I partook in the Summer 2018 Europe seminar through International Business Seminars. This trip, in only a few words, has completely changed my outlook on business and life in general.
Before deciding to do the study abroad program, I was waiting on a sign. One of my closest friends said she could not wait to experience this with me, so obviously I could not wait to have her by my side to go through this trip with. Once it came down to the final sign-up date, it turned out she had not even done any research or tried to budget for the trip, although we had been speaking about it for months. At that point, I had paid the down payment, but I was absolutely terrified to go now that I knew I would be alone.
On the Plane
Going into this trip, I knew absolutely no one. I met some of my group at the airport on the way to London. I sat towards the back of the plane, so seeing familiar faces walking around during the long flight really eased my mind, even if I barely knew them. Once we landed we all met up to go through customs together and made sure everyone knew what to expect.
This is where I met my soon to be best friend, Lele. Turns out she sat behind me the whole flight and I had no idea she was traveling with IBS. We were inseparable the whole rest of the trip. I found myself drawn to how open-minded and confident she was, and later I found out she thought the same of me. We went on all the adventures and spent all of our free time making memories together. I cannot even put into words how I could not imagine this trip without her, because when I started to retract back into my shell she would immediately pull me out and push me to try and do everything we could in every city to make sure we both got to experience it all.
Throughout the trip, you get paired to room with different people in every country, so you get to meet a lot of new faces this way as well. The last two countries Lele and I were able to room together and those were my favorite times of the whole trip! On the last morning of the trip, she was not traveling back with us to the United States because she was staying an extra three weeks to travel abroad with her family. I was so upset to leave her, and at that moment, I could not believe how close we had gotten in just 23 short days. The group I formed are now still some of my closest friends that I still talk to weekly and see on campus constantly.
I could say, with no hesitation, the most impactful part of this trip for me personally was meeting all of these new people and being pushed out of my comfort zone. I am forever thankful for IBS for this opportunity of growth that doesn’t happen in an everyday sort of environment.