February 14, 2011

Student Organization Brings Together Foreign Students, U.S. Companies

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Correction appended

Thirty-four foreign students will land in the United States this semester for paid positions thanks to the Cornell chapter of the Association Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales.

The United Auto Workers gave 32 foreign students paid internships, and two others received positions at Cornell’s Cooperative Extension program.

Through its partnership with UAW, Cornell’s AIESEC chapter is bringing more international students to the United States than any other AIESEC chapter in the country, said Roneal Desai ’13, president of Cornell’s AIESEC chapter.

With more than 50,000 members in 107 countries and territories, AIESEC — the largest student-run organization in the world — brings together foreign students and domestic companies. AIESEC finds foreign students who qualify for company jobs, and then helps these students fill out the necessary paperwork to work in their country of choice.

“AIESEC is a platform that connects students with potential internships internationally and allows them the opportunity to develop themselves by being exposed to a more global culture,” Desai said.

He added that the program “allows students to tap into a worldwide network and obtain a rare actual global perspective by taking part in a culture, not just seeing it, which isn’t always the case when studying abroad.”

Desai said the program was also beneficial for organizations like the UAW, which receive foreign workers qualified for the positions they offer.

Through AIESEC, companies such as UAW “get international people to come here, do work, and then go back to their home countries and train people there,” Desai said.

In addition to drawing foreign students to the U.S., Cornell’s AIESEC chapter is aiming to be the top chapter for outgoing exchange, as well, Desai said. This semester, Cornell’s chapter has received more than 200 applications to work abroad from Cornell students, he said.

Founded in 1944 in post-war France, AIESEC has more than 800,000 alumni, according to the program’s website.

The students working for UAW this semester through Cornell’s AIESEC chapter come from throughout the globe, including China, Brazil, Germany and Australia.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that AIESEC has more than 80,000 alumni. In fact, its alumni total more than 800,000.

Original Author: Jeff Stein