Stop living someone else life and start fresh by study abroad

Episode Description

Have you been long thinking of pursuing a degree abroad? Our guest, Isabel, originally from Uruguay, had the desire to explore and discover the diverse cultures this world has. The heartbreaking moment of losing her mother was what made Isabel follow that little voice inside of her. This circumstance made her realize how fragile and precious life is, and when you want to do something, dare to pursue and fight for it.

Settling abroad was never one of her plans, but Ireland was indeed bliss for her. Being surrounded by people of different cultures, beliefs, races, and perspectives was a surreal experience that made Isabel realize the path that she was to take. Despite the rejection that she had to face along the way when her scholarship application was denied, Isabel was still beyond grateful for every experience – good or bad.

After failing her first application, Isabel was determined to pursue her plan, which led her to apply for a master’s at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Studying abroad might not be the easiest thing to do, but Isabel was able to overcome difficulties and appreciate the chance of living a life abroad. With all her past experiences and successes, Isabel started her coaching platform to help people transition their lives to where they dream of being.

About Isabel

Isabel is originally from Uruguay, from a small city in the center of the country called Mercedes. She was trained as an accountant and has been working in finance for the last 10 years. 

In 2017 she decided to move to Ireland to study for a Master in Finance at Trinity College. After really enjoying the first year, she decided to apply for jobs in Dublin. She worked there in Risk Management for a leading insurance company for the last 3 years. 

On the side, she is also passionate about well-being. She has been studying Life Coaching, Yoga & Mindfulness for the last few years and recently started her well-being project Journey with Isa. She aims to help people increase their self-love & confidence, find their purpose, and make the changes needed to create the life they really want.

“I realized how fragile life is and how I cannot control what is happening. So I changed my mindset from having a plan to embracing uncertainty”

Get in touch with Isabel

Instagram - Email

Tips and key takeaways


Episode Transcript

Isabel 0:01

So I was suddenly having dinner with a table of people from different continents. And honestly, that made me felt alive again. So it was something that made me really passionate. So I know it's a personal aim, because not everyone wants to know the world but I feel if I'm going to leave this life, I would like actually to know as much as I could of where the place we live.

Daniel De Biasi 0:34

Hi, everyone, and welcome to episode number 53 of the Emigrant's Life Podcast, where we share stories of people who left the country to chase a better life. And through these stories you can find ideas, resources, and motivation to do the same.Im Daniel De Biasi, and in this episode, I had the pleasure of chatting with Isabel. Isabel is originally from Uruguay, and moved to Ireland when she was 28. Have you ever felt like you were living someone else's life, doing what everybody else is doing? What society expects you to do? That's exactly what Isabel's experience back in her own country. She felt like she was going through a checklist that someone else made for her. After going through a very hard time in her life, Isabel decided to make a complete 180 degree change. She decided to move abroad to continue her study and experience other cultures and what the world has to offer. Isabelle applied for a scholarship in a university in Ireland, but things didn't go as planned. In fact, she didn't get this scholarship. But that didn't stop her from chasing her dream, she found another way to move in studying overseas. Even though her plan was to spend only one year abroad, she ended up loving Ireland so much that she decided to stay longer and make it her new home. In this episode, we will talk about scholarship - how apply for one and the things to know if you're playing to go and studying abroad. So without further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Isabel.

Hi Isabel, thanks for being on the show.

Isabel 2:00

Hi, Daniel. Thank you for having me here.

Daniel De Biasi 2:03

Oh, no worries. So Isabel, you are originally from Uruguay, and now you live in Ireland. But I'd like to start from the very beginning. So what was your life in back in Uruguay, and why did you decide to leave?

Isabel 2:15

Yeah, exactly. I'm in Ireland at the moment. I'm living in Dublin and I'm originally from Uruguay, actually from a small city in the countryside. But the last 10 years I lived in the capital, so in Montevideo. So that's probably a short question with a very long answer. So I came here when I was 28. But to start actually the story, when I was 25, I had the chance to travel around Asia and Europe for about six months with a trip that was organised by my college. And this trip was a great experience, probably the most amazing experience of my life. And even if I always loved traveling, in that trip, probably for the same first time, I took conscious on how passionate I was about diversity and knowing different cultures. So I truly enjoyed every second of those six months. But immediately coming back from the trip, from that experience, my mom was diagnosed with cancer, and three months after, she died. So suddenly, like my life kind of changed. And I stepped into what was probably the hardest and the darkest period of my life until now. And even if it's something I wouldn't clearly not desire. I'm actually grateful about how much the pain taught me, because it kind of made me close to life. So I kind of start challenging my life in all areas. I started asking myself, if my life also ended three months, what would I do? And I started feeling that my life at the moment was kind of a checklist of what I was told to do, and what I had to do, but I was telling myself I have to do to be happy, or what actually from society that I needed to be happy.

