Alumni Spotlight: Melissa Scheve

Melissa is a Business student concentrating on Human Resources in her junior year at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She intends on graduating in late 2020. During her studies, she realized there was a different level of learning environment she wanted to pursue and so she set out on a path of exploration to different worlds through a study abroad program.

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Why did you choose this program?

Taking the leap decision to travel for some of my studies was motivated by my need for hands-on learning. How was I truly going to find out select intel in the perspective of executives from foreign countries? By meeting them in person, listening to their presentations, and asking as many questions as possible! International Business Seminar’s Winter Two program provided me with that and the ability to explore a new city on my own with other students providing the perfect grounds for an all around incredible networking experience! I was also able to do this for course credit even though it was over winter break.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

One of the main reasons I chose IBS specifically was because of their logistics package. I didn’t have to schedule a single flight, hotel, nor most transportation. My only responsibility was to make sure I got on the correct metro line! If problems arose involving any of those things it was not me who had to fix it and that allowed me to fully enjoy the experience instead of focusing on all of the minor details.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

You will meet so many new people in such a short amount of time so do all you can to take it all in! Being actively mindful on journeys like this let you embrace it in a more intimate way allowing you to hold those memories and moments for a very long time. Even though there are a ton of things on the daily to-do list, it is important to try to take it slow!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Wake up in your nice hotel to a complimentary buffet style breakfast before you start your full day. Attend meeting wherever location may be around the city and network for a bit. Then the afternoons and evenings were mine to explore and indulge in my new surroundings! This could mean dinner and a stroll around town, a river cruise, museum tour, or live play!

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Before traveling with strangers to new places, I was worried I wouldn’t find anyone that happened to want to visit the places I wanted to visit in my free time. In reality, it ended up being there were so many students with the same interests as me that we would end up hanging out often allowing us to build relationships over the whole trip.

Was it difficult to travel to a country where your first language is not the main language spoken?

I was not required to learn the full language, but I thankfully had enough time to prepare and was able to learn at least the basics to get around. Once I got there with my toddler knowledge, I quickly realized how easy it would have been for me to learn the full language had I been there a little longer because the locals were more than helpful to answer my broken sentences and many actually spoke my native tongue so the barrier I feared wasn’t really there at all.