The months leading to May 22, my first day as a DIS student, were overwhelming. Thinking about finals, starting senior year, and not knowing what to pack for a six-week-long trip to a country I had never stepped foot in was scary, overwhelming, and stressful. The last time I was this stressed about packing was when I migrated to America from my beautiful island Jamaica. Nonetheless, now that my feet have touched Swedish grounds, I know those last few months of anxiety were worth even a moment to breathe the Swedish air and be struck speechless by the historic architecture.
The World Outside My Island
As a young girl born on a culturally diverse island, traveling and experiencing different cultures was a dream I thought would never be a reality. Jamaica is known to be a ‘melting pot’ because the country has accepted and adopted the cultures and customs of people from different countries who decided to live on the island.
The exposure I gained to these different cultures and ethnicities piqued my interest in studying abroad, as I aimed to learn more about these different cultures. Therefore, when my university started promoting study abroad programs, this opportunity was not missing me.
Now, my Jamaican parents were not fans of me flying halfway across the world without knowing if there were educational benefits, so I had to be precise and critical when examining all the programs and countries at my disposal; that is when I came across DIS Stockholm.
Why DIS Stockholm?
For me and my family, studying abroad is not just about immersing myself in different cultures and meeting new people; it is about learning practical lessons and skills to utilize throughout my professional career.
The programs offered by DIS perfectly capture those principles. I am proud to say that while in Stockholm, I will study Human Trafficking in a Global Context and improve my writing skills in Travel Writing, where I will also embark on a Study Tour to Croatia.
For me, DIS is the place for immersive cultural and thrilling academic learning; it is the place that showed me that learning is fun, contrary to what my parents think. Finding a program like DIS Stockholm that combines academics and cultural exposure will convince any Caribbean parents to ship away their child for the summer; it surely convinced mine.
Plan in Action
The main goal this summer is to use the knowledge I gain on human trafficking for my honors thesis. However, my summer will not only be about education.
I plan to be the island girl immersing herself in a culture that is drastically different from her own. Whether it is visiting the ABBA museums and living out my dancing queen dreams, going on scenic hikes to see the 9 p.m. sunset, eating all the Nordic food my eyes can see, praying to be the man character in a real-life Stockholm edition of The Prince and Me when sightseeing at the Royal Palace, or learning to ride a bicycle so I can go on a three-hour bike tour (dreading this one), it is a summer I will never forget.
Stockholm, I am ready to be part of your side of the world.