I have come to the end of my 4-month EYE exchange. Looking back at the past weeks, I am impressed by the number of new skills, knowledge and professional experience I acquired.

The whole journey was intense, challenging and thought-provoking. From the beginning, there were a few challenges to meet associated with finding accommodation, applying for all of the government documents and settling into a new workplace. All those things together seemed overwhelming at first. However, as soon as I did one thing at a time and let my local friends help me, I enjoyed every single moment of this experience.

Before the exchange, I had had a clear idea of what would my future business be. Throughout the EYE journey, I had an opportunity to work on a variety of design projects, starting from architectural through the product to furniture concepts. This allowed me to see what particular design areas I am good at and into which ones I need to put more work. I realised it is better to start as a small business that specialises in one specific design area and then gradually expand.

I was lucky enough to have a Host Entrepreneur that was open to new ideas, suggestions and opportunities. Thus, I could freely express my thoughts and beliefs to hear the team’s honest feedback. Those moments were helpful for my professional growth, and listening to what the highly-experienced colleagues think about my approaches was thought-provoking. As design-based businesses are complex, there was always something I did not fully understand. However, every time I asked about a specific matter, I received a clear and coherent answer.

I would certainly recommend the EYE programme for everyone who thinks about starting their own business one day. The whole experience provides you with many new ideas that can be incorporated into your business plan. Moreover, living abroad opens your eyes and mind to new international possibilities. If you make the most of your given time, this adventure can become a valuable period of your life that will positively impact your future.