Daniel De Biasi 4:17

Oh, like the expectation from other people?

Isabel 4:19

Yes, exactly. And from myself and from others, from myself from what I was told, from what I decide to believe. So I studied four years, I got my degree, I got a good job in a multinational company. And at some point with my couple, we were starting to talk about buying a house and having kids and I kind of start feeling I was following a checklist. And there was nothing in that checklist that was really myself or like, I felt there was no footprint of myself in my life. It was kind of a checklist and I was doing the same as everyone else. So I started craving for adding kind of my personal touch to my own life. And the idea of studying abroad was in my head since I was little, actually. I always loved languages. And I always dreamed with being able to study abroad and knowing other cultures, and I was craving that multicultural environment in my country. And I guess after being six months abroad, I also started to notice that I couldn't find that much of different cultures in my own country. So after breaking up with my ex, the idea start to take more and more power. I remember, actually, I was in Brazil, I was lying on the beach and reading The Alchemist, and thinking like it's a book around dreams and how to be brave for going for them. And I just started thinking why I was not brave enough to actually follow what they wanted and follow my dreams, why I was calling myself back. So the dream kind of started to gain more power, and start to battling all the fears around. So you might resonate with this, but there is a lot of fear of failing, a lot of guilt of leaving your family behind. And especially in my case after those years we have, so it was a really hard decision. And still a decision I'm really grateful about.

Daniel De Biasi 6:34

Oh, yeah, I totally resonate with what you just said, from losing your mom, which is- I don't know if you heard the episode I did a couple of weeks ago. I shared like the same kind of similar situation where I lost my dad and that put everything in perspective, like the fact that you only have one life. And now you see like, it's fragile, because since at that point, for me it was- it seems like if things like that, like losing your your parent is something that doesn't happen to you, it usually happens to other people, but not to yourself. And when it actually happen to you, you start realizing how life is fragile and how precious life is and put everything in perspective.

Isabel 7:10

Yes, exactly

Daniel De Biasi 7:11

I can totally resonate with you. So what was- you're talking about your dream, you say like you were laying on the beach, trying to realize that you weren't living the life you wanted to live. What was your dream at that point? What was your- what did you want it to achieve in that moment of your life?

Isabel 7:27

Yeah, so I kind of realized I needed more diversity in my life. I'm very curious person. And I love learning about other cultures. And I think it's a great exercise. It makes you challenge your own ideas. So I kind of like challenging my own ideas and what I thought it was through a couple of years ago, I might not think it now. So it was kind of craving being surrounded by different kinds of people and maybe having more chance of doing my own checklists, instead of following the one I was following.

Daniel De Biasi 8:06

And what was your checklist? I mean, I guess going abroad and trying different experience, trying to have experience with other culture, was that- what was kind of on your checklist?

Isabel 8:15

I kind actually detached from having a checklist because when I came here, and my plan was to stay one year and see what happens. And I kind of start to embrace the idea of not knowing what happens. Because as you mentioned before, when you lose somebody you really love, and everything gets into perspective. And as you were saying, you realize how fragile life is and how it can't change and how you cannot control what is happening. So I kind of changed with my mindset from actually having a plan to embrace uncertainty. And it's not that I don't have goals, of course I have them. But I think again, flexibility and also embrace whatever's coming that you might not expect. Sometimes life surprise you for good, for bad. But sometimes you end in a different place of what you were planning. I was definitely not planning to live abroad. If you ask me I don't know, six, seven years ago, like I wouldn't even guess this would be my life now. So I kind of start embracing that and being more flexible and try not to actually have a checklist.

Daniel De Biasi 9:34

It makes sense. So when you left to Uruguay, your idea was just to go abroad for a little bit and travel, experience a new culture, it's all of that and then go back to Uruguay?

Isabel 9:45

Yes, exactly. I actually arranged with my previous employer to come back after one year. So at the reunion, the idea was going for one year and just have the experience of going abroad. And then when I was here, the idea started to change, I actually realized how much I was craving for that different environment, and how much it changed me as well to be abroad. So then I decide to stay for longer. But again, try not to have rigorous plan and go a bit more with the flow and with what I want in the moment.

Daniel De Biasi 10:23

Okay, so sounds like you were kind of like surprised, like how life was actually- you prefer the life abroad, in another country. So, you've decided to stay there a little bit longer. So but sounds like that, because for most people, and I know, we discussed this before we do the interview that you have, like a European passport, right?

Isabel 10:43

Yes, exactly. So my mom was Spanish. So I was lucky to actually have a Spanish passport, and I had the chance to stay. But I think also, if you study a master here, and you will have a study visa, and Ireland actually give you the chance to apply for two years extension, if you find a job immediately after your master. Even if I was not Spanish, I could have go for that option too, I have some friends from abroad that had used that option.

