What I Learned from Living in Europe

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I lived in Bratislava, Slovakia for 15 months between my freshman and sophomore year of college. It was an incredible and life changing experience. While I lived in Bratislava I attended classes at The City University of Seattle-Bratislava campus and worked as a public relations intern for The Slovak Atlantic Commission.

Living in Europe was an exciting, scary, and adventurous time in my life and I wouldn't change that opportunity for anything. Being able to live in another country for a year helped me to discover so much about myself and the world. First, I learned to not be afraid to step outside of my comfort zone — the world is such a large place and you have to make the most of every opportunity presented to you.

A day trip to Capri, Italy with my college roommates Kathleen & Ashley.

Second: Don’t stay in one place for too long. Be willing and eager to explore. Growing up in North Carolina I often stayed in my hometown and when I did travel, I did not go very far or I went to the same places often. Living in Bratislava, visiting new countries was just a car ride away. From Bratislava you could get to Vienna, Austria in two hours and Budapest Hungary in three hours.  I was constantly traveling with my family and friends when they came to visit and I was always discovering new places.

The greatest lesson I learned while living in Europe was to be open-minded and never settle. Growing up, the world seemed like such a large place and it wasn't until I returned home to North Carolina when I truly realized the lasting impact living abroad had on me. I was no longer  afraid to take risks and go outside of my comfort zone. I knew I could live anywhere and do anything I set my mind to. This was the greatest blessing of my life. So often young women limit themselves with fear or self doubt. Seeing I was able to live and thrive in another country made me confident that my dream of living and working in Los Angeles, California was not unreasonable.

Me at the 66th Festival de Cannes with my Cannes Cinephiles Accreditation

Thanks to my time living in Bratislava, I know I can and will be able to find my place in this world — whether it is at home or across the world; the possibilities are endless.

To conclude, if you can travel do so! Say YES to that opportunity to study abroad or take that job in another state! You can and will succeed wherever life takes you. Don't limit your journey with self doubt.

About The Author

My name is Lauren, I am a recent transfer student to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I previously attended George Mason University, where I was a member of PRSSA, Gamma Phi Beta International sorority, and Golden Key International Honour Society.

I grew up in North Carolina, but spent a year in-between my freshman and sophomore year of college living in Bratislava, Slovakia with my family. During my time abroad I had an internship with The Slovak Atlantic Commission and was able to work in a multi-cultural work environment. I also traveled throughout Europe while I was living in Slovakia, some of my favorite places I visited are London, Cannes, Zurich, Budapest, and Krakow.

My goal is to one-day work as an entertainment publicist, I attended the 66th Festival de Cannes with my Cannes Cinephiles Accreditation. While at Cannes I met many industry leaders and knew this was the career for me. I am also a student member of The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

I look forward to the new adventures that await me as a transfer student at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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