Happy IAESTE Day! - How we're celebrating
It was a long flight, an aircraft full of IAESTE people flying back home from the IAESTE Annual Conference in 2005 in Cartagena. We were all full of excitement about upcoming months and making internships happen, but also sad that the entire week of meeting IAESTE people was over. That’s how the idea to celebrate the association’s mission and share the IAESTE spirit with the broader community was born.
This year we’re organising the 15th IAESTE Day! Usually, we would hold huge parties, gather as many IAESTE friends and friends of friends together. We would be sharing stories from our internships abroad, planning trips to visit our friends, presenting IAESTE to a new generation of students or hosting events thanking our employers and universities. But… wherever we are, because of the pandemic restrictions, our usual way of celebrating is very limited. And now we all realise how important it is to be able to meet people, meet friends face-to-face.
It’s very tempting today to refer to the times when IAESTE was established - in 1948, in the aftermath of the Second World War. Our founders strongly believed that education and friendship are the keys to ensuring peace in the world. Peace is more than the absence of war. Peace is when there is no hate in the world, when people go about their own business and are open to experience others, irrespective of race, colour, gender, culture, religious or political beliefs, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. These are IAESTE people, IAESTE trainees, IAESTE employers, IAESTE volunteers and IAESTE alumni. These are the people who are needed to make the world a better place.
We are especially proud of our 700 hundred interns in this challenging year and very grateful to the organisations who host them. They have travelled abroad, interacted with people from different countries, shared experiences, applied their academic knowledge in a professional environment and taught others about their culture and learned about other cultures. They have also contributed to local communities and helped to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
It has been possible by sticking together as a family. For over 70 years we have established hundreds of thousands of friendships, formed bonds between people of different cultures. We are built around our values of commitment, trust, diversity, growth and friendship.
We work these days mainly remotely, and cooperate internationally - it works because we know each other well.
So, today we are sharing the IAESTE spirit with the whole world, in the ways we can, making our mission to promote international understanding, visible. We will be happy to see you sharing it with your friends too, it’s IAESTE Day!
We wish you all to Work. Experience. Discover. with IAESTE!