Paulina (she/her), University of Michigan, completed a DIS Summer visiting both Stockholm and Copenhagen. Read Paulina’s reflections on the empowering and transformative nature of her study abroad experience.
Welcome to Scandinavia!
A year ago, as I scrolled through the DIS website for the first time, studying abroad was still a distant dream for me. How would I afford to go? How could I maintain progress in my academics and career prospects at home? Having spent every summer since high school working full time, I couldn’t imagine leaving the safety of my routine to come study in Stockholm and Copenhagen. Thankfully, DIS supported me with several scholarships that made this summer possible, so I took the leap.
In my time here, DIS has expanded my sense of what is possible for myself. This is a program that feels optimistic and future-oriented. There’s a distinguishing feature in the academics at DIS—you can expect to be challenged academically, but your confidence, skills, and motivations will grow limitlessly as a result of that challenge. Impactful Field Studies in my statistics course have brought me directly into Scandinavian university classrooms and given me a seat at the table with world-class instructors using innovative computing technologies. I’ve used real surveyed data from the Stockholm community to develop a project that will certainly add to my academic portfolio. These experiences have reinforced my passion for data science and have prompted me to consider returning to Stockholm for graduate school in a few years.
There’s a distinguishing feature in the academics at DIS—you can expect to be challenged academically, but your confidence, skills, and motivations will grow limitlessly as a result of that challenge.
Many of you will be traveling alone for the first time—on another continent of all places—but you will quickly grow comfortable with these safe and easily-navigated cities. Soon, you will be hopping on ferries with new friends to visit islands near and far, or find yourself on a train, riding through the idyllic Swedish countryside during the most magical time of the year, when the sun hardly sets before rising again.
If you’re considering studying abroad, don’t let your doubts keep you from exploring all that DIS has to offer. You will discover a range of courses that challenge what you think you’re capable of and will ultimately shape you into a confident and analytical student. You will meet friends who come from all over the world and are as motivated and curious as you. And most importantly, you will leave DIS with an unmatched independence and sense of personal growth. I know I am departing Scandinavia with a new sense of personal agency and new ideas for what I’m capable of achieving, and I hope you will do the same.
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