Skip to main content

Willem Kloempken

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: History + Peace, War & Defense/GIS
Program: DIS: Study Abroad in Scandinavia
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark and Stockholm, Sweden
Term: Summer 2022


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I wanted some experiential education in a safe place that spoke English with certain topics relevant to my areas of study, such as politics, ethics and law.


What did you learn about yourself?
I learned that I'm a mediocre shopper. On a more serious note, I learned that I'm capable of adjusting to situations and figuring out how to do important day to day things like cooking and utilizing public transport in unfamiliar environments.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
Watching the sunset from the rocky outcropping above the harbor in Stockholm each night the last week of the program.


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
You're going to be uncomfortable. The trick is to figure out how much discomfort you can and should tolerate. This means learning when to adapt to situations and push yourself to try new things and when to remove yourself from situations to keep yourself safe or in better order.


How do you identify?
Scholarship Recipient


Could you share any experiences where your identity played a role in your time abroad?
Oh lots. I traveled quite a bit on my own and while most places were very accommodating of English speakers, we had to be careful in certain areas of Bosnia and were told not to get off the bus in certain locales because the local Bosnian Serbs would not take very kindly to American tourists.


Is there any advice you would give to other students who share your identity?
It's a learning experience. Be cognizant that everyone has lived drastically different lives.


If you faced any challenges abroad, where could you turn to get the support you needed?
The program was always there for support without being too clingy, professors were incredibly nice, but other students were the best resource. They had different experiences and tried different things, so we all could compare notes. Additionally, other students are key for buddying up and staying safe.