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July 19, 2011

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Home » Metro » Education

Global student group seeks recognition

A popular global organization run by college students for overseas internships is having trouble winning recognition from Shanghai-based universities that cite safety concerns and involvement in commercial activities.

Fudan University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University refuse to recognize AIESEC, an international non-governmental organization that provides its members with what it says are more meaningful alternatives to the university-run overseas internship programs.

The two Shanghai universities prevent their students from conducting any AIESEC activities on campus.

Nevertheless, more than 500 college students in Shanghai have applied for AIESEC's overseas internships this summer in hopes of working, living or volunteering abroad.

Many students started their internship trips at the beginning of July to more than twenty countries, according to AIESEC's Shanghai branch.

Although AIESEC retains its popularity among students, its unrecognized status in some universities has brought hardship.

Lu Huiyu, vice director of AIESEC's branch committee at Fudan University, told Shanghai Daily that the committee was forced to organize this year's recruitment session in a cafe outside the school.

It had to play hide and seek with school authorities after Fudan University called a stop to AIESEC in 2007 because the university officials found that it was involved in a "business operation."

"The organization works just as an overseas internship recruitment agent," according to Mei Xian, a Fudan University official in charge of student association.

Lu said AIESEC is not officially recognized as a non-governmental organization.

"Many students like our programs and tell their friends to join in," said Lu.

As overseas internships become more popular, students are calling for more choices in international programs, especially those that allow them to volunteer in programs like helping people with AIDS or working in leadership programs to help local students.


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