Daniel De Biasi 11:16

No, because that's where I kind of was going to when you don't have a passport do you have on a visa, you kind of, even though if you don't want to make plans, but at the same time, you can have need to have plans just because if you want to stay in the country, you need to move ahead of the time. So if you want to decide to stay in the country, you can't decide a month before your visa expires. You need to be hired like six months ahead and decid it. Six months before your visa runs out like, Okay, what do I want to do with my life? Do I want to stay? Do I I want to try to stay and find a way to stay? Should I go somewhere else? Should I go back to my country? But at least you have that option, the flexibility that you had European passport, so you didn't have to make the decision like six months in advance, okay, if this works out, I can stay if not, I can go back to your why or I can go somewhere else in Europe because other countries speaks English in Europe. So you kind of have a least, you were lucky you had the kind of flexibility that you could move and have probably less plans.

Isabel 12:13

Yes, that's true. That's definitely true.

Daniel De Biasi 12:15

And going back to the fact when you left your country, you say well, like really challenging, which is even then I totally get it. Even like I mentioned that fear to failure, was that something that you wanted to prove to your friends or to family or I mean, somebody else?

Isabel 12:32

Not really. But I think when you are starting to have the idea of going abroad, a lot of fears come and the failure is like Oh, if I go for example, I was going to study so, Oh, if I actually failed my Master, or if I actually have not managed to actually have classes of finance in English, or my English is not good, or I don't find a job afterwards, you know, like, so a lot of fears, or I'm not able to actually maintain myself economically, financially. And a lot of fears arise from that situation when you are starting to think of studying or living abroad.

Daniel De Biasi 13:15

Oh, yeah, I totally get it. Because for me, correct me if I'm wrong, if it is the same for you. But for me, it was like the fear of not knowing what's going to happen, more than failure for me was like, I'm not going to fail. It's just like, I don't know if I can make it. I don't know what to expect, because I've never done it before. So I don't know what's going to be. It's more like the fear of the unknown more than the failure because you don't know exactly what's going to happen.

Isabel 13:39

Yes, exactly. And if you will, you will be able to manage it, whatever happens.

Daniel De Biasi 13:45

So you decided to move to Ireland, and the way you decided to move to Ireland was through school. What was the process? Because you mentioned before the interview that you tried to apply for scholarship, but that didn't go your way. So how did you find a school to move to Ireland?

Isabel 14:00

Yeah, so I initially want to study in the UK, as one of my aims was also to improve my English. And in that trip I mentioned before I went actually into the UK, and I absolutely loved it. So I applied to a program that is called chevening. I will actually share with you the link because they have scholarships for a lot of countries. And there are scholarships for studying the master in the UK. So they select some areas that your country wants to improve. And then they give a number of scholarships for that. So I will share with you the link because they are actually open at the moment, the opening hours and you can apply until November.

Daniel De Biasi 14:45

Oh sweet.

Isabel 14:46

So that's what I did in that moment, and it didn't worked. It didn't work out for me. I actually applied the year that the UK decided to go for the Brexit so they cut down the number of scholarships, so my chances got reduced. And they shall select smaller number than the normal years. So it didn't work out. But during that process, I had to collect a lot of information, I have to write assignments about my motivation to go abroad, I have to write assignments about my leadership skills and how I want to develop them. And I had to take an English exam. And I also had to select and apply for three universities in the UK. So after doing all that I was rejected, I was actually depressed. But talking to a friend, she mentioned that he or she was in Ireland. And she actually suggest, why you don't look in Trinity, it's such a nice college and such well known. And I was like, Okay, I will look. Then I looked into Trinity and they had this master, that was what I wanted to study. So I was applying, it was applicable to what I wanted, it was a master in finance. And it was like something I could afford. So I send all the information I prepare for the training to Trinity, and I got approved and selected after a couple of days. So even though the whole process of the scholarship didn't work out, I think I still got all the knowledge from preparing all that information. Because for preparing those assignments, I actually checked with different people, I checked with different friends and teachers for the English. I checked with different people that my motivation was good was understandable. So I did a lot of work on those assignments that afterwards, it was really easy to prepare an application for Trinity.

Daniel De Biasi 16:50

Yeah, because like the application for scholarship can be like, pretty time consuming. So why were you rejected?

Isabel 16:57

I have no clue. Probably I was not what they were looking. And in the case of Chevening, it's for priority areas in your country. So I chose renewable energies, which was a priority area for Uruguay, but still could be the finance was not a priority area of expertise as if they might prefer to give the scholarship to engineers. So that's my guess I don't really know.

