While I was abroad, every single day provided an opportunity to experience and gain a deeper understanding of European culture. I am a firm believer in the idea that we learn most about ourselves through experiences. Although every day is a different day, each moment in life can provide an opportunity for you to discover something that can be life-changing. During my time abroad, I learned 7 things about Europe that surprised me:
#1. Each country had its own unique culture
One of the greatest things about Europe that I experienced was the ability to witness first-hand how unique each country can be. For instance, traveling from Germany to Austria was like entering a new world – everything from the scenery to the way people interact with each other.
#2. Incredibly Efficient Transportation
Being in a foreign country, trying to navigate from place to place can be a little confusing if you don’t know where to go. I was amazed at how efficient and easy it was to travel around town, especially in cities like Paris and London. The use of the Metro, the Tube, and occasional Uber rides made traveling a breeze!
#3. Picturesque Scenery
From the top of a mountain in Austria to a gondola ride in Italy, I was truly blown away with the beauty of Europe. What I loved about the IBS experience is that you’re constantly moving from country to country and having new experiences every day. Through IBS, I was able to witness some of the most jaw-dropping views and sites that Europe has to offer.
#4 European Food is Tasty
Okay – this one might be obvious to you but to me it wasn’t. Growing up in Louisiana, I was always exposed to savory Cajun dishes that were full of flavor. My standards of what defines a delicious meal are pretty high. I was AMAZED at how tasty European food can be. Here’s a little advice: ask the locals or concierge for recommendations on places to dine. You might just find yourself enjoying eggplant Parmesan while overlooking breathtaking landscapes!
#5 The people were very nice
Upon arrival all the way until I returned home, I was greeted with an overwhelming sense of kindness from locals. I was incredibly surprised at how well I was treated, especially for being an American. Kindness and caring for others are a key to life, and Europe gets that.
#6. Europe is a very clean place
Europeans take pride in how clean their living areas, workplaces, and transportation roadways appear. Walking around you’ll notice that there isn’t trash lying around in the streets and restaurants look like they were cleaned right before you walked in.
#7. How amazing Europe truly is
Never would I have imagined that my IBS experience would be such an exciting adventure. I can honestly say that my time in Europe was life-changing. I made friends that will be friends forever and memories that I’ll never forget. The days and nights went by in a blink-of-an-eye but you know what they say, “time flies when you’re having fun.”
If you’re looking for a journey that will change you as an individual and teach you valuable life-lessons, then the Summer Europe Seminar is for you! It was an incredibly opportunity to earn college credit while visiting some of the world’s most renowned businesses, making new friends, and having a blast! Give yourself a chance to learn your own surprising things about Europe!