Expectations Surpassed: My Amazing European Adventure
I recently returned from an overseas program with the MS in Global Leadership program at the University of San Diego. My experience abroad can be summed up in one word: Amazing. Upon my return, everyone would ask me, how was your trip? Amazing was, and continues to be my only coherent response. Was I expecting this? Most certainly not.
To be perfectly honest, I really didn’t have time to establish any sort of expectation or preconceived notion of what my life would be like for two weeks in Europe. To say I’ve been busy since starting the MSGL program would be an understatement – I just had no time to mentally prepare myself. I knew I would be traveling with some familiar faces from my Cohort and I also knew I was going to be attending classes while immersing myself into cultures I have only read about. Little did I know that this experience would be much more than that…it would be life-changing.
A few things I didn’t expect: I didn’t expect that I would visit the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie one afternoon and by the next morning be standing at the foot of the Athenian Acropolis in Greece. I didn’t expect to stand in the very spot that President Reagan challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. I didn’t expect to witness first-hand the production cycle of a Siemens Gas Turbine in Germany. I didn’t expect to get a Turkish haircut…an experience I won’t soon forget. I didn’t expect…Istanbul. Istanbul is, well, amazing! It’s a city where cultures collide, history is cherished and where beauty takes on a whole new meaning. From the food, the architecture, the people and its rich heritage, Istanbul was certainly the highlight of the adventure.
Lastly, I didn’t expect to meet so many amazing people along the way. From the biergarten bike tour rest stops in Berlin to the dinner celebrations with USD Alumni in Turkey, we were raising a glass every opportunity we could get in celebration of new friendships, an awesome USD education and an adventure that was nothing short of Amazing!
Scott Handley is a member of Cohort 53 and serves at the Assistant Director of Admissions in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of San Diego.