I Went to France, Spain, and the Netherlands—Here’s Why You Should, Too.

I embarked on an overseas journey to Europe for the first time in my life. DePaul’s Summer Study Abroad: International Advertising program will be visiting Cannes, France, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Barcelona, Spain—three countries in three amazing and unforgettable weeks.

I discovered the program through DePaul’s study abroad social media and promotional advertising. It just so happened that this program was the best fit for me, so I went for it. Granted, I had never traveled out of the United States, but I thought this was the perfect opportunity to do something like this.

My family has always stayed around the Midwest, and my mom has always been a small town girl who never really thought of travel as a possibility, but my dad traveled to Europe when he was about my age. My parents and sisters are very excited for me. I’m writing this a week before I leave, and I still have no idea what exactly I need to bring or do to prepare myself, but I know that when I’m there I will adjust and go with the flow.

Photo Courtesy of Ready Set Jet Set

The great part is that I was with a group of 15 other DePaul students, all females except for one male, and two instructors who are very passionate about travel and advertising. I’ve talked about my major, which is Public Relations and Advertising, but I have never really talked about my interest in advertising as much as PR. I love getting creative and making inspiring content, so getting a global perspective will be enlightening.

Every part of this trip was amazing, but I was very excited for the first week while we are in Cannes, France for the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. This is where many world renowned advertising agencies and social media outlets come together to share their experiences with fostering creativity in their campaigns. I got to network with big names like Facebook, Spotify, Google, and many more. We also enjoyed beach parties and concerts while we’re there.

Photo Courtesy of Dutch Wannabe

I knew that sleep was going to be a big struggle for me while I was amped up on adrenaline and excitement with everything going on each day, but I also wanted to take advantage of every day without crashing and burning (it was so HOT). I paced myself and learned how to adapt to the situations around me.

I’m was also a little worried about being in a big group. The thought of traveling with such a large group of strangers stressed me out because everyone will have to depend on one another. I am grateful that I didn't have to go through with the trip solo, and that many were first time travelers as well.

It’s funny how a childhood dream can suddenly become a reality in a matter of weeks. I am never going to regret this life changing and discovering experience.