As Senior Scandinavian Studies and Political Science major Annalise Dobbelstein prepared to leave her home of 11 months in Göteborg, Sweden, she reflected on taking a gap year before coming to Gustavus. During those months, she had grown accustomed to the language, immersed herself in the culture, and made countless friends and connections.
Although she was nervous to transition into a new way of life all over again, she was confident that her decision to come to Gustavus as a fifth generation Gustie would be for the best, as the Scandinavian Studies department offered her a chance to strengthen her passion for the Swedish language and culture she had come to love.
“Studying at Gustavus has allowed me to maintain and develop my connection to Sweden. Here I am still able to speak the language with friends and professors and get a chance to study the culture,” Annalise said.
Four years later, Annalise has shaped a distinct niche for herself in the Gustavus community. In her time here she has participated in many organizations. She is involved in Gustie Guides, the Viking Society, MAYDAY, Building Bridges, and she interns with Center for International and Cultural Education as a Study Abroad Peer Advisor.
“Annalise is extremely dedicated and hardworking; she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to. She’s a loving individual who is committed to making the world around her a better place and the lives around her a little brighter,” Senior Ellen Krueger said.
Entering Gustavus, Annalise was well aware of her passion for people. Now she pursues that passion through her majors and peace studies minor.
“I am passionate about being with people,” Annalise said. “I love to meet new people and learn through conversation.”
Her friendly personality is one of the first traits noticed by many who have met Annalise, including professors.
“Friendly is an understatement,” Associate Professor in Political Science and Peace Studies Richard Leitch said. “She was expressive and energetic, bordering on hyper. That is not the common characterization of a first year student in a course with a large contingent of upperclassmen.”
Friends say that her outgoing personality is one of the biggest reasons Annalise is deserving of Gustie of the Week.
“She’s that person that people describe when they talk about a Gustavus student. She is the person that always says ‘hi’ to people when she walks past, she is the person that values everybody here and sincerely wants to help them succeed,” Senior Rebecca Eastwood said.
When she finds free time between studies and extra curricular activities, Annalise loves drinking coffee and catching up with friends and professors, speaking Swedish with them whenever she can. She also seeks joy by impacting the environment in a positive way.
“I hope to make an impact environmentally here at Gustavus,” Annalise said. “I think the environment is very important, and I feel that there are many that do not think about the effect that our everyday life has on the environment.”
After Gustavus, Annalise hopes to find herself working in a nonprofit in Minneapolis with Cathy ten Broeke.
“Annalise is such a person that is quite literally built to be supportive of others.Wherever she ends up they will be lucky to have her,” Eastwood said.
Wherever Annalise does end up after Gustavus, friends and professors are sure she will carry her personality with her.
“I expect Annalise will still have the same level of energy, commitment for causes, and tirelessness that she has exhibited during her years at Gustavus,” Leitch said.