The DC chapter of AIESEC (Association Internationale des Étudiants en Sciences Économiques et Commerciales) has been a strong supporter of GLN’s work to use language as a tool to help fix the world. AIESEC is a global platform for helping young people develop their leadership and management skills while learning about international issues. Given our shared objectives of engaging and empowering people through volunteerism and cultural exchange, it made a lot of sense to work together to advance those issues in a collaborative and mutually beneficial way. For the past several years AIESEC has hosted many GLN classes on the campus of George Washington University. AIESEC members have benefited from easy, convenient, and affordable access to high-demand languages such as Arabic, Mandarin, and Urdu; while GLN has been able to expand its course offerings thanks to the additional meeting space and the increased demand from AIESEC members and the GWU community.
But our collaboration hasn’t stopped there. This spring, former AIESEC-DC Vice President, Francisco Kilgore, was inspired to teach English with GLN after having a great experience hosting and taking a GLN Italian class. And there is more in the works, following a recent meeting with incoming AIESEC President, Laura Cloutier and her executive team, we hope to connect AIESEC-sponsored students from abroad with GLN internships and volunteer opportunities during their time in DC. They may also opt to share their own native language and culture with others as a GLN teaching fellow. Thanks to the comprehensive training and extensive teaching resources GLN has developed over the years, newly-arrived AIESEC students won’t need to have prior teaching experience to participate. This means that AIESEC students will have the opportunity to develop their leadership and professional skills in a very hands-on way, while also applying their language and cultural communication abilities in a relaxed and fun environment.
There’s one more important link between AIESEC and GLN–Andrew Brown, GLN’s Founder and Executive Director, is an AIESEC alumnus and, besides volunteering with AIESEC-DC while at GWU, completed one AIESEC Traineeship in Ukraine and one in Turkey, and attended AIESEC conferences or other meetings in AIESEC centers throughout Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.