Major: Computer Science
Minor: Art & Design
International Experience: Undergraduate Research Program at Lund University, in Lund, Sweden - Summer 2017
Why did you choose to study abroad when/where you did?
Throughout my life design has always been a large interest of mine. Although I did not know much about Sweden at the time, I knew that the country was extremely innovative in terms of their product design and technology, and being able to experience life there was a perfect fit for me. Furthermore, the programs that Lund had offered fit very well into what I had wanted to do for my future (they had some pretty great programs to choose from)!
What was one of the most memorable experiences from your time abroad?
On one of the weekends during the program in Lund, some other international students and I visited Stockholm as our obligatory “visited the capital city” trip. Stockholm is known for its unique landscape such that it is a cluster of islands that make up the city area, rather than just being flat land. Being able to just walk around the city was amazing within itself -- you could just walk from one island to the other and each area would be a slightly different neighborhood. We had decided to head out of the main downtown area to go kayaking. We were set free for around 6 hours to just paddle from island to island. We would paddle by small towns and all these islands that had some beautiful landscapes, and we were even allowed to go onto them and walk around. There were a few people who had ended up flipping over, but it’s all part of the experience. It was a super unique way to experience the area and if anyone who reads this decides to go visit, I definitely recommend trying the kayaking out!
What was one of the biggest surprises about the location, culture or other aspects of your program?
What struck me as the most surprising about living in Lund was how relaxed and content everybody seemed to be. Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries are known very well for their status of being one of the best places to live, but reading that off a travel website really doesn’t do it justice. Although I had probably went during the best time of year, I could really feel how positive people were just by walking around. It’s hard to explain in words, but living there was really something else.
How do the skills and experience you gained abroad set you apart as a professional engineer?
Studying abroad has helped me gain a more broad world view and has expanded my ability to understand to cultures and adapt to situations that are totally different than what I am used to. It has made me more empathetic when meeting people as well. Professionally, these skills are really useful since, with larger corporations, lots of collaboration is involved with people from all walks of life.
What advice would you like to give to a student interested in an international experience?
Do it! It really is a priceless experience.
How did your time abroad impact your graduation timeline?
My graduation timeline is still on track, since I ended up doing my abroad experience during the summer.