I first heard of International Business Seminars from a friend of a friend. Before then, I had hoped to travel abroad through my university. A mix up with my study abroad office left me out of luck after all the application dates had already passed. I took the next week coping with the realization that I would not be able to fulfill my goal of going abroad during college. Then, at a family dinner one night I overheard someone talking about the IBS program. After googling and researching their website I figured I better give them a call and see if I was eligible to go on their upcoming seminar. Within two weeks, I had called, signed up, and gotten approval through my university to receive credit. The signup process was so easy and it definitely helped that the employees at the IBS Headquarters were extremely kind and there for me each step of the way. They encouraged me to call with any questions I encountered along the way, and always got back to me within 24 hours. Their help and care relieved some of my stress and made me more excited to go abroad.
Deciding to go abroad was something I had wanted to do for years. Having this mindset, there weren’t too many things that made me nervous. But, as always, planning a major trip like this comes with its fair share of stress. The things I were most concerned about were meeting and getting along with all of the other 37 students, staying safe during the New Year, and packing the right clothes for all the events and seminars throughout the 16 day program.
Quickly, my nerves for meeting everyone went away. Right as we arrived we held a mini orientation session and everyone introduced themselves. It also helped that everyone was starving after arriving at the hotel so we broke off into groups to find places to eat. That first meal really calmed my nerves because I realized that all the other students were in the same boat as me. We were all meeting new people and venturing off into a new city. Sharing a meal with everyone on that first night was helpful. Personalities started to show and everyone started to relax and have fun. After that first night, I had no more stress that I wouldn’t have a friend to explore the new countries with. In fact, I had 37 new friends.
Another thing that made me cautious was staying safe through the New Year. I always heard about random attacks on New Year’s crowds in different countries and worried that our group would be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I combatted this anxiety by signing up for a text message service that alerted people abroad when there was a threat to certain areas. I also printed off the emergency plans that IBS sent us and had those with me in a folder during the trip. Another thing that helped was surrounding myself with the majority of the group. It really helped that almost everyone decided to ring in the New Year’s together at the same location. Having this peace of mind that I was safe and with friends really calmed my mind about anything going wrong. I also had to tell myself to take the mindset of not living in fear. If I would have let my nerves take over I wouldn’t have been able to experience the New Year in the heart of the city of London the way that I did.
The last thing that made me nervous was packing. I was so concerned that I was going to overpack, or that I would not have packed the right business formal clothes. So, what helped the most was preparing. I made a list in advance of things I would need to go buy. I also laid out outfits that had similar pieces in them so that I could re-wear a lot of my items. I went through the reading materials that IBS sent me and looked at the example photos of other students. Something I would have gone back and changed though was to leave a little room for purchases. I think I forgot that we were traveling to major cities where there were great shopping options everywhere we went. If ever I had forgotten something I had a handful of opportunities to go and pick something up. Overall, I think I did a great job of preparing and packing.
International Business Seminars provided me with an outstanding level of care and help throughout the process of signing up and throughout the entirety of my trip. I was so at ease with going abroad specifically because the IBS team made me feel comfortable and at home. They took away the majority of my stress and helped ease the nerves I still had. If ever you find yourself asking questions about the program, the signup process, or details about the trip, I highly recommend just giving IBS a quick call. They always answer and are always there for you. So don’t stress!