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(E) About IAESTE and IAESTE Croatia
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  03/11/2002 | Education | Unrated
(E) About IAESTE and IAESTE Croatia 
The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experiences the biggest international organization for the exchange of students according to the number of trainings exchanged. It’s non-political, independent non-governmental organization which maintains a consultative relationship with different agencies of the UN and also contacts ECA, FAO, OAS, EU as well as many educational non-governmental organizations. 
The Association was founded in January 1948 in London by the National organizations of ten European countries which were also the first members. During years, number of members increased not only in Europe but throughout the world. 
IAESTE organization is present in more than 60 countries round the world where IAESTE organizations are either full members of the international IAESTE (51 countries including IAESTE Croatia) or associate members (5 countries). There are also co-operating institutions. 
The basic aim is to provide students at institutions of higher education with technical experience abroad relative to their studies (to widen and improve their knowledge), to promote international understanding and goodwill amongst the students of all nations, irrespective of race, color, sex or creed, to operate the exchange program for the benefits of students, academic institutions and other organizations offering traineeship. 
It’s the confederation of National Committees which represent academic, industrial, student spheres of interest. Each national Committee is responsible for the administration of the exchange in its own country. The representatives participate on the annual General Conference where issues related to the management of the organization are discussed and the exchange of the training offers is conducted. The annual number of the exchanged trainings is higher than 6000. Before the General Conference all the members are obliged to collect the offers from the employers willing to receive foreign students fro a temporary training period. The offers have to be closely connected to the fields of study as a supplement to their university or college education. The offering companies or institutions are expected to pay students a wage sufficient to cover the costs of living during training period. The exchange is done on reciprocal basis and National Secretariats select qualified students according to specifications of the employer stated on the training offers. Details of candidates selected are sent to the employers for approval and then they decide if they accept the student nominated or not. 
IAESTE is present in Croatia since 1952. During the process of Croatia becoming an independent state, IAESTE Croatia was formed under the sponsorship of the University of Zagreb. Today IAESTE Croatia is a full member of the international IAESTE organization (since 1993). 
During past four years, training offers were given to 200 students from Croatia who traveled to Austria, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Japan, Malta, Norway, Sweden and other countries. The periods were from 4 weeks to 12 months. Students were able to gain new experience related to their future profession improve foreign languages, meet people and different cultures. 
The existence of the IAESTE Croatia is insured by volunteer work of students who are collecting training offers and sponsorships, organizing summer reception for foreign students coming to Croatia and doing administration or any other kind of work. Today IAESTE Croatia is present on all four Croatian Universities (Osijek, Rijeka, Split and Zagreb) through Local Committees. 
With the aim of improving our work, volunteers in the IAESTE Croatia are devided into 4 groups of which each has its own field of work. They co-operate if necessary. Each group in every Local Committee has its own coordinator - one of them is also a coordinator for the whole IAESTE Croatia. 
The most important work in the IAESTE, for which it exists, is to collect and then to exchange as many training offers as possible. Of course, it all takes lots of time and effort and work which includes hundreds of phone calls, faxes, letters etc. This work is done by the Administration Group. 
Our work is partly sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Croatian Universities, but it’s still not enough for financing our work so we have to search for sponsors and organize presentations named "Career Day". This important work is done by the Finance Group. 
The Marketing Group is dealing with publishing IAESTE Newsletter and other publications, as well as contacting media with the aim of presenting the organization and work that has been done. 
To foreign students who come to Croatia, certain food and accommodation level has to be offered. They are supposed to be waited for at the Station or Airport, taken to work on a first day and entertained which means that meetings and excursions and one day trips are organized so that their stay in Croatia remains memorable. This is the task of the Summer Reception Team. 
No matter what has been done till now, the aim of the organization’s work is still going to be higher and more qualifying level of the training offers exchanged, better promotion of IAESTE Croatia and Croatia as a country worldwide, organizing meetings for both students and employers. This is the one way for students, future employers, to realize present problems in Croatia today and determine possibilities which can improve conditions in Croatian Economy by their knowledge and experience. 
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