Daniel De Biasi 17:24

Okay, they don't tell you why.

Isabel 17:26

No, they don't give you any feedback around that. But what I know is that all information and all the time I spent on that, I kind of used it afterwards for preparing a quick application to another place. So it was worth doing anyway.

Daniel De Biasi 17:42

Okay, so your plan kind of went through by the same time it was like a kind of, it's slightly different. I mean, if you get a scholarship, it's a big like a financial difference. It makes a big difference financially. So now you have to another country and now you have to pay for your master, which is usually not cheap when you're studying abroad. So probably it changed. It was like maybe like a big difference for you when you're planning to move abroad. But at the same time, what you say before, it was actually nice that you had, that's something I love the fact that after here, you can always go back and still have your job, which is a huge, like a safety net, if something goes wrong, you come back, you still carry on you pretty much your life, you have already a job, you don't have to be too worried about what if things don't go the way I plan it, right?

Isabel 18:26

Yes, exactly. So when I got rejected, I kind of had to start a plan B, as you were saying it was not my initial plan to actually use my savings for that. And I would definitely have preferred to have sponsorships and help on that instead of using my savings. But I talked in my my job and I arranged that they could gave me my job back with as you were saying, got me some safety back because I was spending savings. But at the same time, if I wanted, I could come back to my job and save again in some way. So I kind of build a plan B after that rejection. And the positive side was that the Chevening Scholarships actually require you to come back to your country after you end the master. And I had the chance to stay because as you were saying, I had the European passport. And but even if I got student visa, I will got this chance to stay for two years more. So at least in that way. I actually gained the chance to stay if I wanted and gain that flexibility as well.

Daniel De Biasi 19:42

What make you change, what make you decide to stay longer in Ireland?

Isabel 19:46

So I think I felt really comfortable on that year. And it was not my initial idea. As I told you before I came with the idea of staying for one year and even arranged with my employer to come back. But I felt really alive from the first day arriving here. Not only I love the place, I love the people, Irish people are lovely. And the Irish culture itself is really nice, and they have an amazing history. But more than that was the chance of living in a country where there are more than 200 nationalities. So I was suddenly having dinner with a table of people from different continents. And honestly, that made me felt alive again. So it was something that made me really passionate, and I know this is not for everyone. And we are all different. And we are all attracted to different things. But the personal thing is that I always wanted to know the world. And so it's even traveling or even getting to know other people that live in other places, I think those are the ways that you get that knowledge. So I know it's a personal aim, because not everyone wants to know the world. But I feel if I'm going to live this life, I would like actually to know as much as I could of where the place we live.

Daniel De Biasi 21:11

Yeah, I remember having a similar feeling when I landed in New Zealand, I was staying at hostel. So there were like people from all over the world. And like I was sitting at the table with people from South Africa, people from the US, people from Asia somewhere, even though I didn't really understand what they were saying, because I didn't speak the language at that point, but just the fact they were like I was sitting on the table, and everybody we're talking using this same universal language, which is English is, for me really mind blowing like the circle I remember like being the situation I still like I have this, like a visual picture in my head, like sitting on the table with other people. It was like, so cool. I was like, definitely it was like, I loved it. I loved it. It was just making worth it the decision I made. It was great, so what are you what are you saying.

Isabel 21:55

Exactly. And as you said before, I think it also gives you perspective, like knowing other realities, give you a lot of perspective and makes you more grateful in the things that your country might be better or your culture might be better and also learning in the other things that other cultures might be better. So it makes you like, I think it definitely makes you a better person, a better version of yourself.

Daniel De Biasi 22:22

Did it give you even the sense of freedom that you could be anything you want? You can- now you're starting fresh in a new country, now you can decide what you want to do. Maybe even change your career or become a different person or start things that you've thought about it but you've never done it, you kind of feel like this freedom of doing whatever you want.

Isabel 22:39

Yes, exactly. I think that's probably the upside of being an immigrant that you don't have all the society background on your shoulders, and you detach with all the things you had to be because you are indeed free. And you're in this multicultural environment what they are less rules, I guess, or something like that, less pressure,

Daniel De Biasi 23:04

Probably you're with people, you surround yourself with people that doing the same thing that you're doing. So maybe you get inspired by what other people have done, or maybe what other people, which country they traveled to. And you get inspired by these people. It's like, Oh, I wanted to do that. And if they can do it, I can probably do the same thing, right?

Isabel 23:21

Yes, exactly. When you're an immigrant, you end hanging out with a lot of people that's coming from abroad as well. So you end having this multicultural surrounding that's changed all the time. Because I think as well, your friends will change every year or every two years. But you receive the knowledge of different people from different countries and different lives. So you start to have other options, not the typical options you have in your head. But other options, know from other lives. And yes, I think it's great, it makes you more flexible and more open minded.

