Ever since I started college, seeing the world of opportunities before me, I began to dream about living in another country. I hadn't dared to dream it before because traveling abroad was not something my family did and so I couldn't picture myself doing it. But, once I was on my own, I realized travel was something I could actually do and I made it a focused goal.
I have been so lucky to have gone on a few trips in university, including a landscape painting trip to Italy and traveling around the U.K. with my best friend. From those short trips, and various history lessons in school, I was intrigued by Europe. I knew that in order to gain a better grasp on the cultures I would have to spend quality time there.
Another factor that contributed to this dream is my interest in people. I like being in public spaces and attending public events because I want to see how people are brought together. In the case of shared experiences, such as a town carnival or a pop up event in a central square, the connection that develops between people is something that I strive to achieve with space through interior design. I have an American understanding of how this is done and of how people live in the USA but I wanted to experience how Europeans interact and organize their home lives.
So this desire for adventure, meeting people and studying the ways that people interact lead me to make living abroad a life goal. I understand what it is like to live in Cincinnati, Ohio and I want to see how life compares in another, westernized country. I want to live an everyday life, instead of frantically traveling through various countries, so I decided to begin the pursuit of my dream for my last DAAP co-op at the University of Cincinnati.
For anyone who has a similar goal, let me warn you that this was not an easy pursuit. Granted, internships abroad are generally easier to obtain than a full time position, but it still took months and months of emailing and researching companies that were abroad but also fit the type of work experience I was looking for. I was passionate about my goal but it was determination that allowed me to reach it. Keep your determination! I heard a lot of 'no' from companies and as time passed my dream looked less and less real. Without this focus I would have easily fallen out of pursuit and not into the wonderful opportunity that whisked me away to Zürich, Switzerland.
In the end, I happily and thankfully accepted an internship position with Michelgroup in Zürich, Switzerland. I was ecstatic and left with only one month to prepare. Yet somehow, as things in life seem to happen this way, everything worked out. Yes, there were stressful moments like rushing into NYC to pick up my visa the day of my flight to Switzerland or nightmares of not being able to buy groceries once I landed. If I had access to knowing the future I may have had a few less sleepless nights. But what would life be without mystery to keep you on your toes?