This semester, several staff members of the Gustavian Weekly are studyingabroad. We reached out to them this week to learn about why they chose to go abroad and what their experience has been like.
Opinion Editor Patrick Meadows is currently studying in Sweden.
He chose the Semester in Sweden program as a way to explore Swedish culture as well as learn about the roots of the college and his own heritage. Sweden also has a lot to offer in terms of scenery such as beautiful beaches and glaciers.
When he first arrived in the country, Meadows describes being a little nervous.
“I wasn’t sure if my Swedish would hold up that well after taking the classes two years ago, but I was surprised by how many people spoke English here. I was also extremely tired after dealing with jet lag, so it was tough to feel scared when
all you want to do is sleep,” Meadows said.
Meadows said his favorite activity so far has been learning how to dog sled. He even got the chance to practice with professionally trained dogs under the Northern lights.
One thing that has bogged down the trip for Meadows is the lack of independence that students on the trip face. In such a large group, it sometimes leads to annoyance and impatience.
Overall, Meadows has really enjoyed the experience so far and recommends studying abroad to any student that is considering it.
“Just do it. If you are unsure about it, I can assure you it will be an amazing experience. The trip is what you make of it and I strongly encourage you to go abroad if you have the opportunity. Plus, Gustavus has so many programs and partners that you can find pretty much whatever and wherever you are looking for,” Meadows said.
Weekly Photographer Abby Anderson is currently studying in Spain. Anderson said that she chose to study abroad because she wanted to step out of her comfort zone and into the Barcelona program in particular because of the beauty of the city and its internship opportunities
When she arrived in Spain, Anderson said she was sad to be away from her friends and family but excited to explore her new home.
One thing she said that she doesn’t enjoy about Europe is the outrageous amount of pigeons. “They’re always flying
at you in the streets!”
The biggest thing that Anderson is looking forward to when she gets home is sleeping.
“While studying abroad you want to do everything all the time! I’m excited to be able to relax and have nothing planned
for a little bit,” Anderson said.
Anderson said that studying abroad has been such a fun experience that has helped her to learn things about herself and how to deal with different situations.
Another staff member studying abroad is Features Editor Corinne Stremmel. Stremmel’s decision to study abroad was partially influenced by Professor David Jessup when he asked her when he semijokingly asked her when she was going to study abroad.
She took that suggestion to heart and signed up for the Sweden program. Stremmel said her initial feeling when she arrived was “oh my god, what have I done?”
However, that disappeared quickly and she’s really enjoyed the trip. Her favorite experience so far has been traveling to Jokkmokk and seeing the Northern Lights.
She says that she doesn’t really miss being on campus much.
“It’s hard to compare being on campus to being in Europe. That’s really an apples vs. oranges situation. I do, however, miss the staff at the Weekly,” Stremmel said.
Stremmel says that one thing she absolutely can’t wait for when she gets home is to eat an American cinnamon roll because they have “a special, unhealthy quality that can’t be replicated in Sweden.”
She also misses her friends and family and being able to live by her own schedule.
We at the Gustavian Weekly wish good luck and safe travels to these three for the rest of their study abroad experiences.