people that they can use to really make an impact later on in life, whether that be by going on exchange or taking part in the association itself.

On our campus specifically, we try to work towards that by finding exchange opportunities for students here at Sciences Po. For those in the association, we help them develop these skills through their roles in specific poles, and their attendance at local and national conferences – where they have a chance to network and attend workshops and talks from one of over 5,000 partner organizations across the globe.


What kind of projects can students apply for?

All the projects come under three general umbrellas: Global Volunteer, Global Entrepreneur or Global Talent. The most popular is Global Volunteer, which as the name suggests is an unpaid volunteering experience, which typically lasts 6-8 weeks. Global Entrepreneur offers placements with start up companies and typically lasts 6-12 weeks, and Global Talent are longer, paid internships with companiesoften big names such as Nike.


Can a project with AIESEC be counted as our first year mandatory Civic Program?

Yes they canin fact many of last year’s 1As did their mandatory internships with AIESEC last summer! I myself went to Egypt.

I took a trip to Dahab (on the southeast coast of Sinai) with my friends to celebrate Eid al-Adha. Photo: Omie Dale

In which countries can we do this program?

There are 126 countries where AIESEC operates so as the saying goes, the world really is your oyster. People who went away with AIESEC last year went to countries from Portugal and Romania to Mongolia and Brazil.


How long does it have to be?

Technically it’s six weeks, but there are exceptions where it can be four, for example during winter break when there isn’t this amount of time to spare.  Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the LC (Local Committee) who are offering the program. They can sometimes allow exchanges for a shorter period of time.


When and how can I apply?

You can apply as long as there are opportunities on the opportunity portal, which you find by going on Here you need to make an account and upload personal information alongside a CV, and then using the search tool – and narrowing down in terms of dates, region and type of experience you’re looking for-, all the available vacancies will become present. You can simply press ‘apply’ to the ones you like and all your information will be sent to the Local Committee who posted the role. What normally follows is an interview, and hopefullyif everything went wella positive response!

There are opportunities being posted all year round, so it doesn’t hurt to start looking early to get a general idea of what you want to do, but if you’re looking now for the summer break, not every single one will have been posted yet. So keep checking the site week by week if you haven’t yet seen something that you’d want to do.


How much does it cost all in all?

It is currently 225 euros for Global Volunteer and, considering this covers 6-8 weeks, is really good value. At the latest AIESEC conference I went to, I actually learnt that our cheapest competitor offers a similar product starting at the 1000 euros mark. Global Talent and Global Entrepreneur are typically a bit more expensive but this is because they’re often much longer. Take in consideration that you also have to purchase your plane ticket, so it depends where you’re going to.


What are we provided with?

It varies from program to program, but normally accommodation and at least one meal per day, as well as pickup and drop off from the airportit should all be outlined when you apply.

This was the meal we had on the way to the Black and White desert. Photo: Omie Dale

Are there any requirements? (language, specific competences, past experiences …?)

Again, it depends what programme you apply to. Naturally for language tutoring, a decent level of fluency is required. Most of the programmes do operate in English, but this isn’t the case for all of them. For Global Entrepreneur and Global Talent sometimes more specific skills are necessary.


Any advice about how to choose a project?

Make sure you really know what you want to do, and where you want to go. There are so many opportunities and it’s easy to pick the first one you find, but you’re going to be away for a while so it’s important to choose something that aligns your interest. There’s often not that much information on the opportunities portal due to space constraints, so if you’re really interested in a certain opportunity get in touch with the AIESEC Local Committee offering it, and they should be able to give you more details!


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