Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

So it's Thanksgiving, and, as I try to do every year (and as often as possible), I am just taking time to be thankful. For things, sure, but most of all for the people in my life. Especially as I prepare to leave the ones I love the most for my longest stretch of time ever, the outpouring of love and support has amazed me every single day. Ever since I bought my plane ticket, there has been a notable shift in how my family and close friends have acted towards me. Hugs are longer, plans and phone calls made more frequently, and "I love you" said more often.  I may joke and say things such as "it's like I'm dying" or "it's like they will never see me again", but the fact of the matter is, this is how life should be lived. We SHOULD treat the people we love as if we won't get to see them for six months. Always. It's been an incredible lesson in remembering to live life to the fullest. Not only abroad, but at home and anywhere else, everything could change in an instant. And because my friends and family can't physically be there with me for the duration of my semester abroad, this is their way of packing in the quality time and making me feel their love as much as possible while it is able to be expressed in the most personal ways. A stockpiling of warm fuzzies, if you will. In my opinion, gratitude and love are pretty much one in the same. Appreciating someone for the person they are is the best way to love. Even though I'm in a special situation right now, it makes me really want to keep this going even when I get back. I want others to feel as loved as I do in this moment. Because it is amazing, and they deserve it, and I'm so thankful for this opportunity and all the unexpected ways it is already changing my life. 

I will leave you with a picture taken last summer with my 5 biggest fans :)

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Today is a great day. A fabulous one. A stupendously wonderful day indeed. You guessed it, I got my acceptance letter from Sweden today! I also found out that I got into my 4 top choice classes, so a big yay for taking classes for fun! For the past month, I've been frustrated and antsy over all of the things I haven't been able to do before receiving that fateful email. I couldn't buy my plane ticket with confidence, figure out my housing situation, apply for a residence permit, or even have the piece of mind knowing that I was for sure 110% going. But now, I can. I can breathe, start looking into all these things I have been waiting for, and get the ball rolling once again on these exciting plans. Oh, and my best friend was accepted too, so that's kinda cool ;) You guys...I AM GOING TO SWEDEN. Let's do this. 

And here is the concrete evidence :):):)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


This blog used to be called "My Crazy Adventure" because let's face is pretty crazy. A North Dakota girl picking up and leaving to Sweden for 6 months with little to none swedish language experience is not exactly something you hear about every day. I get all kinds of reactions when I tell people that I am studying abroad, and I would love to share with you a few of the questions I often get asked....

Isn't that, like, super expensive?

Yes, it is extra money, but it is so much more doable than one might think. Let's break it home, you pay for rent, food, tuition, books, sorority dues (in my case), gas, insurance, and other everyday living expenses. Studying abroad, you pay for all of those things plus a plane ticket and travel costs, but you do not pay for sorority dues, gas, and, not to mention that planes/trains are marginally cheaper abroad. So it is a trade off.  Students loans, baby. #YOLO (Did I really just say that?)

What classes are you going to take? You know Swedish?

I am going to be finishing the rest of my generals abroad while I anxiously await the results of my nursing application. I am currently taking Norwegian at UND, which is the language sister to Swedish. It was not required, but I am just doing it for a little bit of background knowledge going in and crossing my fingers I won't need it very much. People in many European countries learn english as a second language beginning in elementary school, so the language barrier will hopefully not be too big of a problem. Karlstad offers a wide variety of classes in english and it will be fun to have that as a crutch if all else fails :)

Aren't you going to be homesick?

Sure, there might be times when "What were you thinking?" may cross my mind, but I know those moments will be short lived when I look around and remember what an amazing opportunity this is. I went to France for 3 weeks in 2010 and was homesick for a few days, but I found that I only missed home when I was bored. As long as I keep busy and totally stay connected to the present, I know I will be okay!

Are you going alone?

Originally, yes, that was the plan. But..... (drumroll please) my best friend Chloe has last second decided she wants to be my study abroad partner in crime! It will be so nice to have that little piece of home to talk about my day with and to travel together all over Europe. There is no one else I would rather have by my side to experience everything with, good or bad. Plus, it will make my parents relax a little knowing that I am way less likely to get kidnapped or something (safety in numbers, blah blah blah).

Aren't you going to be behind in school?

Nursing is definitely a tricky major to study abroad in. It is very rigid and once you are in, you need to stay for the full 5 semester program. But, the way I see it, what is an extra semester going to hurt? (Graduating in 4 years is sooooo overrated.) Most people wait to apply to nursing anyways due to the extremely heavy course loads and tough GPA requirements. I have carefully planned my courses so that I will have all of my prerequisites completed and I can apply with confidence.

What made you decide to study abroad?

Ever since I was little, traveling has been a big part of my life. My family used to go camping to a different state every year, and I have been all over the country on mission trips with my church. But, going to France definitely sealed the deal for me. I got the "travel bug" and have dreamt of going back to Europe every day since I have been back. The spring semester is my absolute last chance to do it, and I could not be more ecstatic about my decision.

What is your question?

If you want to know more, feel free to comment :)

.....and I leave you with my favorite travel quote (if that is a thing)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Anticipation and Stress

The title of this blog says it all- as much as I am excited to be getting more details of my study abroad experience, I know the beginning of this last semester before I leave is going to test me. I will be taking 20 credits, holding down a part time job, and fully participating in my sorority's events (if school and work don't drive me totally crazy). People tell me I am an absolute lunatic for putting myself through this, and, as much as I agree, I know this is what I have to do. Not only to stay on track, but also to make this trip possible. Maybe I will even cave and buy a planner- ha! Yeah, probably not. It's all about that end goal, that tunnel vision, people! As long as I focus on that, I know I will be able to stay motivated. I GOT THIS. Side note, where did the summer go? I can't believe I have class tomorrow night. It just doesn't seem right. Anyways, wish me luck! Here I go!