Daniel De Biasi 23:58

And going back to like studying abroad and doing your masters in Ireland. What were the requirements or what usually are the requirements to get into either a scholarship program or to be accepted in a school abroad?

Isabel 24:11

Yeah. Okay. So for the scholarship, I actually took them today to sort of remind myself with where I am. So for the Chevening scholarship, you need to be a citizen of the Chevening eligible countries. And so there is a list and you just need to check that your country's there. You need to return to your country for a minimum of two years after your award is ended. You need to have complete an undergraduate degree that will enable you to get an entry to a post grad program at the UK. And you need to have at least two years of work experience. And the last requirement was that you need to apply to three universities and get at least one offer from them, by a certain date. So they give you a lot of time, actually, because now it's by July 2022. So those were the requirements for the Chevening program, then for applying for normal college, you definitely need an undergraduate degree that allows you to go for a master or a post grad program. They will tag your scholarship. So you need to have good scholarship. But that's depending on your university, I think so you can get ranking of your scholarship in your own university. That's how I did it at least. And then you need to prepare like motivation letter and saying why you would want to apply? And how would the college benefit of you being a student there. So for all that application, it was really helpful to have the documents I actually prepare for the training program, it was really useful and really handy. And I could use everything for the second application. And they will ask you as well, to have a certain level of English. So you need to take international English exam, there are several options, the one I took was IELTS, and they ask you for seven out of nine levels. So that's kind of what I remember working with the requirements.

Daniel De Biasi 26:24

So seven out of what did you say seven out of nine, right?

Isabel 26:28


Daniel De Biasi 26:28

That the result needs to be.

Isabel 26:29


Daniel De Biasi 26:30

And I'm just looking at my score when I did it for my visa here. Overall, I think it was 6.5, my English level. So seven is you need to be able to be like speak and understand English, you need a pretty much a good level good level of English.

Isabel 26:44

So it's different exams. So IELTS will have two different exams. One is the one you use for the visas, and the other one is the one for academic.

Daniel De Biasi 26:55

Oh, yes, you're right.

Isabel 26:56

So you have two different and more or less, probably the level might be the same. But the format changed a bit. So they might ask you a bit more formal documents, I think it was a kind of different, the writing part.

Daniel De Biasi 27:12

So I guess even to one of the requirements, I guess, to get a scholarship or to be accepted in a university or in a school abroad, you kind of need to be a good student and prove that you have good grades and all of that, I guess, right?

Isabel 27:25

Yes, exactly. So prove that you're a good student, or I think good level students and prove that you have enough English level, you can definitely prepare those exams, there are loads of information online to prepare, you might have use it to prepare for the visa as well. So there's those online. And the same for Chevening, there's loads of information on how to prepare the applications. And there is loads of Facebook groups, that you gather more information and get in contact with people that is on the same process.

Daniel De Biasi 27:58

Yeah, actually, I'm doing an interview with two guys actually I have met for the podcast, they are doing pretty much exactly the same. They do like courses to prepare you to do the IELTS. So there's going to be an episode in the coming weeks or months about that specifically, so yeah.

Isabel 28:15

Oh, amazing.

Daniel De Biasi 28:16

Yeah, because it's, I remember when I was taking the test, it's like so stressful, because I could speak the language, I will be able to understand I was able to work. So my English was good enough to live in a country and be able to work and all that. But when you do the IELTS, or probably other tests as well, they do things that you're not normally do like writing or like writing an essay, I don't know how to write. Like they ask you to write 4000 words or something like that in a limited time and coming up with a topic like absolutely something then I didn't know what to do but not just in English, just in even in Italian I couldn't do that. I even met people that like English speaker that have trouble like getting a good score in the IELTS because just you have been tested not really like on a life, on the things that you're on the English level that usually normally use in life, but more like an academic kind of thing like of writing an essay and all that.

Isabel 29:09

Exactly, and with time restrictions as well, I remember it was really great on the reading part. But when I had the time to do it, if I put the time of the IELTS then I my score went down. So yeah, like even if you would understand it, I replied correctly. If you have half an hour more, they will require to go certain time. So you need to actually practice your being quick as well.

Daniel De Biasi 29:34

So you landed in Ireland, you're starting the school. Your English terrible, you have to prove so what's good enough, was pretty good to go to school. But what was your experience when you actually started taking classes in the different language?

