Is It Worth It?

Travel to London and Paris on a Student’s Budget

Some might ask how I was able to afford this amazing opportunity. I am a full-time master’s student and have a full-time job. It can be difficult at times, as days can grow long, and it feels that there is little time to enjoy life outside of work and school. However, I was able to finance my program by working. I am very lucky, as I love my job! I love what I do, however, it’s a privilege to be able to take time off and travel throughout Europe. After saving for a few months, this program felt like a dream come true. I was able to escape my reality for a few weeks to relax in London and Paris!

Since this program was announced well ahead of time, I was able to save up to attend. We all must make sacrifices and choices, for what we want in life. For example, while I was saving for this trip, I made more food at home and spent a little less going out. It might be tough to think about, but all those Starbucks trips add up! I was also awarded the Founders Scholarship, which gave me an extra $500 towards the program. Not only did this money go towards the program cost but allowed me to add a day of independent travel! I am truly grateful for this scholarship and the opportunities it has provided for me.

My investment was worth the experience. Not only was I able to travel to London and Paris, but I was able to apply these credits for my master’s program. I am near the end of my program, with just one last class left! I felt like this was a way to celebrate my accomplishments in this program and put my knowledge to the test in a different country. In the master’s program, we learn about different businesses and how they operate abroad. However, it’s one thing to read about it, and it’s entirely different to be able to experience it. With this trip, I was able to apply my knowledge and skill set developed over the years. Personally, if I end up getting a second master’s degree in my lifetime, I will do this all over again! It feels bittersweet to finish my degree, yet I am SO happy I was able to do so by visiting Europe. The International Business Seminars program allowed me to travel all around London and Paris to see new sights. These memories will last a lifetime to come.

I can say that I was a little hesitant to enroll in the IBS program, as I don’t know very many people from my school. I enrolled in the majority of my courses online. As I mentioned, I work full time and online courses fit my schedule better. I’ll just say it – I was very nervous to be around a new group of people, whom I have never met. With this said, it was likely that I was going to be traveling alone for most of my trip. However, after a few long phone calls with International Business Seminars, my nerves were eased. The team mentioned that I would have tons of opportunities to network, make new friends, and connect with other members on the program.

With all this said, the timing needs to be right for you to take this step to travel and learn. Right before attending this trip, my father passed away. Grief can be a very difficult thing to deal with, yet when I mentioned this to an IBS leader, they immediately sent me a plant. This brought me comfort and ease headed into this trip. It showed that IBS truly cares about the students who are attending. This plant now sits in my kitchen window. It’s a constant reminder of just how good and caring people can be, especially the people who work at IBS.

The IBS program is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Not only does it provide the opportunity to connect with others, but it allows for individual growth. I was able to experience London individually and do the things that excited me. Usually, I am uncomfortable being alone, but this trip allowed me to get to know myself better. Not only did this provide professional growth, but personal growth as well. This program is well worth the investment. After the program, I felt immensely grateful for my ability to attend. It’s a blessing to be able to travel.

Color photo portrait of a young person wearing sunglasses looking at a sunset.
Jessica Mckee

School: California Lutheran University

"I love to live life to the fullest with food, travel, and education!"

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