The last six weeks have been a whirlwind of experiences and emotions, and by far one of the most exciting periods in my life so far. I learned so much about psychology and culture and met so many wonderful people! I got to visit and explore such wonderful and beautiful places that I never thought I would get to see.
I am so grateful for the experience and I am so sad that it is almost over for me. After this session, I will be returning to the United States to spend the rest of my summer absorbing all I learned in Stockholm and Paris (and to go back through all my photos). I will also be adopting a dog, which is something I have annoyed my classmates with talking about all summer.
As a conclusion for my time as a blogger, I though I would talk about some of my favorite places and experiences I had while in Stockholm. My favorite place in Stockholm, by far, was Gamla Stan. The beautiful buildings and streets, bright colors like streets from an animated movie, the cheerful and bustling shopping district with so many dessert and souvenir shops, the Royal Palace, and all the museums that are scattered throughout the island made it a place I could spend hours and hours exploring.
Of the experiences I had, my favorite is a tie between the whole of my classes and the two boat tours I took through the program. I learned so, so much in class and study abroad was a perfect setting for the content we covered. It was also nice to take a faculty led program with a professor and students from my home university, as we all had shared experiences to bind us together. I learned so many new things about UNC by speaking to students outside of my usual orbit. I also loved my professor and classmates from my second session class. Exploring Paris would not have been as fun without them and all the funny conversations we had will make me smile every time I think of them for years and years to come.
The archipelago boat tour of Sweden and the river boat tour of Paris were both an amazing and beautiful experience. We were able to see so much of Sweden and Paris in a short period of time. In Sweden, we were able to enjoy a warm, sunny Summer day and breeze on the water of the Baltic. In Paris, we got to see the sun set and the moon rise up over the many iconic monuments of Paris. We also got to see the Eiffel tower sparkle, a sight that still takes my breath away just by remembering it.
I also learned a lot about myself while I was here. The Swedish concepts of lagom and fika are something I hope to bring back to the US. Lagom is the idea of having just the right amount of something, not too much or too little. Fika is a break you take from working or activity to share a coffee or snack with your coworkers and friends. Both concepts remind me to take it easy and not put so much pressure on myself. I think it’s easy in America to get stuck going too fast and being too focused on work at the expense of relationships and personal health. My time in Sweden has taught me the value of taking it easy and learning to draw the line.
I am so thankful to DIS and UNC for this experience! To any students reading this who are on the fence about study abroad, GO! It is so, so worth it.