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Caroline Richter

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: Biology (BA) Major and Medical Anthropology Minor
Program: DIS Scandinavia
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Term: Spring 2022


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
Before I even knew where I wanted to go to college, I knew I wanted to study abroad. I wanted to explore different cultures, meet new people, and go to parts of the world that I have never been. I studied abroad spring of junior year, and I think it was the perfect break from the academic pressure of UNC and challenged me to learn in ways I never have before. Because I am a Biology major on the pre-health track, choosing a study abroad program was a little more difficult. DIS offered a wide variety of courses that transferred back for major/minor credit! I also had never considered going to Copenhagen previously, but I did hear that it was the happiest country in the world (and I feel like this is true)!


What did you learn about yourself?
I learned how to enjoy every moment and go with the flow. Often at UNC, it is easy to get caught up in the intense rigor and structure of the day to day. I realized that you can learn through experience and not spending hours a day studying notes. In terms of personal growth, I learned how to be comfortable talking to strangers and spontaneously saying yes to adventures.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
One weekend in February, my friends and I booked a trip to Iceland for my birthday! Studying abroad in Europe was amazing because the flights are SO much cheaper so trips like these were possible throughout the semester. We rented a car and drove the Golden Circle. Along the way, we got out to hike, see geysers, and eat at a hydroponic tomato farm. The scenery was AMAZING like something out of Star Wars. We also went to the Blue Lagoon! Another one of my favorite memories was returning from other countries back to Copenhagen. I remember the first time it felt like I was coming home. I adore Copenhagen, the ease of life, the pastries, and hanging out with my friends in the parks. It is special to know the ins & outs of a place and be able to call it your own! I have so many memories from studying abroad that I will never forget and would love to share. If I could go back right now, I would in a heartbeat.


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
It may feel like you are taking a huge leap into something so unknown and scary, but know that this feeling is temporary. It will take a little time to feel comfortable being uncomfortable in a new place, but it is so worth it. The friendships you will make will be powerful because you get to share so many fun experiences together and enjoy each other's company. Also, this is a time where you are the least busy - make the most of it! Take advantage of every moment and know that this experience will be transformative.