To get involved with IFSA, the best way is to take part in your Local Committee's activities!
If you wish to directly assist IFSA in a more professional capacity, you may wish to:
- Join a Commission
- Take an official position
The easiest way to join IFSA is by joining the Local Committee at your university. Check the Members & Memberships page to see if there is an IFSA group at your university. If there is, please get in contact with them.
If there is no such group at your university, you can form a student association with your student colleagues and found a Local Committee.
Every student can join a commission. Simply contact the head of the commission you are interested in joining, for contact details for each of the commissions please click here. It's important to sell yourself when you contact the head of the commission; by explaining who you are, why you wish to join and what skills you can bring.
You can also join a commission during the General Assembly, held at the annual IFSS. Additionally, everybody can subscribe to the corresponding mailing list(s) – ask the Head of the Commission how to do that. Find the information on the commissions’ activities in annual and other reports.
Furthermore, you can join more than one commission! Don’t be shy, we encourage and welcome people who can contribute with action and ideas.
First of all: everybody member of IFSA can become an official.So, how can you apply?
- Inform yourself about the position. Read the job descriptions. You may also find useful information when reading annual and other reports in the documents section. You can also contact the person, which currently holds the position and ask for more details.
- Make a decision: You’ll have to do the job for at least one year. Will you be able to find enough time? Do you really want to do the specific job
- Apply for the job. You have different options:
- Send a short application to the Vice President (email) and a copy to the Secretariat (email), explaining why you want to do the job, and why you think that you are qualified. You must do that prior to the General Assembly Sessions.
- You can also apply in a less formal way. You can nominate yourself during the General Assembly Sessions. This requires your physical presence.
- Someone else nominates you as a candidate during the General Assemby Sessions, in case you are not present there.
- The General Assembly will vote for the candidate(s). Not all positions require election.
- If you are elected to a position, you finally have to confirm the election’s result.
All new officials express their goals and ideas for the year ahead during the last General Assembly session. Evaluation of progress is done by reporting through the year and during the Interim meeting and IFSS at the end of the term.
You will find an overview about the most important positions here.
Being an official takes as much time as you put in! Being a member of a commission is the least demanding position (though depending on the commission you choose for). Work in the commission is shared amongst commission members, so that everybody has a task.
Being Regional Representative or Liaison Officer gives you a concrete direction to work. Focussing on a part of the world or an international organization, these officials are contact persons between IFSA Direction and others.
Direction and Council positions are quite demanding. Leading an international organisation takes a lot of energy. Diverse issues come up, many people contact you with questions or demands. However these positions are interesting and an experience of a lifetime!
Except for the role of President, all positions are are possible to undertake while being full time student. Of course it depends on how much time you are willing to spend on your position. Even being President has been done before by full time students, but it requires a lot of efficiency and hard work to do so.
To give an indication of time needed for being an official: commission members would need from one or a few hours per week up to a few hours a day in busy times of year. Being Direction member will cost you several hours a day up to whole days in some times of year.
Extensive descriptions of the various positions you will find in the documents section with Job Descriptions.
The documentation How to run a Local Committee and organize events will give you some good ideas. There are a lot of different things you can do, depending on your preferences:
- Join an international or regional meeting
- Participate in international activites of ISFA
- Organise a meeting of students. They usually include a scientific purpose
- Organise an informal meeting or exchange with another Local Committee
- Organise seminars, invite specialists
- Make a foresters' competition
- Organise forest classes for childs
- Make excursions, barbecues, hitch hiking contests...
If you are a couple of encouraged students at your university, you can do practically anything you want! Just take the chance!
A crucial aspect you have to consider is that you normally need money for your activities. Getting this money is called fundraising. How to do that effectively is described below. In exceptional cases, IFSA can provide you with financial help (see Development Fund in this section).
Visit the Membership fees section for further information.
If you know that your Local committee will have difficulties paying the fee, contact the Treasurer (firstname.lastname@example.org) and a solution will certainly be worked out.
A good start is always your own faculty. Being part of IFSA, you are also representing your university. This representation and promotion of your university may be rewarded! Also try to contact companies and organizations from your neighborhood or country. Often there are folders available at universities documenting funds available for students doing particular activities.
A good online start is to take a look at the following websites:
IFSA has a "Development Fund". When there is money available, IFSA Direction will send out an email via the IFSA World mailing list, and post on the website, advertising the possibility to apply for the Development Fund. Be sure you are on the mailing list and visit the website!
Sometimes IFSA has joint projects with other organizations through which funding is available. In such case, it will always be announced through mentioned media.
IFSA can unfortunately not financially support initiatives from Local Committees. Fundraising for meetings like IFSS, regional meetings or local events is expected to be done by the organizers.
In IFSA language we use a lot of abbreviations and a specific terminology. The most commonly used ones are:
- APRM: Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting
- Commission: An international IFSA working group on a distinct topic. A person who is part of a commission is a ''commissioner''
- Council: Lawers of IFSA, responsible of the coordination of several IFSA Regions
- CARM: Canadian-American Regional Meeting
- GA: General Assembly
- IFSA Seven/IFSA7: The seven people working in the Direction and Council; the board
- IFSS: International Forestry Students’ Symposium
- LARM: Latin American Regional Meeting
- LC: Local Committee
- LO: Liaison Officer
- NERM: North European Regional Meeting
- NARM: Northern African Regional Meeting
- Official (person): Someone, who cares responsibility for IFSA, excluding commissioners
- RegRep/RR: Regional Representative
- SERM: South European Regional Meeting
- SARM: Southern African Regional Meeting
English is the official language of IFSA. However, other languages are also used within the regions to ease the communication.