- What was your biggest fear about studying abroad that turned out to be no big deal?
When I decided to study abroad, I was most nervous about making friends. Being in a new city with all new people and at a new school can be a daunting thought, but it ended up being super easy to meet people. My pre-semester language program and many of my classes at the University helped me to meet new people and make friends early on. Not only was I successful in making friends and meeting new people, but my ability to practice this skill has continued to help me since I returned to UCSB as well.
- What do you wish you had done to better prepare before going abroad?
One thing I wish I would’ve done better to prepare myself for going abroad was to research the location I was staying at before I got to the airport. I had totally forgotten that my phone wouldn’t work there, and when my flight arrived later than expected, I was totally lost and ended up having a very stressful first day or two which could have easily been avoided!
- What were your favorite classes abroad? How did they compare to UCSB?
My favorite class that I took while abroad was a masters course at the University which focused on the inner workings of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). This class was incredibly interesting and was really helpful in finding out about my interests which helped me to focus my job search. The best part about this course was that it was taught by someone who had participated in work with the UNSC as a staff member for the Danish appointee. The lectures for this class were quite similar to those at UCSB, but the test format for this class was completely different than anything I had ever done. The oral exam for this class allowed me to better master the course material and fully understand concepts and ideas without being forced to memorize facts.
- What is one of your best memories from abroad?
One of my favorite memories from being abroad was my last week in Copenhagen. I had just gotten back from a long trip and music festival that followed, and it was my first time being back in the city for about 3 weeks. One of my friends and I spent the whole week doing all of the touristy things that I really wanted to do but hadn’t yet done. We had a really good time and that whole week made me super sentimental and was a great way to end my trip.
- What was your biggest challenge abroad?
One of the biggest challenges I faced while studying abroad was staying focused on my classes and all of the work involved in doing that. Though I really enjoyed my classes, there were so many other things that I wanted to do as well which made it challenging to properly schedule my time. By the time exams came around things ended up working out, but I do wish I would’ve spread out more of my work so I didn’t have to put so much time into it toward the end.
- What is your favorite aspect of your host culture?
One of my favorite things about Danish culture is how generally calm and quiet everyone is. The streets are never too loud and most people keep to themselves. This was tough to overcome sometimes when trying to meet people, but I really enjoyed the fact that when you put in the effort you had the opportunity to meet some really cool people who were quick to converse and share their thoughts.
- Did you intern, volunteer, or conduct fieldwork or research abroad? If so, tell us about your experience.
While I was abroad, I worked and volunteered at two different businesses in the city. First, I volunteered at Studenterhuset which is a student-run bar and cafe, which is mostly used as a hangout and event spot for students at UCPH. This was such a great way to meet people and get involved, and it overall provided me with a lot of opportunities and allowed me to learn a lot about the culture. I also briefly worked at a small food place that was just opening up. This position was far less interesting and didn’t last as long, but the best thing about it was that I was able to further immerse myself in the language and culture because many of my co-workers were native Danes or other Europeans.
- What local food or drink do you miss most now that you are back?
There aren’t a large number of specialty foods that are specific to Denmark, and those that are can be very pricey. Because of this I didn’t to eat out very often, but one of my favorite things that I got to have regularly in Denmark was imported beer. Being so close to all the other European selections, the beer selection is pretty amazing most of the time.
- How have you changed since your time abroad?
Since my time abroad, I have become so much more confident in myself and my ability to handle difficult and uncomfortable situations. More than anything though, living in a foreign country has only furthered my desire to travel and live abroad.
- What is your advice to prospective UCSB EAP students?
The best advice I can give to future EAP students is to not hesitate. Participate in everything, meet everyone, and travel everywhere you can. You end up getting so much out of the activities that you least expect, and sometimes these spur of the moment decisions can make for some of the best adventures.