Prior to my experience abroad with International Business Seminars, I had traveled outside of the country on one occasion. Alongside my family, we took a week-long cruise to Mexico. Our itinerary brought us to three different ports, each with an afternoon of leisure and exploration.
While that trip was undoubtedly a unique and rewarding experience, it had to be taken with a grain of salt. I can say that I have been to Mexico, but to say I truly experienced it is a bit of stretch. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, because we got what we paid for – a resort style cruise that would give us a tour of Mexico over the course of a week. If anything that vacation gave me perspective; because two summers later I would embark on the Summer Europe Study Abroad Seminar, the journey that would personally redefine my idea of what it meant to travel abroad.
How Being Abroad Breaks Comfort Zones
The thing about committing to a trip such as the seminars provided by IBS is that it forces you to step outside of your comfort zone. For most students, myself included, there’s a lot of ‘first times’ that you experience on a trip such as this one. I chose to stay in Germany for another week after Summer Europe officially wrapped up in London- for 28 days I was away from home.
For 28 days, an ocean separated me from everything I ever knew and loved. Sounds like a pretty big deal, right? That is what I was thinking about on the weeks leading up to the trip. I was setting my course for uncharted territory, at least in life as I knew it. Packing my bags is when I really got anxious – it was becoming real, it was finally happening. But I honestly can’t tell you whatever happened to those anxieties, because the second I stepped off of that Boeing 737 in Munich, I was hit by wave upon wave of awe, wonder, and excitement- for 28 days.
Meeting Friends Through International Business Seminars
There was a total of 33 students on the Summer Europe 2016 Seminar, from about 7 different colleges scattered throughout the United States. In the beginning that meant 32 different faces that I had never met before. I could have never imagined just how close I would become with all of them by the time our journey had run its course. But now I have the luxury of knowing that in any given region of the country, I know at least one person who would gladly welcome me into their home- and it works both ways.
Friends that travel together, are friends that stick together. Fortunately for myself, almost half our group was comprised of fellow students at Louisiana State University. I have been able to connect and hang out with at least ten other students on a regular basis well into the fall semester- all relationships I would have never fostered if I hadn’t taken that first step with International Business Seminars, into the world unknown.
Why You Should Go Abroad
I guess what I’m trying to say is that this opportunity, like all things in life, can be broken down to a rather simple notion. You get what you give. So give yourself the chance to grow as both an individual and a traveler. Give International Business Seminars the opportunity to show you the world in a way which you simply cannot imagine, until you witness it yourself. Give this beautiful world the prospect of a glimpse of what it has to offer. Step outside of your comfort zone, and broaden your horizons.