Isabel 29:45

The first semester is harder. Yeah. So the first semester like Irish people will also have a strong accent. So the first semester it was actually hard to get everything. I was studying finance, and I didn't study finance for a while as well back home. So yeah, it was really challenging to get back to studying to get back to academic studying. And to also have to deal with a different language and different accents. We will have teachers from a lot of places, but mostly the Irish accent was challenging for me. So it was really challenging, but I think it's the first five, six months when I started the second semester, I realized one day I was not struggling anymore. And I could take notes at class more easily and I could do the assignments more easily. So I think you are like a little sponge and you're getting knowledge and getting knowledge and getting knowledge. And even if you don't realize at some point you start to think in English with everybody tells you. But at the beginning it's not. At the beginning, I was translating in my head, I was thinking in Spanish and translating into English. But at some point after a few months, I started to actually think in English and I started realizing that it was not as challenging anymore. So it's just a learning curve. It's like when you're very little and you start talking, it's the same, like you will be like one year when you're in a house that you don't talk but you are actually absorbing knowledge from everywhere. And at some point you start talking and talking and talking and the words come out and it was kind of the same at some moment like I just started to be fluent and I started not struggling anymore, but it was challenging at the beginning even if I study English from very little actually.

Daniel De Biasi 31:36

But it's different, as you say even the pronunciation, the accent the Irish accent is not the easiest accent to start with.

Isabel 31:42

Yes, and being fluent in talking is actually challenging. One thing is to write and one thing is to read the other thing is actually to be talking and thinking in another language.

Daniel De Biasi 31:53

Yeah exactly. Even like being in school for like that long like four hours and like listening in English and you're getting like a new information in English must be exhausting when I was learning English and having conversation with people, just listening to people is exhausting.

Isabel 32:08

Yes, it takes a lot of energy even if you don't realize yourself that at the end of the day

Daniel De Biasi 32:14

Oh yeah. And it was actually funny that they said that you master the language or you know you master the language when you start dreaming in that language. You start like a dream in English. For me it's even like it takes like an extra step but when you start swearing. It was something like you know when you say for me like when I drive, I know you don't drive but when I drive and somebody cut you off and you immediately say something like you swear. If that swear comes out in English, that means-

Isabel 32:40

Yeah, that's when you realize. Yeah, the same way for me when I when I do something and I just curse in English. I'm like, oh, okay, I think in English now.

Daniel De Biasi 32:52

That's extreme level - dreaming, there's dreaming and then swearing.

Isabel 32:56

Yeah, that's the extreme. But the only way actually is just to get surrounded by the language you know, I remember my English teacher told me like start listening the radio in the UK, start reading pre level you are interested in English though, I actually start reading like three layers of thing like that I was so into the book that you didn't even realize it was English anymore. So yeah, I said to make yourself surrounded like you would do when you're a baby You know, like, you will be surrounded by the language and then start talking. So start to put everything that you can in English, like watch Netflix in English and things like that little things that start to go into your reign even if you're not realizing it. And one day you start to actually notice you don't struggle anymore.

Daniel De Biasi 33:46

No, exactly. One thing I'd like to say for the listeners that're planning to move broad, they'd want to learn the language it can be prepared like I changed the language on my phone months before I left Italy. I just change it to English. And when I moved to New Zealand, I like I stopped like reading Italian, listening song in Italian, everything I was consuming was in English. The people I was hanging out with, English speaker. I was trying avoid- I avoid like Italians for years just because otherwise you ended up speaking your own language. So like, as you said, like immerse yourself with the language in any aspect of your life, just maybe after a few years, you ago back and started reading books in your own language. Because sometime it's probably better to give you like better emotions when you're reading your own language than actually the second language but at least for the first few years until you master the language, just try to read and consume everything in the language you're trying to learn and master. That's my advice.

Isabel 34:38

Yes, exactly. Exactly. That's it. That's true. I also changed the settings in my phone.

Daniel De Biasi 34:45

Yeah. And do you have any regrets about leaving your country?

Isabel 34:48

Not really. Not really. And of course, I missed my country. And of course, I miss especially my family and really a family person and my close friends. So I lived there for 28 years, so I have really close friends. And I try to go at least once a year, I have been lucky enough to actually be able to. But I don't really regret leaving it, because it was something I really wanted to do. And I think, when you actually pursue what you want, and like your passions and your dreams, you end being a better doctor, a better friend, a better sister, so I tried to ensure I have quality time with them, because I won't be able to have quantity. But at least when I go try to have those quality moments. But I don't really regret it. I think it was what they wanted. And that's why like, when I arrived here I actually felt that it was what I wanted.

Daniel De Biasi 35:51

It's actually about quality time that you said. I spoke with a guy like a while ago, it was actually an Irish guy that moved here in Canada. And he was like sharing this experience when he went to back to Ireland, and he was talking with his dad. And he was talking about like, I don't remember exactly, but he was mentioning something that he was counting like are many times goes every back every year. So it's like if you go there, back to your own country every year, or every two years or whatever. And maybe your dad is like 60 years old, like how many times you actually go back how many times you actually got to see your dad or your family members, whatever like, that put everything in perspective. Because I don't know, if it's 60, for example, he will live like awful until 80 or something like that. You go back every two years. That means they're gonna see you that 10 more times, right? That put everything in perspective, about the quality time versus quantity.

