My Finance Experience for the IBS Winter Seminar

Young woman standing in a plaza with the Eiffel Tower in the distance

As a college student, going on a trip abroad, long or short, can be expensive. Since this is an expensive investment, it is important to know how other people viewed the trip and learn some tips and tricks from those who have gone before you. I will go into how I funded my trip and detail if I thought the trip was a worthy investment.


Funding for the Program

This seminar I fully paid for by myself. I knew in the summertime that I wanted to be on this trip, so I planned ahead. I worked as many hours in the summer as I could. Because of this I was able to earn a little bit over half of the price of the program. Throughout the fall semester I worked at my school job to continue to earn a good chunk of money through that. I also was lucky enough to be awarded The Founders Scholarship by IBS which helped me with the funding tremendously.

Young woman standing by the Thames river with Tower Bridge in the distance


Was the Investment worth it?

In my opinion, this trip was absolutely worth it. I feel like the length of the program was perfect and our schedule was a bang for our buck. As a group we attended many seminars and city tours/ cultural enrichment areas, but we also were given ample time to see the cities on our own terms. Most afternoons and every night we had off to go wherever we wanted to, as well as a full free day in every city. This schedule allowed us to get incredible learning experiences during the morning/ afternoon and gave us late afternoon/ night to discover all the amazing experiences in London, Paris, and Amsterdam.

The 13-day trip was jam packed, but it was the perfect length. This trip started the day after Christmas and went all the way to the 8th of January. Traveling overseas can be very exhausting, so being able to visit 3 countries is a great value. We had a very tight schedule for the mornings with the seminars so this brought tremendous value because we would have never been able to explore niche parts of the cities and businesses we visited.

A street in a European city bordered by high rise apartments.


Value of the Program before and after attending

Before the program I viewed this opportunity with high value. I will be finishing my MBA with an emphasis in international business, as well as being a student athlete. Even before I was in college, I had always dreamed of studying abroad, but as a student athlete whose season is in the Spring it is highly unlikely to get the chance to. When I saw the timing of the Winter Seminar and the Europe trip in particular, I was ecstatic. I was finally able to fulfill my goal of studying abroad while playing Lacrosse!

After the program I would still highly value this program. It definitely had some hiccups along the way but was exactly what I wanted. I was able to learn about companies and careers I never knew about, as well as getting to know students from across the country I would have never met otherwise. That opens so many doors from a business and personal standpoint.

Two young women standing by the pitch at Chelsea Football Club.


Recommendation for Others 

I would definitely recommend others to invest in a trip with IBS. This trip is reasonably priced for everything that is included and the length is perfect. If you have other priorities, you should be able to get off enough time to get to go. There is also an MBA program that’s the same trip, but the MBA students leave 4 days earlier so it is more cost effective (even undergraduates can do this program).

Some things I would recommend for financing:

  • Plan ahead
    • If you know it may be a challenge to afford the trip plan to go on a later seminar and start saving early.
  • Check for scholarships
    • Your school may have scholarships for study abroad programs, and your school most likely has an international affairs office that you can go to an ask for additional help financing.
    • Check online for scholarships or grants. You may be able to find one online that is specific for study abroad or that is a general scholarship or grant that does not require too much work.
    • Go to the IBS website and look at their opportunities for scholarships that can be awarded to you and take money off of the price.
  • Connect with other participants early
    • We are told to plan our free days out beforehand so you can do everything you want. If you want to plan trips with others in the group connect with them early! This will can help your overall enjoyment of the program.
  • Believe in yourself
    • I know it may seem stressful planning for this trip and getting the money, but the experience will be so worth it! Once you get on the trip, all of the hard work you did to get there will be relieving.
Young woman's photo portrait
Grace Martinez

School: University of Colorado Colorado Springs

"I love being able to come together with people from all around the country to be able to share memories we will remember forever."

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