Kat (she/her), Denison University, shares her reflections and advice on getting to know yourself as you explore your new home abroad.
My study abroad journey began well before I stepped foot in Scandinavia. I had never left the country before and it was a constant back-and-forth deciding to pursue education abroad. For students like me who come from low-income backgrounds, study abroad is not typically an option.
I was lucky enough to come to DIS as a recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship. This has allowed me to focus equally on both my leisure time and my education – something I am not often able to do back at home.
Studying abroad is one of the first times in your life when you truly get to be independent. From your classes to your housing, you are among professors, advisors, and peers who are helping you grow confident in your new environment. Your sense of self and your place in the world seems to shift beyond the limits you’ve previously known. Culturally and geographically, you are planting yourself across national boundaries and taking on a commitment to think globally.
Culturally and geographically, you are planting yourself across national boundaries and taking on a commitment to think globally.
You’ll have plenty of time to hit up all the tourist spots, eat all the pastries you’ve seen in local bakeries, and go explore with new friends. But my big piece of advice? Do not be afraid to do things by yourself. Take yourself out, read books on the harbor, take new walking routes, spend your evenings how you like. Get to know yourself and what you like to do because there’s no better time to do it than when you’re a student traveler.
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