Upon completing the last week of her internship in the communications department at SWIFT, a large financial services company in Brussels, Katherine Stieren, a strategic communication student, reflects on her experiences during her time abroad.
“I would just like to say that this experience has proved to be everything I expected and more,” said Stieren. “I think studying abroad is one of the most eye-opening, invigorating and amazing experiences a young person could ever have.”
Stieren found adjusting to everyday life in a foreign country to be the most challenging part of living abroad.
“Every day can be challenging, yet invigorating at the same time,” said Stieren. “From the foods at the grocery store to everyone around you speaking a foreign language, nearly every aspect of your life is different from the one you've always known, and you adapt and learn so much very quickly.
Stieren credits her time abroad with expediting her learning.
“I often tell people who ask me about it that I think I have learned about myself and the world in [the last] four months what would normally take someone five years,” said Stieren.
Stieren spent her weekends traveling with friends to different cities including Athens, Dublin and Barcelona. She says she will most miss the constant excitement of traveling and exploring while living abroad.
“There was not a moment when we weren't busy,” said Stieren. “At times it was exhausting, but in such a great way.”
Stieren is spending the last week of her internship at SWIFT creating promotional items for an upcoming internal education event as well as spending time with her parents who are visiting.