International Internships – Why I Pay it Forward
As I sit on the airplane waiting to take off it hits me again... I'm traveling once more. This time I'm off to Lisbon and London for a total of 10 days, and I've just come to realize how long it has been since I last had this feeling of excitement for the unknown adventure that lay before me.
My name is Alex and I work in international education; specifically, international internships. Now it's funny to say that because I really work in an office, at a desk most days, and though my field is international education, most times my work travel takes me no farther than to get the mail every day. I've worked for Global Experiences for roughly 3 1/2 years, and in that time span I've helped hundreds of students travel abroad, and spoken with thousands more, and as a program alum I've always been able to speak to the life changing experience of living and working abroad.
"It's amazing! It will change your perspective, make you more independent and confident!" It is easy to say these things when speaking to students, but it is very difficult to actually help someone understand the profound impact that travel can have. One of the difficult things about working in international ed though, is that while we get to speak about our past experiences it becomes more and more difficult to continue our own traveling ways. As more time goes by we tend to forget the little things about traveling, like the initial anxieties that give way to exhilaration as you explore and meet new people.
In my ten days abroad I was able to get comfortable in 2 new cities, try some of the most amazing food I've ever had, make friends with a few locals, and meet some amazing interns. Normally we get to live precariously through our program participants, but to be there to welcome them for what will be an incredibly fun and valuable summer reignites that passion inside.