After spending almost three months in France, I have learned so much about my career, my relationships with people, and myself. First, group projects are just as encouraged at Audencia here as they are back at UW. Before studying abroad, I would feel comfortable in saying that I am a strong team player. I had no idea how much my teamwork skills would grow after being in a group of five people from four different countries. Learning from my teammates’ unique perspectives concerning how to approach and solve problems has been priceless. Also, I’ve learned how different a phone interview is between a live one. It only took me to absolutely embarrass myself and completely blow two phone screenings. Oh well. I now know that accurate preparation is essential and self creation of an interview atmosphere can be vital to your performance.
As you can imagine, being away from home has made me appreciate my family and friends more in Seattle. Also, I’ve learned how quickly newly made friends can become family. A month ago, I spent my first birthday without my family and friends at home. After spending 10 hours at school, I was jamming to my Ipod as I walked home from the tram looking forward to a Nutella sandwich and my bed. As I walked into the residence, I turned to the lobby to see all of my international friends singing to me in front of a table covered with desserts, candy, Spanish hot chocolate, and Candle-topped cake especially for me. It was so touching to see so many people taking the time to make sure my day is special.
For me, travelling abroad has opened my eyes to so many things in the world. Putting it straight, simple, and grammatically incorrect, I’ve learned that “Distance makes the heart go fonder” conquers over “out of sight, out of mind,” Time isn’t borrowed – rather given for a purpose, hot dogs and corn can be a good replacement for expensive veggies and meat when you are experimenting in the kitchen, and a simple change of your attitude can change your whole day.