The moment I’m writing this, I’m already half-way through my time in San Francisco. San Francisco, a city that I was not familiar with at all until three months ago, which now feels like my second home. Exchange is something that changes you in a good way: you go to a completely different and unfamiliar city, you meet new people and you learn about different cultures or ways of living. For me, meeting new people is already the most awesome thing of my whole exchange. I made friends from all over the world and this enables me later on to visit a lot of different cities all over the world with a personal guide.
Personally, I am pretty easy-going when it comes to meeting new people and making friends, but I think going on exchange is exciting for everyone. In the beginning, you will always ask yourself if you would make enough friends there, which makes it pretty scary. However, I can assure you that this is the easiest thing ever. Everybody who’s there on exchange is in the same situation as you and their biggest concern is to make new friends, so you’ll have a ton of friends in no time.
Besides meeting new people, traveling to different areas of the world is another amazing part of your exchange. Currently, I am studying in San Francisco, but I have visited Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, a few Natural parks and, in a couple of weeks, I will be visiting San Diego and Las Vegas. Being able to see many different places during your time as an IBCoM student is just amazing. I think traveling enriches a person’s life, as it provides new knowledge that you would never be able to learn from a book. For example, I have seen the biggest tree that exists on this planet; I knew that it was relatively close to San Francisco and I did read about this natural park, but experiencing something like that is indescribable. So, I am not even going to try do that – the only thing I would say in this case, come and see for yourself!
By Femke Bijl