By Michael Ballard, Foster Undergraduate and GBC Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient who participated on an exchange with Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.
Study abroad was a life changing experience. It sounds cliché but it is true.
I studied abroad in Rotterdam during the winter of 2016. Almost every weekend I went to a new city and met people from all over the world. I had the time of my life on the beaches of Barcelona and explored Stockholm on my own. I have so many great memories from study abroad it is hard to pick any as better than the rest. Every day is an adventure when you’re abroad, the world is yours and you just are one more plane ticket away from somewhere new.
The best thing about being abroad for me was the friendships I was able to form. In the first day of orientation I met a guy from Argentina and we ended up going on most of our trips together. After the program was over I went and stayed with his family in Buenos Aires for a week. I was able to eat authentic Argentine Asado (BBQ) and explore the city. I even walked by the favelas which was a humbling experience. I am still in touch with my friend and plan on visiting him again soon. I have friend like this in the Netherlands too. In just a few short months I was able to make great friendships that I know will last, that is what I love about my abroad experience.
After going abroad I realized that I wanted to work abroad for most of my career. The world is much bigger than I realized and there are so many different cultures to understand and business practices to learn. It will continue to be important for business leaders to understand the global economy as I grow older and I intend to learn about it sooner than later. I will be pursuing my masters in economics in Stockholm and hope to live there for 5-10 years. It is a huge leap for me but something that I know I am capable of after my abroad experience. Without it I would not have even thought of this plan.
Study abroad is invaluable, take advantage of it while you can!