Hello Hallo Hola Salut Ciao Cześć नमस्ते 你好
My name is Nadine, and I’m pretty much as international as one can be 🙂
I’m incredibly excited to be contributing to this blog with insights on all ends around the international student experience. I’ll be interviewing international students and share your own, unique stories. To start, I’ll tell you a little bit about my story, how I loved being an international student, how I became a mentor for other international students, and how I want to help you get the most out of your time studying abroad!
Born and raised in Germany to parents who immigrated from Poland, we traveled a lot through all of Europe in my early childhood, visiting many different countries. At the age of 15 I decided to take my first solo-adventure by spending a high school year in the United States. Despite not being familiar with the English language initially, by the end of the year, not only did I graduate as an A-Student, but more importantly, I learned and lived a new culture for the first time in my life. I went through a lot of ups and downs throughout the year. I grew stronger emotionally, developed my interpersonal skills, I had to become more extroverted to make new friends, and I also learned that you have to “jump into the water before you can learn how to swim”. Adapting to a new culture, living with a family that has different values and believes, you just have to learn to become more open minded about the world.
This first experience set the ball rolling and after I returned to Germany to graduate from high school, I packed my belongings and moved to England, where I obtained my BA in International Business with Spanish. I also encountered my second dose of culture shock! Making new friends and adjusting was easier this time, as my English was better. During the four year program, I couldn’t keep my feet still and completed the third year of my studies in Spain. I learned the Spanish language, and also lived a third new culture, a significantly Mediterranean one.
My year abroad in Spain was probably the most difficult for me. I was pretty much on my own to enroll in school, choose courses, finding housing, and making friends. In addition, it didn’t help that most Spaniards only speak Spanish! On the other hand, this forced me to study harder and it inspired me to help other international students in the future. Upon my return to England, I became Vice President of the International Student Society at my school. I helped International Students settle in, I organized events throughout the year including trips to various places, weekly coffee hours, mentoring international students, and made lifetime friends with people from all over the world.
Since then, I haven’t stopped exploring more cultures! After graduating from University, I moved to Poland for a couple of months to study Polish culture and language. I moved back to Germany, worked for a South Korean company and was delighted to learn more about the Asian culture through all my Korean colleagues, including a visit to Seoul.
Three years ago I decided it was time for yet another change. I quit my job, sold most of my belongings except for clothes and my laptop, and moved to Boston, MA. Ever since I’ve been working for international companies, I joined the startup community, started to learn Italian, I’m mentoring International students from abroad, as well as American kids who are studying abroad.
I’m pretty sure that after reading this, you can tell that I’m an international fanatic who is extremely happy to share my experiences, knowledge and listen to and answer any questions you may have here on peerTransfer’s blog!