Hello! My name is Rachel, and in two days, I will begin my journey traveling to Stockholm, Sweden, which will be my new home for the next four months. I feel like I have been planning and dreaming about my abroad experience for what feels like forever, and I can’t believe it’s already basically time to go. I am ready to be there, and I’m not sure if I am prepared for the plane ride ahead. I couldn’t find a direct flight to Stockholm, so I have an eight-hour flight to Madrid, Spain, and then another four-hour flight to Stockholm!
In the past few days, I have gotten more emails from DIS on what to expect and different materials for orientation. I am also excited about the classes that I will be taking since most of them are not offered at Stonehill (my home college). My core course will be Affective Neuroscience: Emotions, Cognition, and Behavior. Then the electives that I plan on taking include Philosophy of Technology and Human Values, Psychology of Political Behavior, and Swedish Language and Culture. Something that I am most excited for about the academics at DIS is the travel component. One of the reasons that I chose this program is for having the opportunity to learn the material in class and then being able to explore and seeing it out in the real world.
I still can’t believe that I am leaving in just a few days! I guess that means I better start packing. I have definitely started to feel the nerves start to kick in as I begin to think about saying goodbye to my friends and family back home. However, I know that this is probably going to be one of the only times where I’ll be able to live in a completely different place and truly be able to explore Europe. I can’t wait to take part in every opportunity that I can!
Also, I just wanted to share some tips that I got when looking for an abroad program/how to prepare for abroad:
- Do your research!! For me, I started looking for programs that I wanted based on my academics and then I looked into the different countries.
- Compare the cost of living of where you currently live and where you are planning to go abroad. It helped me to determine where I wanted to go and how much I should save. (This is the website that I used to help me: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/calculator.jsp)
- Start early! Remember, it is never too early to begin planning for your abroad experience. Now that I am leaving so soon, a part of me wishes that I started packing and getting things ready a little earlier.
- Take advantage of what your home college has to offer. My school offered different workshops on how to budget when abroad and how to travel throughout Europe.
- Extra things: to prepare for this experience, I have talked to friends and other. students about their abroad experience, I have made a list of places that I hope to also travel to. When beginning to pack, I am laying out all of my clothes first to see how much I am bringing and where to cut down if I need to.
- Have fun, and get excited!!!
I can’t believe that I’m going to be there before I know it, and I can’t wait to share my experience at DIS and in Stockholm here! Also, I wanted to share a playlist of songs that I have been listening to for my travels!