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What I Learned Outside the Classroom While Studying Abroad

By ideba | February 2, 2016

Earlier this month, I returned from 4 months of studying in the Czech Republic. As expected, it was an unbelievable experience and I will never forget the people I met, the places I saw and the amazing experiences I had.

You often hear of people going traveling and ‘finding themselves’ in one way or another. I can’t say this was my case, nor did I expect it to be. However, I did learn a few simple things about myself that I hadn’t initially expected. Traveling alone is not liberating. It’s terrifying.

I really did not expect to react this way to being by myself to get from point A to point B. I consider myself fairly independent and thought I would absolutely love the chance to adventure solo. While actually being in a new city by yourself can be a lot of fun and you may stumble upon something you might have not had the chance to see if you were with others and on someone else’s schedule, actually getting from one side of Europe to the next is not something I enjoyed venturing into alone. Mind you, I got lost in multiple subway stations, missed a few busses and by the time I got to my destination at 2 AM, my luggage that was shipped prior to my arrival, had not actually arrived. All in all not a great experience. I am far too reliant on my iPhone.

I formed an unhealthy relationship with my phone years ago. I never truly understood how much I depended on the technology that fit in my pocket until it literally became my lifeline. All at once it became my one source of contact to my family back home, my currency converter, my translator, my camera and of course, my map. Nothing can describe the panic I felt when I was at 10% battery and lost in suburban Munich at midnight trying to find my Air BnB (which I had booked from my phone, of course). I learned over the last 4 months the peace that can come from putting the electronics aside for a bit now and then and refocusing on what’s actually in front of you. I need structure in my life

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Ideba strongly believes in supporting the communities where we work and live with education initiatives, activities that promote local businesses, and best practices to support the environment.

Making a Difference | A Commitment to Education

Ideba is committed to making a tangible difference in the lives of young learners. We are privileged to partner with JPMorgan Chase and Schoolhouse Supplies to provide classroom supplies to students at Boise Elliot School in NE Portland, and West Union Elementary School in Hillsboro, Oregon. We’re also pleased to provide faculty at West Union with tickets to arts and cultural events, as a “thank you” for their contribution to the lives of young students. We’ve recently extended this initiative to a school in Uganda, and are now cross-pollenating programs between there and Hillsboro, creating cultural and Arts exchange programs between the two schools. As well as providing classroom and arts supplies in Uganda for a full year, we’re thrilled to have provided solar lanterns to every student and faculty member, so that they can complete homework, and provide light to their families at the same time.

In addition to these initiatives, Ideba is also proud to continue its support for the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business, where we provide paid internships as a part of the co-op program, volunteer at mock interview clinics for students and through one-on-one mentorships, and support multiple Commerce Society events throughout the year.

And in New York, Ideba supports several schools in the South Bronx, with class trips to the Metropolitan Museum of Art,

and sports equipment for boys and girls of low income families. In 2014, we worked closely with two world-class soccer players in these efforts – Jesus Navas, who represented Spain in the 2012 World Cup Final, and Bruno Zucculini, captain of the Argentinian Under 21 national team, and one of the future stars of world football.

Interested in learning more, please email davids@idebamarketing.com

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