Isabel 36:46

Yes, exactly. So I think it's not for everyone as we said before. I think not everyone wants to live abroad, not everyone would enjoy it. But they feel if you really want, if it's something you want, you will definitely miss your country because let's not lie, I miss a lot with my country. But at the end of the day, you will be happy with your decisions. And because you went for what you wanted, and you went for your personal footprint to your life. So yes, then you can actually try to ensure that you have more quality moments. And as you were saying, if you count the amount of times that you see your family in a normal life, and it's not that much difference, if you go once a year, it's more I think, the sensation, because you know they are far and you cannot go. So that's a challenge when you're far away, you have to deal with that that you cannot go immediately if you want it, you know, and if something happened, it has to be something really bad for you to actually take a flight and take the time and take the time off. But I think as I was saying, like when you are happier and you go for what you want, at the end of the day, you end up being a better daughter and a better sister rather than the person that stayed knowing that they wanted to go for other things, you know/

Daniel De Biasi 38:15

Yeah, about living abroad, what was your biggest upside about emigrating, about living abroad?

Isabel 38:21

I think in the case of my country, it's definitely the multicultural environment. So I come from a liberal country, we are almost all European descendants. And so you wouldn't have different multi cultures, and you wouldn't even have too many different religions and too many different races. So I think in my case, best side of living abroad was definitely to be able to connect with different cultures that I wouldn't be able back home and also live in in Europe, yeah, it's really easy to travel. And so very passionate about traveling. So it was something positive about it as well, that I could travel everywhere, like really easily, studied more harder in South America to travel around. So those things were probably the upsides from living abroad.

Daniel De Biasi 39:16

And is there anything that you would have done differently?

Isabel 39:19

I don't think so. If I go in time, I think I would say to myself just to enjoy each part of the process. So I study life coaching on the last years, and now I actually work with people that are planning to do a transition from one country to the other one. I always tell them to try to that to enjoy each part of the transition. Because there is the first period where it's only a dream and it's only your your mind, and you feel there is no progress because you're thinking a lot. And because you've come and go with the idea and there's things holding you back and there is you can't see external changes. But at that moment, you're actually building strong foundations, you're gaining clarity in what you really want. So that's the only thing I think if I go back in time, I would tell myself, just to enjoy each part, and give yourself the time and the space to dream without limits. So you can know what you really want and leave the house for a later stage. First, be clear on what it is that you're passionate about. What are your dreams? And when you're struggling and fighting with all the fears that I know, it comes a lot of anxiety. And as we were saying, comes like thinking, would I ever be able to? Will I be able to pay for my studies or to find a job? Or even as we say, like, would I have enough knowledge of the language or we'll struggle? But I think I don't know if this is your situation as well. But when I go back, I actually remember those first days that I have the idea with so much gratitude, because that's where the journey starts, not like the day you arrived to the country, but the day the idea, start in your mind, and you start actually dreaming about it in some way.

Daniel De Biasi 41:20

Yeah. And now, like you went through all these challenges, and you overcome the fact that- now you overcome, and now you know, the unknown that it was there before. Now you know exactly what that is. And he managed to overcome that. You managed to, to succeed, all these challenges, all of these things that you thought were unknown at the time. And all after all of that you feel lucky. Do you feel lucky tol be an immigrant, or was it worth it to make the change?

Isabel 41:48

Yes, definitely. I feel like you know, I also feel lucky to be in a country that is really open to immigrants. And it might not be the case in any country. But yes, I definitely feel like you'll find the chance to choose where I want to live. And I know that's not always the situation for everybody. So I feel really lucky to be an immigrant here.

Daniel De Biasi 42:11

Sweet. And do you have any other particular advice you would like to give to the listener that either wants to move to Ireland, or they're trying to studying abroad?

Isabel 42:19

I think what we should discuss, I would say, living abroad, like, as I mentioned before, it's not for everybody, even traveling, it's not for everybody, not everybody likes it. And I think that's fine, that we are all different. We have all different things that we're passionate about, and we want to get in life. But I think if somebody is listening in this and they have that little voice in their head, telling what if I move abroad, what if I study abroad, I think you should go for it. And you should connect with that feeling. As I was saying, gain clarity in what you really want. Allow yourself to dream without thinking how you will do it. And this can be done in different ways. In my experience, it was through coaching, as I was mentioning, it was through meditation, through yoga, that I could actually connect with what I really wanted. And then once you are identified, just spend time gaining awareness of what is holding you back and challenge why it wouldn't be able to handle the language or why you wouldn't be able to handle a master or why wouldn't be able to find the job. And you don't have to move abroad. You can travel, you can study for a while, there are hundreds of option now. But I think if you have like the little voice, I would say like, listen to it and go for it.

