73rd Annual Conference - Tatranska Lomnica, Slovakia 24-30 January 2020

The 73rd IAESTE Annual Conference saw 267 participants from more than 80 countries come together in the beautiful mountainous surroundings of Tatranska Lomnica, Slovakia for a week of exchanging internships managing association business and networking with friends, both old and new. Inspired by the Tedx speaker, Mr Marcus Orlovsky we have set a new strategy for IAESTE. We are looking forward to a bright future with the aim to reach 10,000 students sent in 2025 driven by our values: commitment, trust, diversity, growth and friendship.

 

New elected President, Thomas Faltner and our other four board members: Kristýna Šimková, Prof. Karunakar Kotegar, Mark Feichtinger and Marcin Jaworski will ensure we head in a proper direction. 

 

The Grand Hotel Praha, with its old world charm and compact layout, was the perfect place to conduct the many meetings that took place over the seven days we were there. And when we say ‘many meetings’, we really mean it! Hundreds of bi-lateral meetings between countries, many hours of conference sessions, making decisions to improve the association, as well as training sessions, poster sessions, a marketing fair, regional meetings, Global Forum presentations and roundtables and much, much more! During the conference more than 5200 internships were exchanged, ready to change the lives of young people around the world.

 

Of course, it wouldn’t be the Annual Conference without at least some fun, and our hosts, IAESTE Slovakia provided us with some wonderful evening events, as well as a choice of excursions on our one free morning. The legendary international party brought everyone together to try each other’s food and drink. When you know that around 80 countries are present, that is A LOT of different things to try! From Scottish original recipe Irn Bru, Icelandic fish and Brazilian Caipirinha, there was something for everyone. The evening ended with much dancing, including the famous IAESTE dance!

 

The week went so quickly that the farewell gala dinner seemed to come too soon. It was hosted at the amazing Reduta in Spišská Nová Ves and as well as the awesome food, it was a chance to thank and award those employers and people that make IAESTE so great. The James Newby medal, named after IAESTE’s founder, was presented to Seyed Reza from IAESTE Iran,  Anders Fredén from IAESTE Sweden and Mary Mallon from IAESTE UK, for their commitment and dedication to IAESTE, being role models for IAESTE values and especially getting involved in special task forces and international projects. We also said goodbye and thank you, after six years, to our outgoing President, Bernard Baeyens, and our outgoing one-year Board member, Mohammad Hossein Eftekhar. 

 

And so we finally came to say goodbye to each other for another year. We leave Slovakia full of hope, optimism and a willingness to develop IAESTE and to offer more internships to many more students than ever before. Thank you to our amazing hosts, IAESTE Slovakia and especially to Peter Gabaš for doing such an outstanding job. See you all in Vienna next year!

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