Personal Growth Through Studying Abroad

My experience with International Business Seminars (IBS) has been life-changing, to say the least. So far, I have done two seminars with IBS and both experiences were monumental and unique. Traveling abroad pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me things I could have not anticipated before the trip. I grew up in a small town in South Louisiana and did not have many opportunities to leave the bayou. I always wanted to travel abroad but did not have a group of friends or family who wanted or could afford to join me.

As soon as I transferred to LSU and heard about IBS, I knew the program was for me. I confronted my family about the experience and they did not approve of the idea of me leaving the bayou, but I knew this opportunity was one I had to take advantage of.

Studying Abroad Round 1: Asia

I picked the Southeast Asia study abroad program and was determined to attend. I worked all semester to pay for my dream of going abroad. I accepted every “odd job” I was offered such as; cleaning, painting houses, organizing home offices, babysitting, tutoring (to name a few). I ended up raising enough money to attend the Southeast Asia program and the experience completely changed my life.

My seminar abroad taught me independence, professionalism, responsibility, and how to engage in a business environment effectively. I came back to the United States with not only new skills but new motivations. Upon returning I started taking my career more seriously and others started looking at me differently as well. Recruiters started to notice me and my experience abroad was considered a valuable asset. I was able to stand out during interviews and never ran out of things to talk about.

I decided to be an alumni ambassador for IBS and could not be happier with the decision. I grew close to everyone I encountered through the experience and it gave me the motivation to try to participate in the Summer Europe program. After accepting a scholarship from IBS and working more “odd jobs” to help pay for my trip, I was able to achieve my goal and Europe changed my life yet again.

Studying Abroad Round 2: Europe

Europe taught me independence in a greater way; it taught me that I have the tools necessary to do whatever I wish. Europe was a whirlwind and something I will remember for the rest of my life. Upon returning I found a new confidence within myself.

Shortly after my trip abroad, I traveled to Washington DC for an accounting conference. I found myself adventuring alone during the conference (something that no one else did on the trip did) and was complimented on my independence by numerous people. After reflection, I definitely have my experiences abroad to thank for this new-found confidence and independence. I have always been an independent person, but my travels have pushed me to a new level of independence and I am super thankful for the opportunity to grow with the experiences I gained while studying abroad.

Emily Arceneaux View Full Bio

School: Louisiana State University

Not only was this a valuable experience for both professional and educational growth, but I believe this experience improved me as a person.

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