Why I Invested in a Trip with IBS
Finding the right study abroad program for you can sometimes be a difficult process. There are many out there to choose from. Many different countries you can visit. Many different things you can study. And there are a lot of decisions to be made. However, choosing to study abroad will be one of the best decisions you will make in college! It truly is an experience of a lifetime.
How I Found IBS
My school hosted a study abroad fair which I made sure to attend. I walked around to many different booths. I collected many pamphlets. I heard from many different people. I probably spent close to 2 hours there.
International Business Seminars caught my eye as I was walking out. I was very excited when their rep was explaining the Summer Europe Program to me. It instantly sounded perfect!
I am studying International Finance and German. I did not want a trip that was entirely in Germany however. Yet I did want the opportunity to practice my German while in Europe. Two of the six cities we would be visiting during the Summer Europe Program were German-speaking cities. It was a perfect balance.
The thought of learning from business executives all over Europe sounded like a dream. I loved that I would not be sitting in a classroom every day. I instead would be able to learn from people who are currently doing what I hope to do in the future. From then on, my mind was set on IBS.
I had never been out of the country prior to my trip. I also did not know anyone else who would be going on the trip. So, the idea that everything was so planned out appealed to me greatly.
They take care of everything, from hotels to buses to public transportation tickets and so much more. And I like that I would have experienced adults with me in case I ran into trouble with something. It took away much of the stress that comes from traveling. I always knew where I had to be and when. I simply just had to show up.
Also, I appreciated that the schedule was all planned out. That allowed me to see how much free time I would have. It was a perfect balance of having planned activities and having time to explore. I valued the wide variety of businesses that we were going to visit as well.
Finally, the idea of meeting people from colleges all over the country intrigued me. There were a lot of other SEC students too, which I thought was cool.
IBS did an incredible job of staying in contact with me before my trip. The IBS team was with me every step of the way, even before I actually applied for the program. That sense of support brought me comfort. It was nice knowing that my every question could be answered almost immediately with an email or phone call.
IBS sends you all the information you need from dress codes for each company visit to the hotel lists. I felt prepared and enjoyed exploring the different links. They also sent a very detailed description of each city we would be visiting. It was helpful to read through in my spare time leading up to the trip and on the plane.
I also spoke with two professors from The University of Alabama prior to my trip. I talked to one of them right before I applied for the trip. He explained to me that he would be going on his first trip with IBS that winter break. I also ended up having him as a professor the following semester. He talked about IBS during one of our classes.
The other professor had been on many trips with IBS. He was able to answer a lot of questions that were specific to Alabama students. He also gave some helpful tips about packing and what to bring. Plus, he gave us recommendations of what to do in each city. I’m glad he encouraged us to go paragliding in Innsbruck.
He talked to me and two other students going on the trip at the same time. I found this to be helpful. It was nice seeing some familiar faces at the airport when I first arrived.
Back to America
I got everything I wanted out of my trip and more. I met so many amazing people, had once in a lifetime experiences and learned more about our company visits that I could ever learn in a classroom.
On the first day, the head professor told us the people we were traveling with would become a family to us. I had my doubts about that though. Little did I know how many adventurous and exciting people I was surrounded by.
I quickly made friends who I felt as if I had known them for years. We did just about everything together from eating meals to jumping off mountains. You form a different type of relationship with people when you share all these amazing world experiences together. Leaving them was quite difficult, but we already have plans to meet up with each other for a football game this fall.
I also valued how everyone looked out for each other. The other students on the trip always had your back. Everyone was easy to get along with, and it was fun going out with the whole group.
Talking to the locals was one of my favorite parts of the trip. You never knew who you would meet and what their life was like. From German psychologists to Italian waiters, and many more, I valued each conversation I had with European natives. It was interesting to compare lives, hear about their thoughts of America, and also get some good recommendations on sights to see our restaurants to eat at.
The company visits each provided an interesting insight into the world of international business. Each of the companies had their own interesting infrastructure and business initiative. We were able to explore an arrangement of products, from luxury cars to olive oil, along with service providing companies.
These seminars provided me with a new take on how to tackle business. They opened my eyes to parts of a business I have never considered. They give me a better idea of how to approach certain business-related concepts. And it was an overall very pure learning experience.
I am beyond grateful for all of the life experiences and friendships IBS has provided me with. It was truly the greatest three weeks of my life and it was the best decision I have ever made.