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July 19, 2019

Not iXperience. THE Experience

Written by

Grant Foster

Nothing is more nerve racking than giving your money to an international program you found on Instagram. Trust me, I did it. And now here I am, finishing up the 6 weeks of a lifetime.

grant foster, ixperience tel aviv

Grant Foster, iXperience Lisbon 2019

Arriving in Lisbon, it started out as “I experience”. I came here alone, not knowing a single other soul, and still not fully sure if this program was entirely real. That changed within the first 24 hours when I met 70 other students who felt exactly the same. As the course began, friendships grew incredibly fast.

Having zero experience in Data Science prior to this program, I had a lot to catch up on. And this course was FAST. No university course could have prepared me for the intensity I would experience here. But I was not alone because after class, we would sit in the common area for hours just trying to figure out what in the world was happening.

lisbon streets

Lisbon streets

But while learning all this fascinating information, you are making some of the best friends you may ever have. We laughed together, got frustrated together, took weekends off together. And that is when I started calling it THE Experience. When I realized it is not a solo mission, but more a group expedition. Every moment of the program, your struggles are your friends' struggles, and your memories are your friends' memories. You would think being around the same people for 6 weeks would get tiring, but in actuality, I wish it were longer. These are some of the friends that I know will be important to me for the rest of my life. 

And now here I am, finishing up my final presentation for the course. While my original plans were to backpack solo across Europe afterwards, I am now traveling with friends I have made here in Lisbon. I have new places to visit in the future since my friends scatter the map. And when I arrive home in a few months, I will begin a Masters in Computer Science along with another internship as a data analyst, all thanks to the experience I have on my resume from iXperience.

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