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August 2009 Issue
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Students sought for overseas experience

University of Adelaide students have the chance to work in some of the most exotic locations in the world next summer, helping to build their leadership skills while serving a worthwhile cause.

Thirty students are being sought for three-month internships focusing on community development projects in India, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

The offer is being made by the world's largest student-run organisation, AIESEC, which is active in more than 1700 universities in 107 countries.

The University of Adelaide Chapter is now in its 35th year and is one of Australia's most successful.

AIESEC Adelaide Communications Director Graigan Panosot will launch a campaign next month to attract students interested in an internship overseas.

"The students can expect to be involved in educational and community development projects in places like India, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Jordan, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic," Graigan said.

The third-year Civil and Environmental Engineering student is one of about 65 members of AIESEC at the University of Adelaide.

He helps to coordinate a program of overseas internships as well as local events and seminars, which collectively help students to develop their leadership potential and bridge the gap across cultures.

From its beginnings in post-war Europe in 1948, AIESEC has fostered international relations via an exchange of skills and knowledge.

A global network of companies and organisations has partnered with AIESEC, linking business with higher education. The program targets new graduates seeking up to 18 months' experience working in a foreign country, or undergraduate students looking for short-term internships in their summer breaks.

University of Adelaide student Rowan Gill spent last summer in Shanghai, complementing his Economics and International Studies double degree with a marketing internship in China's most populous city.

He is now a member of AIESEC's Corporate Relations team, helping to build partnerships between AIESEC at the University of Adelaide and the corporate community.

"I was living in a city of 20 million people, helping a small company launch a website that promoted online teaching resources," Rowan said. "It was a real challenge but the support from AIESEC makes it all worthwhile."

AIESEC charges University of Adelaide students and new graduates an administration fee of $550 to place them in an overseas company for a given period. This fee also covers logistical assistance with their visas, as well as facilitating a network of contacts for accommodation and social needs. Students pay their own airfares and may receive a wage in return that is consistent with their skills and qualifications.

On the flip side, Adelaide companies seeking to fill skills shortages can make use of AIESEC's international network to recruit overseas graduates and/or students.

The Institute for International Trade (IIT) at the University of Adelaide has just hired a 23-year-old economics graduate from Jakarta as part of the AIESEC Global Exchange Program.

Isya Hanum started her six-month internship with IIT last month, working as a trade policy analyst.

A graduate of Universitas Indonesia, Isya has already directed a community development project in Indonesia focused on giving disadvantaged children access to information and communication technology.

"The job description from the Institute was closely aligned with the career path I was interested in and I couldn't pass up an opportunity to work and live in Australia," Isya said.

Aside from overseas internships, AIESEC organises leadership and development seminars for its members.

Earlier this year the University of Adelaide Chapter also hosted the national conference in Adelaide, attracting about 150 delegates.

For more details about AIESEC and the overseas internships on offer for next summer, visit:

Story by Candy Gibson

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Students and graduates involved in the AIESEC Global Exchange Program (from left): Graigan Panosot, Isya Hanum and Rowan Gill
Photo by Candy Gibson

Students and graduates involved in the AIESEC Global Exchange Program (from left): Graigan Panosot, Isya Hanum and Rowan Gill
Photo by Candy Gibson

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