Anna Rose Laufenberg
About My Study Abroad Program
Major/Minor: major: Communications minor: Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics
Program: Working Globally Abroad in Denmark
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Term: Summer 2021
Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
I decided to study abroad because I was eager for a new experience. I studied abroad the summer of my sophomore year after having spent more than half of my college experience virtually. As a freshman out of state student, I came into UNC wanting to explore everything the school and the state has to offer. Due to Covid, I did not have the in person learning and social opportunities I expected. While it was challenging to make the decision I made to study abroad after having spent three semesters online, I knew that studying abroad was an experience I wanted to have in college and did not want Covid to take away another experience for me. This was the best decision I could have made. I chose my program based on my major. I had always been interested in Working Globally Abroad in Denmark due to the course taught: COMM 325 Organizational Communication. This class is a requirement for my major so that is what initially drew me to this program; however, the perks that came with learning this class in a country I had never been to before ultimately sold me to this program including meeting with companies like Carlsberg. Not only did I believe that this program would be a good match because it would give me credit for my major, I also believed it would prepare me for my future career.
What did you learn about yourself?
I have an interest in living abroad or at least working for an international company so this experience allowed me to explore this interest in a safe environment. I believe that participating in a UNC sponsored study abroad program is the best way to study abroad because UNC truly cares about the wellbeing of students abroad and wants students to excel abroad. I felt extremely comfortable with my abroad professor, Steve May, and had commonalities with my fellow students even though I had never met them prior to studying abroad. Additionally, having spent the past year in quarantine due to Covid, I did not have the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. As a naturally reserved person, I was hesitant about not knowing anyone on my program; however, I experienced exceptional social growth from this abroad experience. Not only do I feel comfortable exploring a country without knowing the native language, but I feel comfortable making friends that I would not have met if it were not for this opportunity.
What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
My favorite memory from my program is going to Tivoli, an amusement park in the center of Copenhagen, on Danish Independence Day with our entire class and professor. Tivoli was gorgeous! We walked there as a group and went to the food hall for dinner. In an American amusement park, most food is fried and not the best; however, the food at Tivoli was gourmet and delicious. We then went on to ride roller coasters together. Tivoli was the inspiration for Disneyland so the setting was magical. We had so much fun! At the end of the night, due to Danish Independence Day, there was a firework show that was incredible. This is a memory that will be special to me forever. It was a great day with great friends. These friendships started in Copenhagen but continue to grow in Chapel Hill.
What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
The advice that I have for future students who may face uncertainties while they are abroad is to trust themselves and the people around them. While the environment may be unfamiliar, there are plenty of resources available to you. The UNC Study Abroad Office, your abroad Professor, and your fellow classmates are here for you and want you to thrive!