Stories that Shaped Us: The Lasting Impact of Study Abroad on Your Life and Career
Daniel Colbert is an ISA Amsterdam alumnus and former WorldStrides Professional Intern at Northwest Nazarene University whose experience abroad during Fall 2020 helped him grow out of his comfort zone and eventually led him to use his passion for international education to serve students of WorldStrides as an intern.
We reached out to learn more about why he chose to go abroad with ISA Netherlands and how his experience abroad has impacted him long-term. Check out his unique story below and hear his advice for others wanting to follow a similar path!
What inspired you to study abroad in Amsterdam?
DC: I knew I wanted to study in a European city, and after I looked into a few I knew Amsterdam was the place to go. The beautiful canals and architecture of the city was such a big draw, and I knew it was a very international city, giving me the opportunity to meet people from all over the
world. I also had a great friend that studied abroad at my high school from Amsterdam, so it was very reassuring to know I had him and his family there if anything were to go wrong.
What did you learn about yourself through these experiences and how did your time abroad impact your understanding of the world?
DC: One of the biggest areas I grew up in was my independence while I was studying abroad. I have lived on my own since I left to college, but I have never lived outside of my home state. Going to Amsterdam was a great experience for growth because I got the chance to go somewhere completely new, and I was able to build my own life in a new place for the first time.
Do you have a favorite story or adventure from your time in Amsterdam?
DC: One of my favorite experiences in Amsterdam was going to the NDSM flea market in North
Amsterdam. The NDSM flea market is Europe’s largest organized flea market and is in a
repurposed Navy wharf. The flea market happens once a month, but the wharf is used for
studios that artists can rent. It was so interesting to see how an area of Amsterdam that was
once deemed unusable, be completely transformed into a place for people to gather and create.
You were a part of the inaugural class of interns at WorldStrides. What was that like? In what ways has your study abroad experience impacted your internship and passion for experiential learning?
DC: Being a part of WorldStrides’ inaugural intern class was such a great experience. I
feel like my time in Amsterdam really prepared me for interning with WorldStrides as well. I
have never been super introverted, but the experience still definitely brought me out of my
shell. I really felt like my time spent in Amsterdam gave me the confidence to successfully
transition into the corporate world, after having never worked a job like this. I really feel like the
experiences I had abroad helped me grow and prepared me for the internship.
What are your plans for after this internship? (academic, career, travels, etc.)
DC: After this internship, I plan on finishing my senior year at Northwest Nazarene University where I study marketing and minor in professional writing. After I graduate, my family is planning a trip to Europe where I am hoping to show them some of my favorite places that I was able to explore last year.
Do you have any tips for students interested in entering the International Education field after graduation?
DC: My biggest tip for going into the International Education field is to know that at the end of the day you are helping these students have an experience they will cherish for the rest of their
lives. Early in the internship, I was struggling with a task so I reached out to a colleague and he
helped remind me of this. Thinking back to how great and influential my time abroad was the
perfect motivation to help students have experiences like that of their own.
Inspired by Daniel’s journey and want to discover your own while immersing yourself in a study abroad program? Fill out your details below to let our team know and we’ll help you find your adventure today!