5th Asian IAESTE Forum in Istanbul
The 5th Asian IAESTE Forum was held in Istanbul from 8th to 10th October 2015 and hosted by Istanbul Technical University, home to the IAESTE National Committee of Turkey since 1955. 17 representatives from 5 full member and 2 associate member countries (namely Turkey, Oman, Pakistan, Thailand, UAE, China, and Philippines) as well as one Board Member, representative of the IAESTE A.s.b.l., attended the meeting. The Development Manager also showed interest in participating in one session through a Skype meeting.
The main aim of this initiative under the Asian IAESTE Forum is to understand the underlying reasons of the exchange numbers gap between the European countries and Asia, and to create more opportunities for students of this region to gain international work experience through IAESTE traineeships as well as to attract more companies to accept IAESTE trainees from neighboring countries in Asia.
This year, the Forum at Istanbul Technical University mainly focused on the collaboration and the chances of cooperation between the Asian countries of the IAESTE in pursuit of involving more universities, more companies and thus more students in the exchange program. As stated in many reports of the IAESTE, this student exchange organization covers more than 80 countries in all continents and so far exchanged more than 350.000 students worldwide. But, according to the latest statistics, the role of Asian countries in this exchange remains lower than expected. Having provided an opportunity to discuss the obstacles on the road to the promotion of the IAESTE in Asia, this meeting contributed to offer recommendations for a better progress of Asian countries. Besides, this has also granted a chance to strengthen the IAESTE network in Asia and to share knowledge, experience, and best practices to build closer relations. The attendants also reached a consensus on encouraging their students to co-organize joint activities such as Twinnings, JUMPs (Join Us to Motivate People) following the example of Istanbul Technical University Student Committee’s practice regarding this kind of mutual experience sharing. And last but not least, the country representatives gathered to reach a common understanding, found a chance to prepare for the General Conference to be held in January 2016 in Prague.