This blog used to be called "My Crazy Adventure" because let's face it...it 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 down...at 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)