Daniel De Biasi 43:46

Yeah, let's give it a try. And then you can decide if it's something for you or not, right?

Isabel 43:50

Yeah, exactly as we did, we gave it a try. And then we decide it was something we wanted for the future. But you never know, you might change your goal and see like, oh, certain time is enough for me. Six months, one year, that's enough for me, I want to come back. And that's that's fair as well. But yes, if you have internal question, I would say like, try it.

Daniel De Biasi 44:12

No, exactlyeven because if maybe you move abroad, and it's something that is not for you, but put in perspective, because maybe then you feel like oh no, I really miss my family. And maybe you go back to your country and you spend more time or you're you're not taking your family, your friends for granted anymore, because you missed them for that period of time when you were abroad. And you know, now that that's a big part of your life. That's a big part of what you want in life. So you give that more importance than other stuff, right? So it's always a win for me.

Isabel 44:40

Exactly. It gives you perspective, as we said before.

Daniel De Biasi 44:43

Exactly. And you mentioned like a coaching before. Do you want to tell the listeners how do you try to help other people through coaching?

Isabel 44:50

Yes, sure. So I started studying coaching a few years ago and now I actually help people and and work with people, towards transitions, and I also focus on self love. But I like a look to the work when, as we were saying when somebody is trying to move from a country to the other one, or sometimes it's even before when they want to change and then don't know even what to change. And so sometimes they are in earlier stages or a stage where they are needing a change and craving for something, but it's hard for them to actually identify what is that something. So there is a lot of exercise and tools you can do through coaching to actually gain clarity of what do you really want, then start challenging all the limitations that you could have and limiting beliefs, we call them in coaching, that are holding you back, as we were saying ideas like oh, I won't be able to speak other language, or I won't be able to master abroad, I won't have enough money to survive abroad, or all the fears that actually could come with that idea. So you can do work around that, in coach, in my experience, it works really well. Because you gain that clarity. And then you start thinking in other options that you might not consider at the beginning. So it happened with me as well, like I was aiming for a scholarship, but I am actually going for a master and instead of going abroad one year, I actually stay working here. So it might be different options you're not even considering at the beginning. And the tools that coaching applies, gives you the chance to take other perspective over the same problem.

Daniel De Biasi 46:42

Sweet. And if people wants to get in touch with you or maybe wants to like a coaching session with you, or just maybe have a question for you because they resonate with your story and want to ask you something more, where people can find you?

Isabel 46:54

Yes, sure. So they can find me in Instagram. So it's just a few months, I actually create this little space in Instagram where I share tools coaching, yoga, or meditation as well, because I as I mentioned before, there were tools that actually helped me so much during this transition process. So I started to share in them and they can find me, my Instagram is journeywithisa. And they can also email me and the email is So feel free to contact if you have any question if you want any advice if you want, or just to say hi.

Daniel De Biasi 47:37

That's nice as well.

Isabel 47:38

Yeah, it was nice.

Daniel De Biasi 47:41

sweet for the listeners that they can find all the links, everything we discussed, and even the links to get in touch with you everything, as usual will be in the show notes. So thank you, thank you so much Isabel to share your story. And I was like, I really enjoyed it. Especially because probably I resonate a lot with what you said at the beginning with the way you left your country, the reason why you decided to leave your country. So I definitely resonate a lot with that. And I really enjoy listening to it, so thank you so much for sharing your story here on the on the podcast.

Isabel 48:08

You're very welcome Daniel, and thanks for having me here. It was great to actually talk with you.

Daniel De Biasi 48:13

Sweet. Awesome. Alright, thank you so much, Isabel.

Isabel 48:15

You're very welcome. Bye bye.

Daniel De Biasi 48:17

Bye bye.

Thank you so much for tuning in is week and stick until the end. I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Isabel and found some valuable information to use in your own journey of immigrating. If you did enjoy this episode, do me a favor, please share it with a friend or someone you know who's planning to move abroad. And as I mentioned before, you can find links in everything we talked about in this episode in the show notes by visiting You can also find the link for the show notes in the description below. If you want to follow us on social media, you can find us on Instagram and Twitter at Emigrant's Life and Facebook at Emigrant's Life Podcast. And one more thing if you're planning to move to a new country, and you need help, feel free to reach out to me either via email at or through our website I know that making the jump is not always easy. It definitely wasn't easy for me. But with the right plan and read the resources, everything becomes possible and less scary. After all help you moving abroad is our goal. So don't hesitate to get in touch. Thanks again for listening. Talk to you in the next one. Ciao!