While growing up you are often faced with the tough choice of being smart and responsible or having fun.
Should I study for the test or should I go to the party? Should I do my homework now or should I keep playing video games?
Should I take an internship this summer to get some professional experience or should I enjoy my holidays at home not worrying about the future? How would you feel if you could do both by joining CISV in a leadership role?
Becoming a CISV leader requires effort, boldness, a sense of adventure, and a little bit of craziness. Assuming the responsibility of ensuring the physical and emotional wellbeing of a group of children or youth over a long time while being their role model and most trusted person is not a decision to take on lightly.
However, it will be one you’ll never regret as it will provide you with a learning experience that you could never encounter in a classroom.
It will allow you to prove to yourself and others how trustworthy you are and will give you a step up towards your professional or academic goals.
Are you ready for CISV and what it has to offer you?
“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” Maya Angelou
Learning more about your own culture and interacting with people from different backgrounds and lifestyles is a major part of participating in a CISV experience. It is also a highly appreciated skill when working in places with diverse environments. In a constantly changing world where the always-growing networks make us more connected every day, intercultural understanding and cultural sensitivity are essentials to be successful.
CISV provides you with the opportunity to interact 24/7 with leaders from up to 12 countries that have diverse ways of thinking. Making decisions as a group and working together will require you to put yourself in the shoes of others and realize that you are similar in more ways than you are not. Global citizenship is a concept that you will get very familiar with as the borders and previous ideas and expectations about other peoples’ cultures become blurrier and blurrier.
“Soft skills get little respect but will make or break your career” Peggy Klaus
In CISV everyone works towards the same common goal of providing children and youth with an educational experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives, empowering them to become global active citizens. The path to achieving that goal can be difficult sometimes, as you work with people who have different opinions and points of view. The only way to effectively working together is to be open to different ideas, tolerant of differences, and inclusive in a way that makes everyone feels important and represented.
CISV can help you develop a cooperative attitude that will serve you well. The next time you are assigned to work with a group, you will smile, knowing you have the right set of skills to help you and your team succeed and stand out. Leadership is more than taking a step forward and directing others in the right direction, but also knowing that other’s needs are just as important as your own. As a leader, you can create a safe space for others to grow and develop.
“What is my life for and what am I going to do with it? I don’t know and I’m afraid” Sylvia Plath
You are not alone. You may still be figuring out what is it that interests you and what you are truly good at. “Do I like the arts? Social studies? Science? Education? Do I even want to take an academic path?” These are questions that can only be answered through experience, through having the chance to experiment and decide what is best for you. Also, there are many paths that you might not even know about yet.
CISV provides you with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to challenge yourself in a unique and supported environment. By taking part in a CISV programme and living with others, you can freely ask questions, learn about life in other countries, experiment with what you like and dislike, and discover aspects of your personality you didn’t know were there. You will develop attitudes and skills, and acquire knowledge that will help you shape the future you really want for yourself.
By: Alex Salas, CISV Spain