Kaplan is a place where people from all over the world can feel at home. Many of our staff know what it’s like to live and study abroad, having done it themselves! We’ve asked some of them to tell us about their journeys, so that their stories can inspire you to follow your path, your way.
Susana grew up in Portugal, and after she finished high school she went to the local university in her hometown.
During her first year of university, she met 2 Italian students called Luca and Matteo. They were taking part in a programme called Erasmus, an exchange programme for university students in the European Union.
Susana was fascinated by how courageous these Italian students were. To her, it seemed very brave to come to a university where most people don't speak your language!
Inspired by their courage, Susana applied for the Erasmus programme and, in her final year of university, she received a scholarship. She booked her first flight out of Portugal: Lisbon to Warsaw.
Susana’s 4 months in Poland changed her deeply. She met people from around the world and she learned a new language; no, not Polish – Spanish! She also learned how to be more mindful of other people’s cultures, and think more critically about her own.
Gaining international work experience
After her time in Poland came to an end, Susana returned to Portugal. It was back to reality, and time to get a graduate job. She did get a job, but she found it hard to be back in her small town when there was a whole world out there that she hadn’t seen!
“One Sunday night, a friend sent me a link about an internship programme abroad. The internship placed Portuguese graduates in companies all over the world for 8 months. I applied and got a place on an internship at a wine retailer in San Francisco, California. It was 2008. It was the Facebook boom and I was right there, at the centre of it all. It was a great time to be in California, and I had the chance to attend several conferences that explored social media for business.”
This is when Susana became interested in digital marketing.
When her internship ended, the world was in economic crisis, and she decided not to stay in the USA. Yet she knew she couldn’t go back to her hometown.
So, instead of the USA, Susana explored her options in Europe. She applied for jobs in many different places, and received 2 job offers at the same time: one in Lisbon and one in London. It was decision time…
Susana’s path led her here to Kaplan International Pathways’ head office in London, where she is now the Associate Director for Marketing.
Susana's path to success
Her story shows that a bit of bravery can pay off! Studying abroad opened up many opportunities for Susana, and she believes it is a fantastic way of exploring the world and finding your path.
If Susana’s journey has inspired you, explore the links below to learn more about your education options, and how a pathway course can help you gain entry to a university in the UK, USA or Australia.