Skip to main content Skip to site utility navigation Skip to main site navigation Skip to site search Skip to footer

Leanne Dickie's Story

Leanne Dickie in Austrian (2023)

Hello, my name is Leanne, and this June I participated in the International Days in Social Work conference in Austria, Europe.

This trip has provided so many new experiences for me, one of the biggest being it was the first time I have ever traveled before. It felt a little scary at first but has become the first of many incredible travel experiences to come. This trip not only allowed for me to get to learn and see how my career field (Social Services) work and collaborate all over the world, by attending lectures from professors all over the world such as British Columbia, Ireland, Mexico, Poland, the UK, Germany, Austria, America and more, and attending cite visits like Homeless day shelters, AIDS clinics, Police Departments, Hospitals, former concentration camps, and more.

But this trip also provided enough time to explore and have experiences of my own. During my time in Austria, I got to explore Salzburg, where they filmed one of my most favorite movies, The Sound of Music, attend the Pride festival in Vienna, and fulfill a childhood dream of mine; seeing the Admont Abbey Library. If there was one major lesson I took out of those opportunities it was to never give up on your dreams. Growing up I never thought I would come close to an opportunity like this one, and kind of just applied for one of the seven spots in a spur of the moment, “what have I got to lose” mindsets, and to my surprise I had learned that all my hard work was finally paying off. It opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities.

I had the privilege and pleasure of making so many lifelong memories while attending the conference, and did so all while making some life long friendships. I hadn’t known any of the other students who I went with on this trip with until March/April when we all met for the first time, and now we share so many deep rooted memories, laughs, cries and experiences together, something that will hold us together for the rest of our lives, and I so thankful for each and every one of them. They taught me so much about myself, that I had never realized and help me see new potential within myself, because they allowed me to grow, and experience this opportunity how I chose to, while being by my side the whole time.