About My Study Abroad Program
Major/Minor: Biology/Chemistry & HSLO minor
Program: UNC Science in Scandinavia (BIOL 260)
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Term: Summer 2023
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I decided to study abroad because I wanted an enriching education experience over the summer and since I transferred in Fall 2023 to Carolina, I would be taking the new curriculum. BIOL 260 is a part of the new curriculum and this summer was the first time it was being taught. I figured this program was perfect for me and it ended up being amazing!
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that I really enjoy travelling. As a first-generation student, I have never had the opportunity to travel before this. I’ve never been on a plane either, so all of this was new to me. Traveling alone, flying for 14 hours, and being in a new country without my family was something I never imagined myself doing. I also learned that just because something is difficult, does not mean I am incapable of doing it. I encountered challenging experiences throughout my time abroad, but I made it through. Lastly, I learned not to be afraid of trying new things on my own. This time abroad contributed immensely to my personal development and I left Copenhagen feeling accomplished and like I knew more about myself.
What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
My favorite memory from the program was going on a porpoise safari with my class. Since my class was only 7 students including me, we were all able to fit on one boat and we were able to see so many porpoises and seals. We also ended up in Sweden because Sweden is super close to Copenhagen. I’ve never been on the ocean like that before so it was super exciting and I loved every minute of it. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
I would say to make sure you do your research on the country and course you plan to take, have emergency contacts, don’t be afraid to reach out for support or for sponsors. Remember that this is a new experience for you so while there may be some uncertainties, the entire opportunity is meant to be enriching and fulfilling! UNC faculty is super supportive, so there will be someone willing to help you through this experience.
How do you identify?
Student of color, First Generation College Student, Scholarship Recipient, Transfer Student
Could you share any experiences where your identity played a role in your time abroad?
As a student of color, I was nervous about traveling to a new country by myself and how race was interpretted there. However, to my surprise, race is not as big of a deal as it is in America. In fact, I felt more comfortable being a person of color in Denmark, I did not feel judged, everyone was super nice, and I met other people of color.
Is there any advice you would give to other students who share your identity?
I would say to do your research on the country you plan on studying abroad in, see if you can talk to study abroad ambassadors who went to the same country, and not to be afraid to try new things.
If you faced any challenges abroad, where could you turn to get the support you needed?
Some challenges I faced as a first-generation student included finding funding for the program. I would asked my study abroad advisors and study abroad financial aid advisors for advice. UNC offered more study abroad scholarship opportunities than I thought, so I applied for as many as I could.