The Things you Don’t Learn at School

I have always been a good student. My parents were quite strict about it, and have always told me “you have to study hard so you can have a job that you really like. You want to wake-up in the morning and be happy to go to the office”. Of course, they didn’t like their jobs.

I moved to London after graduating from University in France. France is indeed a beautiful country. Who wouldn’t want to live there? It is beautiful on a holiday, it is a little less romantic when you live there full-time! Especially when you are 23 and looking for a job in a regional city like the south of France, where unemployment is raging. So, I packed my bags and moved to London, in quest of a career.

Living in London


There, I quickly learnt to survive in an English-speaking environment, simply because I didn’t have a choice: if I wanted to realise my dreams I needed to be able to speak English fluently.

Two years later, I left London for Tokyo. Once again, I found myself in survival mode, battling the challenges of daily life in one of the world’s largest metropolis with extreme culture differences, and without the ability to speak the national language. Once again, I survived because like Friedrich Nietzsche said “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.

daily life in Japan_grocery shopping

The following year, I relocated to Sydney. Once again, I went for interviews and gave all I had. And the efforts paid off. Within three weeks, I had a job. Within one year I had my first promotion. This eventually took me to where I am today – nearly four years later: a Gen Y entrepreneur, founder of Europe in a Box and blogger – all of this while pursuing a corporate career.

Seven years of expatriation around the world have taught me many lessons. I learnt things that one doesn’t learn at school. These unique experiences have made me different and stronger, and have given me the motivation to follow my dreams and passions.

Europe in a Box logo

My tips:

Believing in yourself and having faith in your abilities are things you don’t learn at school. Design your own life plan, you are never too old, or too young to set another goal or to dream a new dream.


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Cyndie Bowen

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