Nicole Smovzh, Denmark, University of Copenhagen (Global Studies)

  1. What was your biggest fear about studying abroad that turned out to be no big deal?

My biggest fear about studying abroad was not having an immediate network of family and friends. Also, I was nervous about being in a new setting and feeling comfortable. After a week or so all of these fears were gone because I met a bunch of really cool people, and Copenhagen is known for its coziness feel, which is very true.

2. What do you wish you had done to better prepare before going abroad?

I wish I would have packed a little bit lighter. I brought a lot of clothes that I never needed or wore.

3. What were your favorite classes abroad? How did they compare to UCSB?

My favorite class abroad was one of the Danish Culture Classes. It was Danish urban architecture and design, and I enjoyed it because the professor was very passionate about what he was lecturing on. Not only that, but because I got to learn some history about the country I was in. This class compared to UCSB in multiple ways. First, the class sizes were about the same, about 60 students. The class also had no homework, just required weekly readings.

 4. What is one of your best memories from abroad?

One of my best memories from abroad was during the first week of classes. Me and my close friend decided to do an international pot luck dinner with some of the students we met. We consumed a bunch of food I have never heard of and drank a lot of good drinks. All in all, it was a night to remember.

5. What was your biggest challenge abroad?

My biggest challenge abroad was staying focused on my school work, because I would always want to explore some new parts of the city or travel to other countries.

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6. What is your favorite aspect of your host culture?

My favorite aspect of my host culture is the coziness also known as ‘hygge’ in Danish. The whole city was known for its coziness. Not just the coffee shops or the parks but even the buses and amusement parks had some aspect of hygge. It gave the city its own special vibe that I have never seen anywhere else. Copenhagen also reminded me a lot of where I am from, San Francisco.

 7. Did you intern, volunteer, or conduct fieldwork or research abroad? If so, tell us about your experience.

No, unfortunately I did not get to intern, volunteer or conduct fieldwork aboard.

8. What local food or drink do you miss most now that you are back?

The local food that I miss is this specific sour belt candy that I loved! It was gluten-free so it didn’t have any animal gelatin in it, so that made me feel better. I don’t know specifically why I enjoyed the candy so much, but I have been trying to find it online and I can’t.

9. How have you changed since your time abroad?

I have grown mentally and physically in many different ways. I have a whole new understanding and tolerance for other people’s cultures. Studying abroad has also made me realize there are so many opportunities abroad, you don’t have to stay in the U.S., and you can work anywhere.

10. What is your advice to prospective UCSB EAP students?

Travel to as many places as you can. Meet as many people as you can because you never know what connections you might make. Get out of your comfort zone because that’s when you really start to grow!

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