About My Study Abroad Program
Major/Minor: Biology and Women's & Gender Studies Double Major
Program: DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Term: Summer 2021
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I decided I wanted to study abroad long before I came to college – I always knew I wanted to go out and explore other cultures, all while gaining new knowledge from a different perspective. Knowing that I wanted to go out and experience the world made choosing to study abroad that much easier! However, selecting the program was not easy for this exact same reason. Selecting my program required a great deal of self-reflection – how long do I want my program to be? What types of class(es) do I want to take? Do I want to take a course with UNC faculty? Do I have a preference on where I want to go? By having all of these questions at the forefront of my mind, I was able to come to the realization that the DIS program was best for me, for I was able to get the full study abroad experience and become fully emersed in Danish culture, all over the summer!
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned how to come out of my comfort zone and become much more comfortable with being independent. While at UNC, I’ve definitely had the opportunity to try new things and do things on my own, but nothing compares to going to a completely new country. It’s nerve-wracking when you’re 4,000 miles away from home for an entire summer, but it truly allowed me to understand how to come out of my comfort zone and how to navigate around an unknown area by myself… even if that meant getting on the wrong train and going in the wrong direction.
What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
One of my favorite memories from my program was when Denmark won against Czech Republic in the football (aka soccer) quarter-finals of the Euro. I went to a bar with some of my friends from the DIS program to get the full Danish gameday experience. In order to ensure you got the full experience, you had to plan your day accordingly and follow a few rules – get to the bar at least 3 hours early in your gameday gear to ensure you have a spot in the bar (earlier if you want a table), order some drinks from the bar (Carlsberg or Tuborg if you want to be a true Dane), sing along with the Danes as they sing Danish songs (even if you have no idea what you’re saying), be prepared to get drinks in your hair and hear glasses shatter when Denmark scores, and, when Denmark wins, get ready to run out into the plaza and have a party with the Danes. Having the opportunity to talk to my DIS friends and Danes about the game, all while being able to run outside and celebrate a win was one of the best things I’ve ever experienced.
What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
Be ready to be uncertain about everything and embrace it! Almost every time I turned around, there was always doing something that I found myself being a little uncertain and nervous about, but what else could I expect in a completely new place! By accepting and embracing the fact that you will be uncertain about things and not letting these uncertainties take over your study abroad experience, you will learn so much about yourself and a new culture.
How do you identify?
First Generation College Student, Covenant Scholars, Scholarship Recipient, Rural County Resident