Born and raised in Madrid, Spain, Elsie Goycoolea is a passionate, inquisitive and life spirited recent graduate. She decided to study abroad and so began her journey along Europe and the United States. After three years at Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland, she obtained her Diploma in Hotel Management. She had many stops along the way gaining work experience at five stars hotels in Belgium and Spain. She recently received her B.A. in Hospitality from Kendall College, Chicago, with a concentration in Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions. Currently, she is combining working on her blog and obtaining a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from Ashford University, San Diego, through which she envisions a career in health and fitness journalism.
I WANT TO TRAVEL THE WORLD! I remember graduating from high school, completing an 18-year phase of my life and not knowing where life would take me. However, I was excited and ready to begin a whole new journey.
After so many years in the comfort of my friends, my hometown and my family, ending high school was definitely overwhelming. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to move on next but I was certain that I had the power of choosing my next move, making my own decisions and that was LIVING.
I packed my bags and without hesitating I moved to Switzerland where it all began. For three years I moved back and forth all over Europe for studies and work experiences. As a true hospitality student, travelling is one of my passions, I love exploring new places, learning different cultures and tasting some delicious local recipes. I was young and inexperienced which meant having some troubles here and there but that is just the way I wanted to learn, to grow.
I know that moving away from home and especially to a whole new country means opening up to new experiences and new adventures; but I don’t regret my decisions and have taken with me some very valuable life lessons. Jumping from Switzerland to the United States was hard, one thing is moving to another country but let me tell you, moving to another continent is a challenge in itself.
Here I am encouraging you to take the plunge and experience yourself how amazing the world can be when you are willing to immerse yourself in it. How better to discover its hidden treasures than by spending the years of your life where you are trying to find yourself trying what there is out there for you.
Coming with an open heart I am sharing with you what made studying abroad so special to me:
1. THE PEOPLE. Who would have known that in another country, in another culture would I forge a group of friends coming from six different nationalities? When I decided to study abroad, I didn’t know whom I would meet. The truth is nobody knows who will cross the street at the end of the road; many other students make the same brave decision We shared or ups and downs and neither languages nor culture became barriers to become really good friends. I know now that I have a family, a big family spread around the world.
2. THE FEELING. You may think it is scary, that you will not find someone who likes you or shares your hobbies; you may think it will be difficult. Nothing is easy but aren’t you curious? Even making a quick trip to the store and handling a transaction having no problems at all will make you feel great. I did it for myself, I loved being independent, having freedom and making my own decisions. It was the beginning of my life, my real life, and the one I had chosen and I was ready to start experiencing it to the fullest.
3. THE MEMORIES. Did I have a cheese fondue by Geneva Lake? Yes, I did. Did I watch a Chicago Bulls game like a true American? Yes, I did. These are memories I will carry with me forever. Now that you have the opportunity to decide your future fill it up with memories and life experiences. Who knows what hidden treasures you may find along the way.
If you have the opportunity don’t hold back and take your college experience abroad. It doesn’t have to be far away and you can bring a friend with you if you wish, but don’t settle, be ambitious and take risks. The world is out there so go and grab it.