Trainee in Colombia

” Be brave, live your dream


This blog is written by trainee Aster van der Wal


Making decisions can be a scary thing to do. Will this help my future career? Is this what I really want? And how are these going to affect my life? These were just a few of the many questions that were spinning through my head before I decided to sign up for the traineeship.

It is really normal to feel these doubts and to ask yourself these questions. Moving to another country and embracing a new culture asks for a lot of adaptation skills and commitment. Was I ready for that? Despite all my insecurities, I was sure that this experience would make me grow as a person and that I would gain a lot of professional experience. At the same time, it felt as an opportunity to show myself and my family that I’m able to stand on my own feet and that I’m confident enough to meet new challenges. All of this together, made me decide to sign up and face my insecurities.


I knew I would not have many answers until I decided to jump and to embrace the adventure. So, when time passed, I started to get more and more excited to start something refreshing and to call a new place home. The country I was going to, Colombia, is facing a lot of stereotypes. They told me it was dangerous and that there are drugs everywhere. I didn’t know what to believe of all that. Actually, it only made me more excited to go and to see this country through my own eyes. To let go of the stereotypes and explore it myself. Why would I believe them when I have the opportunity to see it myself!


By now, I know I could not have made a better decision. Not only have I seen that the stereotypes are as far away from the truth as possible, I have also gained already so much personal and professional growth. Despite the fixed working hours, I have the weekends to explore my new home country and to meet new people. Memories that will stay with me forever.



Messages to take home… (if I ever go)

It is a great feeling to realize how once unfamiliar things became so normal in such a short time. I learned to believe in myself and always be the best I can.

To make the best out of this experience, I have immersed myself in the local culture and stepped out of my comfort zone. I realized that I have to accept people with different ideas, habits and thoughts than you. Appreciating those differences will educate you, and you will carry this understanding of others with you for the rest of your live.

So, to everyone who can relate to my feelings before I left, I can just say one thing:

Just do it, you won´t regret it!