How I Became a Better Version of Myself
Part of the International Business Seminars experience is being thrown into a situation that may be unfamiliar to you, learn how to adapt to it, grow as a person and develop the ability to handle unknown situations more effectively. During my experience in Europe, I feel that I not only grew as a person but truly put more effort into doing things that I wouldn’t normally do in an unfamiliar situation. The programs IBS offers are so effective in providing you the tools to overcome obstacles that you may not be comfortable with.
Stepping out of my comfort zone
I am the type of person that isn’t quite comfortable with change. When I considered studying abroad, I knew that it would teach me to accept change and learn how to adapt. My comfort zone was tested on this experience in many ways.
When we arrived in London, we were brought to Lancaster Square where our first assignment was to get back to the hotel with the train system on our own. At first, that was very scary for me because I wasn’t familiar with the area and I didn’t know anyone traveling with me yet.
So, after the leaders left us, I inserted myself into one of the groups and introduced myself. After that, I clicked with that group and connected with them throughout the trip. I began to feel comfortable and adjusted with no issue from then on out.
A big part of my personal growth was the overall confidence in myself. I can honestly say that I now have more confidence in myself than I’ve ever had. I’m more confident in approaching people and most importantly, being myself around new people. This experience has taught me that I’m a great person no matter what others may think.
Experiencing Culture Shock
When traveling to different countries, you’re bound to experience culture shock at some point. For me, Paris and London were the most culture-shocking cities. This was because of the difficulty of knowing that Americans don’t have the best reputation abroad. Being mindful of that, we had to do our best to adapt to others’ cultures.
I adjusted to the culture the best I could and accepted that not everyone is like they are in the U.S. Because of the differences and constant adjustments, I experienced homesickness more toward the end of the trip and was ready to be home. I told myself that this is a once in a lifetime experience that I can do this and that helped me motivate me to try harder. I also talked to my family more and they helped me feel more comfortable.
Making mistakes is a part of life and everyone must overcome their mistakes to become a better version of themselves. I made some mistakes along the way, but that provided learning lessons for me.
One of the mistakes I made was sometimes not being nice to the locals. I feel that I should have been a tad-bit nicer in some of the situations that came about. My advice is to be nice to locals, look at things from their perspective, and ask for help because most of them are more than happy to help.
Another mistake I made was that I packed too much and that made it very difficult to get around. I would say to pack as light as possible to avoid losing anything or struggling to get around.
Overall, my seminar abroad helped me grow personally and allowed me to become a better person. I feel that this experience will help many students survive in this difficult world we live in. This experience will give you the tools to come out of your shell and become a better version of yourself.