Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.
This quote which I have been hearing a lot of of late sums up my AIESEC internship experience perfectly.
When I first decided on Russia out of all the opportunities available, it was when the situation between Russia and Ukraine is extremely tense. Everyone from friends to complete strangers tried their best to talk me out of it. Thinking back, I am glad that I went ahead with the plans instead of following their advice.
My program is suppose to be a 2.5 months program where I teach Chinese in a Lingua Plus, a language school situated in Russia, Arkhangelsk. Nearly two months into the program, I can say with absolute certainty that it is and will always be an experience I will never forget.
The Russia which I experienced is completely different to the Russia which is presented in the media, the one which I was taught to believe. The friendliness which I have received from AIESEC Arkhangelsk and the locals is overwhelming to say the least. Since the day I arrived in the city, I am bombarded with a tidal wave of new faces and invitations to various events. There is never a dull moment as with each day, comes opportunities to learn or try or meet something new.
Coming to Russia not only allowed me to learn from highly experienced teachers who are more than willing to help me develop professionally, but allow me to see the world is a new light. The best aspect of AIESEC is that it allows you to step right out of your comfort zone and give you the chance to experience life in a country which you know little to nothing about.
Luan Ling is our past Global Talent Exchange Participant, who taught Chinese in a language school in Russia.