I recently participated in the International Business Seminar Winter Southeast Asia program. In January of 2020, we traveled to Bangkok Thailand, for about a week. We then traveled to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, for a few days. Thailand is somewhere I have always wanted to go, so I knew I had to get in on this trip. It’s funny when I was little I spent so much time thinking about traveling to all of these faraway places, but when my dream became a reality and I was actually going to get to go to Thailand, I did not really know what to expect upon arrival in Bangkok. I knew I was nervous and that I expected a big city feel, but I had no other expectations. This is what it felt like to travel to Southeast Asia…
When I first arrived in Thailand, I was greeted by friendly IBS staff. They were all very nice and welcoming, despite it being 5 AM. I remember being so nervous that I was going to be all alone on that entire trip. Thankfully, this was not the case. We all took a bus to the hotel, and It was about an hour bus ride. This was the first time I really got to take in the city. There was so much chaos with traffic and all of the people. It was so surreal. I even saw a monk walking across the road with no shoes on.
Meeting New People
Anyway, despite all of this excitement, I was still so nervous about meeting new people. It is so hard when you are just all thrown together and you have to meet and make new friends. It was especially hard to travel all the way across the world alone. However, the good news is that everyone is in the same boat. Everyone is just as nervous and scared as you, no matter how much travel experience they have had. This was probably the thing I was most nervous about. However, International Business Seminars makes it so easy to meet new people. They assign you a roommate, which actually is very helpful because then you do not have to worry about trying to pick one yourself. They also do a networking and icebreaking thing the first night that everyone is there together. Everyone is so jet-lagged it is almost comical, but because everyone is so tired, they make it super short and sweet. This is helpful because you can meet everyone and learn all of their names, and then just go straight to bed. No pressure is put on hanging out with them for hours.
After the first night with everyone, things become a little less scary. You get to know all of the faces better, and you start remembering people’s names. You do have a lot of free time, but you also are with these people a lot. All of the time spent on the bus and at meals really add up. The point is, International Business Seminars really does a good job of introducing you to people. The rest becomes super easy. You are all in a foreign country together, so you can all bond over that. Also, most people are getting school credit for the trip, so if all else fails, you can talk about your major or common business goals with other people. The bottom line is you should not be nervous to meet new people. You all will have some things in common and those things will be good talking points to become friends. IBS really helps you form relationships with the people you are with. This was an amazing trip for me and the people made it even better!