Our two weeks in Ireland are over, and the majority of the group left for the States. I am staying and continuing my overseas education by exploring Edinburgh, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Yesterday, I got a firsthand look at Aer Lingus’ customer service branch and the stress of working in the operations sector of an airport. It is high stakes. With failure to deliver comes cost to the airline (free flights and night’s lodging for the customer) as well as potentially lost business.
In my case, our flight to Glasgow was overbooked and we would not be able to make it there until late at night after an entire day of travelling. After some discussion, my mother and I decided to go directly to Edinburgh, since we had planned a short time in Glasgow anyway. I am glad we were able to extend our time in Edinburgh as it is beautiful here. The tourism industry for the city is huge and with summertime approaching, I am seeing many international people (specifically French for some reason). It is interesting to see the differences between cities such as Dublin and Edinburgh. I wish my classmates were here to experience this with me, as I know they would love it too.
At times, travelling with twenty people felt burdensome. Leaving my classmates behind, I felt like I dropped off my luggage. At times on the trip, I felt very lonely. I think this was mainly because I didn’t know my classmates prior to the trip. This was the point: to get out of my comfort zone and expand my network within CBA. I certainly have achieved these goals. Now that the trip has ended, however, I miss my “luggage”. My twenty new friends have returned to the states. When I see something abroad I want to point out to one of them, they aren’t here to share that moment with me. There is something disappointing about that.
Of course the program seeks to expose students to globalization and give students a sense of what it is like to travel for work. Surely, Plus3 accomplishes these goals. As a professional, I will be highly aware and hopefully sensitive to differences in cultures. I will take the time to research a country and its customs before conducting business in the area. Still, I learned much more from the program. The invaluable pieces are the experiences shared and the bond created with peers and advisors alike. A few people have asked me if I would do it again. My answer is yes. Absolutely yes. And I recommend others do as well. They will grow in ways they never imagined.