Jan 2, 2017

Why study abroad | My experience

My biggest achievement of 2016 was having the tremendous opportunity to study in the United States for 6 weeks and traveling among Philadelphia, Washington DC and New York. In the beginning of 2016, I knew I wanted to be more a risk taker, adventurous, step out from the atmosphere I was used to and dive into other opportunities. In fact, the beginning of the year made me research for several hours about international programs, I spent weeks on google on a regular basis searching for summer camps, English courses, volunteering in not developed countries, working abroad during summer..and so on! At that moment, I was still working for a luxury hotel and even though I loved what I was doing and the team I was working with was beyond words, I knew I needed to give a step forward. And that's what I did! I applied for a Business and Leadership program called The Global Village at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, The United States. Since day 1 I was not aware of what this program could benefit myself not only due to professional reasons but also related to personal growth. Living abroad in a multicultural circumstance, working on projects with young leaders passionate about a bright future is something that I did not know much. The truth is I consider most of my friends in Portugal are afraid of thinking out of the box and face challenges, some of them, unfortunately, don't believe in a career, they think they're not good enough and that we should settle down. That's the current way of thinking that I have emerged for quite a few years but I was done. Life's far from being perfect and in a world where, at least in Portugal, our unemployment rate is slightly increasing to tremendous levels we can't stay quite and settle for nothing. We are all worth it, we just need to work harder and make things happen! I have learned a lot with people from everywhere, from Peru to Indonesia or from Africa to the Middle East, the exchange of know-how, values and culture were humongous. My first days in America weren't easy, jet lag was literally killing me, I usually woke up around 4 am because I couldn't sleep more (in Portugal is 5 hours ahead)...a mix of excitement and everything was different. I shared a room with a guy from China, pretty funny tho! But we didn't get along a lot, we're both very busy and in different team buildings. About the program, I must say it was very intense and the key challenge was always to meet short deadlines and dealing with people from different background from mine! Now I understand how important was this experience, definitely, this program was designed to be an approach to the labor market. Working hard with fewer resources, meeting shorter deadlines and deliver the best outcome for customers. Putting work aside, we also had time to travel during weekends and the pictures below stand for this. Above all, I advise each one of you in 2017 to step out from your comfort zone and do something different. You'll be eternally grateful for how much that experience can positively impact your life.
This year I'm going to dive into another challenge soon, again I must say it's hard to pack your bags and leave to the unknown and alone, although I'm sure my current choices will impact my life over the long term. Are you ready to take off with me? 

1 comment:

  1. És uma inspiração para mim, acho que já tinha dito, mas não importa repetir :) Beijinhos


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