Meet the Person Who Assists You in Your Exchange Journey

with No Comments
Mahsouna with her team member and her Global Volunteer

What if I go on exchange and something goes wrong? — If this thought ever crosses your mind, you will not be alone. We all had them.

Yet, no worries, we have the right person for you, there to silence all the “What ifs” in your mind.

Get to know the Exchange Participant Manager in AIESEC.

First and foremost, what is an Exchange Participant Manager? (We call them EP managers 😀)
An EP manager is a dedicated member in AIESEC, that assists you along the journey. They will assist you from the moment you browse opportunities, showing you how to use the platform, to the moment you get back home from your experience!

This means they will help you understand the contract clauses, offer support in the visa application, offer information about your upcoming exchange country, deliver a workshop to set your goals mindfully, answer your calls while you are abroad, and then assist you in your reintegration journey back home because reverse cultural shock is a real thing.

And this is only on the side of the AIESEC branch that sends you an exchange.

You will have a second EP manager in the AIESEC branch who will run the project for which you will volunteer. These EP managers are responsible for picking you up from the airport, assisting you in your first days in the new country to adjust, ensuring you are doing ok, and presenting you more about the local culture.

We got in touch with one EP manager on the receiving end. Let’s learn more about their experience and role, shall we?

Meet Mahsouna, an EP manager from Tunisia. She will share her daily activities as a supporting buddy for the volunteers coming to experience Tunisia. 

Hi Mahsouna! What does your day look like in the role of an EP manager? 

Hello! My days as an EP manager are honestly fun. Today, I am catching up with the volunteer I oversee. I share about my day, and he shares about his.

While my days can be seen at times as dull, he has the most vivid stories to share. I am extremely happy because I met him at the beginning of his arrival in Tunisia, and I can see the transformation.

It is exciting for me to witness this. I almost feel like a mother raising her child from day one.

I was there to ensure his pick-up from the airport and all the other logistical aspects of his stay. I want him to have an unforgettable time here. Therefore, it’s important that the logistics are in place. 

What do you like about this role?

The stories. Definitely the stories.

It makes me excited to hear about the experience my volunteer has. I love every bit of it. Be it the good moments or the challenges he is going through.

At times, I need to remember I am not the one on exchange. I feel happy in this role because I can show the real side of my home country. And lastly, I like this role because I can witness the development of the volunteer. It’s always exciting. It’s like seeing a flower bloom.

What keeps you going in this role? 

It’s always fun to meet new people from all over the world!

In the current case, with my volunteer buddy, I like to exchange knowledge about my culture and listen to his views on his culture. The openness we shared brought us closer together, and I can now see that we have a delightful friendship.

This makes me strive for even better. I am constantly thinking about what more I can do to make the experience remarkable.

It also gives me hope that peace can be achieved in the world. And it starts with these small interactions, where both are willing to listen to each other. 

How are you improving the volunteer’s experience?

I am clear in my communication.
I also provide a warm welcome. And I do regular check-ups. I want to ensure his accommodation provides him with the necessary facilities. But I check on overall well-being, too.

When he arrived here, he received an incoming preparation. That means he got an onboarding to the local culture. It’s almost like a crash course about the host country. This is something that all volunteers with AIESEC go through when starting their exchange.

He got to learn more about his role and responsibilities, too. And a refreshed session about what AIESEC is.

I like to encourage my volunteer a lot when he shares his big but also smaller achievements during working hours. 

What can a global volunteer or intern expect from you?

To always give my 100%.

We provide volunteers with the essentials to develop during their exchange. Yet, I want to take this further and become their friend.

Being far from home can be a scary matter. Therefore, I want my volunteers to know they can always contact me if they need support. 

What has been a moment you cherished with your global volunteer?

You are asking me for ONE moment? One single moment? Impossible.

I cherish every moment with my current volunteer. He is an inspiring person. I learn something new every time we meet.

My time with him is limited. Global Volunteer only offers you 6 to 8 weeks. I am making the most out of these couple of weeks, hoping it will make an impact.

Thank you, Mahsouna, for your answers!

With this being said, we hope you have a better idea about what Exchange Participant Managers (EP managers) do and that you can rest assured that we will assist you at each step of your journey. For each of our programs, you will get assigned 2.

If you want to meet your future EP manager, why not sign up for AIESEC and apply to be a Global Volunteer?


Leave a Reply