… If It Is Not Available At Your University
After hearing about how lifechanging IBS Seminars were from my dad and sister’s experiences, I have been adamant about attending one of my own. Once I started at Towson University, I quickly noticed that IBS was not an offered program, but quickly knew that it was still the best fit for me over any other program. With the help of IBS and Towson faculty, I was able to get the program approved and attend the Winter One 2020 Seminar. This blog is meant to help others who might be in a similar situation learn how to get their university to approve a seminar and why IBS is worth the fight. You can receive credit too, here’s how:
MY IBS EXPERIENCE
Ever since I was little, I have had my heart set on traveling and seeing as much of the world as possible, but I have also known I wanted to study abroad specifically through IBS. My dad attended two IBS seminars, the first one being more than 20 years ago and the second being shortly after I was born. About 15 years later, my sister studied abroad on an IBS Summer Seminar in 2014. After hearing my dad and sister talk about how amazing their experiences were, I knew that once I was old enough, I would follow in their footsteps and create my own unique experience.
Fast forward to the summer before my sophomore year of college and I began to really explore what options were available to me. After exploring my university’s offered programs, I wasn’t able to find a program that really fit what I was looking for, except for when I kept looking into the programs IBS had to offer. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to apply for a seminar as my university did not offer their programs, but I was set on pursuing my number one option which was IBS. After lots of help from IBS and my study abroad office, I was able to get the seminar approved to study abroad on the 2020 Winter One Seminar and receive 3 elective credits. I was able to enroll through Northern Illinois University and receive credits from them that would transfer to Towson.
HOW TO GET YOUR PROGRAM APPROVED
To anyone who might be in a similar boat and feels like there isn’t a way for them to receive credit through IBS at their university, do not be discouraged. I was nervous at first taking it upon myself to try and get the program approved, but quickly learned I wasn’t alone. The faculty at IBS was so accommodating and communicative with me as they guided me through the steps, I needed to take to gain my university’s approval. My advice to anyone in a similar situation is to pursue this opportunity. IBS is a once in a lifetime chance that you don’t want to miss out on, just because it is not officially affiliated with your university. Many universities have a non-affiliated appeal form to review different programs that they may not officially offer.
During the process, the faculty and advisors at Towson were very impressed with the program and how much it had to offer, which helped get it approved. IBS helped guide me on what I needed to do to gain credit and helped me enroll in the Northern Illinois program. I currently am working on getting Towson to consider affiliating with IBS and offering their seminars because I truly believe IBS offers the most insightful and well-rounded experiences. It may seem like a long process, but it is more than worth it and with everyone’s help it was a quick and smooth appeal process.
WHAT MAKES IBS WORTH IT?
My IBS experience is something that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I was able to visit some of the coolest cities in the world such as London, Paris, Heidelberg, The Hague, and Amsterdam, along with other places along the way. I learned more about myself in those 16 days than I ever had before and returned home a better person. I made some of the best friends I could ever ask for, some who I still talk to daily and have plans to visit this summer. IBS allowed me to find peers who really pushed me to be my best and it gave us the opportunity to learn from one another.
During our time one of my favorite things was learning about the different businesses we visited and seeing how they operated. After these visits, it gave me more insight into what I want to do and how I could pursue different careers abroad. If I had not been persistent in attending an IBS seminar, I would regret it for the rest of my life. IBS offered the perfect balance of work, travel, and adventure all in one trip. IBS provides a 5-star business experience, in an accelerated amount of time. I was able to explore so much, but also learn in a real-world setting rather than the traditional classroom style that most programs offer.
I’m so thankful I had my dad and sister’s experiences to guide me, but even more, so that I was able to create my own. My final advice is for you to follow your gut and step outside of your comfort zone to create your own unique experience. IBS will open a world full of opportunities for you and memories that will last a lifetime in some of the world’s most amazing places. If you have any questions on how to go about getting an IBS program approved at your university or about my experience please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact IBS.