A shy and introverted girl who flew to Taiwan alone
What would your first impression be on a Communications student? Extroverted? Lively? Energetic, and probably outspoken? Well, it wasn’t the case for Ong Chia Ping. She was reserved, shy and a rather quiet girl. Nobody would’ve expected her to just board a plane for a volunteering program, all the way to Taiwan, for 6 weeks… all by herself! Yet, she did it.
Meeting so many people from different nationalities was definitely fun and thrilling. Exchanging ideas, comparing different cultures (And yes, Malaysians don’t ACTUALLY live on trees…). However, differences inevitably lead to conflicts. The different intentions, different thinking, different upbringing. But isn’t that what makes us all beautiful? We are all so very different, yet we are here, united for the very same reason. To make a contribution, an impact. To take charge, to slowly, make the world a better place. Chia Ping slowly learned how to not only cope with these differences but to embrace them. She’s figured that tolerance and flexibility could be the key to so many things!
From nothing to a leader
Being a camp leader in different kinds of summer camps in Taiwan was nerve-racking, yet, very, fulfilling. She got to not only be a teacher but a sister to so many children in the camps. Bonds were made, laughter and giggles were exchanged, hearts warmed. So, many hearts. As the days passed, Chia Ping slowly realized how much attached she has gotten with the children. Though most of them were super shy (just like how she originally was) she learned to slowly crack into their shells, and of course, got to know them, not only as participants of the camp, but as friends, and as younger siblings.
How Global Volunteer changed her entirely
Before this, she didn’t even know how to interact with kids- AT ALL! Not only she’s bonded with the children, she also grew really close with her teammates. To her, they were like family whom she could exchange secrets and crazy talks with. Being able to break out from her bubble, was the most remarkable thing which happened to her in the 6 weeks. She also realized that she was able to be really patient when it comes to communicating with people of different backgrounds as her. She learned the importance of listening and understanding. As only by listening, you get to really know people and situations, you get to hear so many different thoughts and ideas, and of course, you would get to know about all the stories and experiences that others have embarked on.
And this time, it is finally Chia Ping’s story to tell.
When would it be yours?
“Have Faith in Yourself and Take a Leap.”
Original story from Ong Chia Ping (Student I Universiti Sains Malaysia)
In AIESEC, we believe in developing leadership through practical experiences in challenging environment, and we do this by delivering cross-cultural exchanges. We have created thousands of stories ever since we started in Malaysia 50 years ago. Here’s just one of them.