Why I Decided to Study Abroad
Growing up in the US and Canada, I looked at myself as someone who was fairly culturally adept. In comparison to many of my friends, that was probably true. A few of them had only been to a few states, much less lived somewhere that wasn’t their hometown their entire life.
Once I began college, I recognized that the general population was much more culturally adept than I had thought. This led me to the realization that in order to find success in any company, especially with increased modern-day globalization, experience with different cultures would be invaluable.
Why I decided to study abroad with IBS
Traveling to multiple countries is definitely one of the major benefits of an IBS seminar vs. traditional study abroad opportunities. When it came time to choose between study abroad programs, one of the deciding factors was being able to experience a variety of cultures during one program. Through the Summer Europe Program, I was able to experience six uniquely different cultures in 22 days.
The final deciding factor as to why I chose IBS was because I would be introduced to many different business cultures. Through this program I was able to interact with business leaders and learn how business is conducted in different cultures. Most importantly, I gained priceless information about how people act in business settings throughout the different countries.
For example, we learned how excitement should be toned down when presenting to Germans, how people in the United Kingdom prefer to meet in person, and how much people in Austria respect a genuine gesture of thanks. These are just a few of the things I learned, but each of them may very well make a huge difference in my career one day.
IBS really changed the way that I look at the world. Because of this experience, I developed the confidence and ability to be successful anywhere in the world. Although I don’t have plans to live abroad at this time, I can definitely see myself moving to one of the countries I visited on my IBS trip one day.
If I had only gone to one country, I would have limited my options because I wouldn’t know if I would feel comfortable in other places. What if I didn’t end up liking that once place I went? If it weren’t for this program, I would have never been able to consider moving abroad. I am thrilled to have taken this experience while in school so I can effectively plan the best future for me.