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Blue on white short height100.gif
Logo of AIESEC
Motto "Empowering Young People for Peace and Fulfillment of Humankind's Potential"
Formation 1948
Type Not-for-profit
Legal status Active
Purpose Educational
Headquarters Rotterdam, Netherlands
Region served Worldwide
Membership 100,000
Official language English
AIESEC International President (PAI) Vinicius Tsugue
Main organ Global Plenary
Remarks The world's largest student-run organization

AIESEC is an international non-governmental not for profit organization that provides young people with cross-cultural global internship and volunteer opportunities and leadership development experiences on campus. With a focus to empower young people so they can make a positive impact on society. AIESEC was originally a French acronym for Association internationale des étudiants en sciences économiques et commerciales (English: International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Sciences). However, the full name is no longer in use. Members come from a variety of college majors, not necessarily from an area related to economic or commercial sciences.

AIESEC is a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), is affiliated with the UN DPI, member of ICYMO, and is recognized by UNESCO.

As of January 2014, the AIESEC network includes over 100,000 members in 125 countries and territories. It is the largest youth-run organization in the world.

AIESEC's international headquarters is in Rotterdam, Netherlands.


AIESEC in Estonia
AIESEC chapter, Cairo University in Egypt

The idea behind AIESEC started in the 1938, when representatives from schools across Europe exchanged information about various programs and schools that specialized in business and economics. Students were carrying out internships in other countries, but mostly on their own initiative, and it all came to a standstill with the onslaught of World War II.[1]

In 1944, though, the neutral Scandinavian countries were still exchanging students. In Stockholm, Bertil Hedberg, an official at the Stockholm School of Economics, and students Jaroslav Zich (of Czechoslovakia), Jean Choplin (of France) and Stanislas Callens (of Belgium) founded AIESE. This was the predecessor of AIESEC,[1] which was officially founded in 1948. At the time, the organization's stated mission was “to expand the understanding of a nation by expanding the understanding of the individuals, changing the world one person at a time.”[1]

In 1949, 89 students participated in the so-called "Stockholm Congress", the first of many exchange programs.[2]

U.S. involvement begins[edit]

In the late 1950s, AIESEC/Europe reached out to the United States and established contact with Yale University and Columbia Business School. In 1959 three students set up AIESEC chapters at Yale and Columbia, with the result that in the summer of 1959, AIESEC/US exchanged twelve trainees. AIESEC/US member, Morris Wolf, was chosen the first U.S. secretary general, and was part of establishing the first permanent international office for AIESEC in Geneva, Switzerland (1960.) The following year, the first international secretary general, Victor Loewenstein, spearheaded the expansion of the organization into South America. There were 4,232 exchanges reported for the year in 1970.


AIESEC annually offers “24,000 leadership positions and delivers over 500 conferences to [its] membership of over 100,000 students". It is present in over 2,400 universities across the globe. AIESEC runs an international exchange program that enables over 20,000 students and recent graduates the opportunity to live and intern in another country.” AIESEC is supported by over 8,000 partner organizations.[2]

Organization ideals and programs[edit]

The 6 values[2] which every member in AIESEC follow, are:

  • Striving for excellence
  • Demonstrating integrity
  • Activating leadership
  • Acting sustainably
  • Enjoying participation
  • Living (embrace) diversity

For students[edit]

AIESEC provides a platform for students in different universities and colleges, by going on an international internship and/or by joining various local chapters. These young individuals can develop their leadership potential by working and leading teams. Associate membership opportunities allow the students to work with various NGO partners of AIESEC, and represent their college as a part of campus ambassador program.

Each year over members have an opportunity to live and work in a foreign country. Participants can choose to work in areas of management, technology, education, or development; helping to build one’s corporate skills.


The AIESEC organization is found worldwide. Countries listed as "Official Extensions" of AIESEC, as of August 2011, include:

AIESEC conferences[edit]

Participants cheer during a local committee presentation at AIESEC France's "Spark 2013" national conference

AIESEC committees host a number of conferences every year that range in length and demographic scope. The purpose of conferences are to bring the international community of AIESEC members together to enhance their professional skills, provide networking opportunities, and work on organizational strategy.[2]

Each year, AIESEC organizes an estimated 500 conferences world wide.[2] Topics of interest the organization focuses on include: International Trade, Management Education, Sustainable development, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Corporate Social Responsibility.[2] In the 1990s, the organization's "Insight Intranet" was established to facilitate networking.[2]

National and regional conferences[edit]

National conferences are hosted bi-annually by each member country. During these conferences, local committee membership statuses are decided and elections for national level leadership are held.[2]

There are seven AIESEC regions which hold annual conferences:

  • Africa
  • East Africa Pioneers Congress
  • WENA - Western Europe and North America
  • IGN - Iberoamerica (Growth Network)
  • AP - Asia Pacific
  • MENA - Middles East and North Africa
  • CEE - Central and Eastern Europe

International Conferences[edit]

International conferences are attended by leadership body in the AIESEC network. International Conferences are hosted by a different country each year.[2]

List of Hosts of the International Conferences
Year Global Leaders' Summit host International Congress host
2015 Vietnam India
2014 Guangzhou, Mainland of China Kaohsiung, Taiwan
2013 Belgrade, Serbia[2] Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt[2]
2012 Budapest, Hungary Moscow, Russia[2]
2011 Mexico City, Mexico Nairobi, Kenya
2010 Hammamet, Tunisia Hyderabad, India
2009 Rome, Italy Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2008 Macedonia São Paulo, Brazil
2007 Egypt Turkey
2006 The Netherlands Warsaw, Poland
2005 Malaga,Spain Agra, India
2004 Sri Lanka Hannover, Germany
Year Global Leaders' Summit host International Congress host
2003 Tallinn, Estonia Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro
2002 Malta Calgary, Canada
2001 Guatemala City, Guatemala Lenk, Switzerland
2000 Istanbul, Turkey Edinburgh, UK
1999 Durban, South Africa
1998 Slovakia Stockholm, Sweden & Helsinki, Finland
1997 Mendoza, Argentina Atlanta, United States
1996 Warsaw, Poland
1995 Colombo, Sri Lanka
1994 Platja d' Aro, Spain
1993 Brighton, Great Britain
1992 Budapest, Hungary
1991 Reykjavik, Iceland Willingen, Germany

AIESEC international internships[edit]

Global Internship Program (GIP)[edit]

The Global Internship Program (GIP) is an AIESEC program which offers paid management and technical internships. They are normally long term in nature and involve working on diverse business projects and in different organizations. The internships duration is 6 weeks to 18 months. The intern receives a stipend which covers living costs. Airfare to and from the destination is not included. There are three types of internships:

  • Management; related to administration, finance, accounting, marketing, project management and HR
  • Technical; related to management and development in web, software, IT networks and databases, plus some engineering
  • Education; related to promotion, curriculum development, teaching, and counseling in the education sector

Global Community Development Program (GCDP)[edit]

The Global Community Development Program (GCDP) is an AIESEC program which offers voluntary internships. They are usually short term in nature and involve working on diverse community projects and in different organizations. Projects include teaching, promoting HIV/AIDS awareness, working in human rights, environmental sustainability, leadership development and more.

Types of Internships[edit]

This student internship is suggested for students according to their interests in world issues.[2] The duration is 6 weeks to 18 months, with accommodations usually provided. Students must make their own way to the host locations. Each year, over 20,000 students take the opportunity to live and work in another country.


  1. ^ a b c Kern, Beth (2003-10-02). "AIESEC Helps Interns Make Adjustments". University Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "AIESEC". AIESEC web site. AIESEC. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]