I have had 3 crazy months here, traveling and touring all day, going out and meeting new people, and learning and trying so many new things. I have learned a lot about myself, about life, about who I am and what I want, and about what really matters to me in life. I have had a relaxing and fun semester, kind of like a long vacation, and a week of stressful schoolwork and extreme homesickness. This past week was the most difficult week here because all of the “studying” part of “studying abroad” and all that I had put off for the past 3 months finally caught up with me. I had tests, projects, presentations, papers and finals, and a 3 day seminar class on international business 10 hours every day for 3 days in a row. Today, I had a picnic in the park while I studied for my last test next week, and started some research for my paper and presentation due Tuesday. That is one thing I am not looking forward to; I cannot wait until classes are officially over!
Surprisingly, I developed a passion for international business as we learned about leadership strategies and examined case studies for large businesses such as Starbucks and Walmart. My team and I gave a professional presentation on the proposal of the expansion of the starbucks market in singapore and worked together as a group to come up with several creative and innovative ideas and presented to our professor who played the role of an actual investor considering giving us $0.5 billion! Singapore is a relatively small country with 70+ locations already in existence so rather than expanding by adding more locations, we decided to expand by creating techniques to attract more customers (such as creating a partnership with apple and incorporating an app to directly order your drinks from your phone from virtually any location in singapore). I was so proud of myself for learning how to really think like a businessperson while at the same time adapting to the culture and lifestyle of the country and helping people in the process of making money. I discovered new ways of doing things in the business field around the world, and I even wrote an executive report of the expansion of walmart in china!! There were alot of aspects we had to research and consider and apply into our report but the main section i was in charge of was creating new ideas that would work specifically in China, and I never expected myself to understand, apply, and actually enjoy doing something like this.
After all that I have been through here, I have made it to my last week and surprised myself; I never thought I would say this, but i have fallen in love with Strasbourg. I love the people, the culture, the language even, and the environment and the country as a whole. But most of all, I am in love with the college age students and college town environment and atmosphere of everyday life; I’ve experienced so much through classes. BDI, and going out and meeting french locals. I always said that I love France but i am in love with the US, but I have given in and this place has stolen my heart. I am still eager to be home, but no longer in the same way as before, because i know i will miss this little French college town that will have a place in my heart forever. I now only have a few weeks until I return home, and I intend to make the most of every day and live fully in each moment for the remainder of my time here. I am more content and happy than I have ever been before in my life, and I am so blessed and grateful to have had this opportunity of a lifetime to study abroad in Europe.