Study Abroad Story: Meet Abby Verchick
Program and Location:
Lund University; Lund, Sweden
Why did you choose to study abroad?
To push myself outside of my comfort zone, immerse myself in another culture, see the world, and take advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity.
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned the importance of the little things. Life slowed down for me during my time abroad. People all around me taught me things every day if I was willing to watch and listen. In addition, I realized that it is okay to not know what one may want to do in the next chapter of life. The most important thing is to be happy. So many people get caught up in the “next” thing, but forget to enjoy the journey. In today’s world it is easy to do that, but as I’m now increasingly self aware of my focus on the future, I can fix my mindset and be able to enjoy the little things.
What was one of your favorite parts of your program?
I loved my ESN Lund (campus organization) trip to Lapland. The trip was with other international students from Lund University and occurred about halfway through my semester. This midpoint was when I started really getting close to people and the trip was a huge factor in that. The people I went with made the trip and my entire study abroad experience better than I could have ever imagined.
What advice to you have for future study abroad students?
Take advantage of every opportunity. Travel often. Meet as many people as you can. Eat a lot of food. It is easy to get caught up in trying to see all of Europe, but don’t forget about exploring the town or country where you are studying abroad. I was shocked how many people had travelled all over Europe, but hadn’t even made it to Stockholm by the end of my exchange.
How were your classes abroad different than if you would have taken them at NC State? Did you take any field trips or do anything outside of the traditional classroom?
My classes were different from classes at NC State in many ways. First, my classes were majority international students and were smaller in size. The academic schedule was on a quarter system, so I switched classes in March and had a total of 4 classes while I was abroad. Additionally, a couple of my classes had field trips to museums and other external activities that were a mandatory part of the class. Unlike NC State, the majority of our grade came from a final paper (normally about 70-90% of our grade) and there were no quizzes or tests along the way to help the grade. The academics in Sweden are very individual driven and it is up to you to keep up with the reading throughout the quarter in order to do well on the final.
Would you do it again?
This post was originally published in Study Abroad.