For the first time, AIESEC Yale and University Career Services are collaborating directly on an international internship program for students.
The program will send eight applicants to different locations in Peru and Brazil to do work with community service and education. AIESEC is the world’s largest student-run organization and an international work-exchange program that exists in 87 countries and 800 universities worldwide.
Despite having existed at Yale throughout the 1950s and ’60s, group officials said AIESEC Yale eventually dissolved due to a lack of leadership. In 2000, the group was restarted by Adam Litle ’03.
Litle said he is not surprised to see AIESEC working more closely with UCS.
“It’s been an emerging relationship,” Litle said.
Usually, students apply to AIESEC and are placed in the country of their choice. But because of UCS’s direct involvement in the project, the University will waive the usual $45 application fee and $500 placement fee. Fees for housing and food will also be waived, AIESEC Yale president Arthur Wojtowicz ’06 said.
The four students placed in Peru for the summer will work for nonprofit groups. One position available is to help design safe, economical and ecologically-sound housing for poor families. Students working in Peru will not be paid.
Students in Brazil will be teaching English for one year. They will be paid $300 per month, and additional “extras” other than food and housing — such as Portuguese lessons — will be subsidized, Wojtowicz said.
Often, students apply to AIESEC wanting to be placed in countries with strong tourism, like France or England, Litle said. He said the Latin American program seemed to better express AIESEC’s original intent — to expose students to cultures vastly different from their own.
He said UCS always tried to gear AIESEC Yale towards that mission.
UCS officials traditionally give AIESEC an advertising forum, and feature AIESEC programs in regular UCS e-mails.
UCS director Philip Jones was unavailable for comment Thursday.
While the AIESEC chapters in Peru and Brazil were very interested in placing Yale students, they were somewhat incredulous, Wojtowicz said.
“If you’re in Latin America, and an American chapter walks up to you and says, ‘We can get you 10 applications from Yale students,’ [the response is likely to be], ‘No way,’” he said, adding that the chapters wanted letters from UCS, signed and on a University letterhead, to prove Yale’s intentions were serious.
Niklas Ridoff ’04 said he wished the Latin American program had been offered last year, when he arranged through AIESEC to spend the summer in Ankara, Turkey. He said he was encouraged by UCS’s choice to subsidize the Latin American projects.
“The $500 [placement fee] is pretty steep,” Ridoff said.
Ridoff said he would recommend AIESEC to any student thinking about spending a summer working abroad.
“[AIESEC] goes out of their way to get you an internship,” he said. “It’s a simple, straightforward process.”
Information on the application process for the AIESEC-UCS project in Latin America will be available on the UCS Web site soon, Wojtowicz said.