Getting ready…

Okay guys. Here we go.

It’s officially one month until I am on a plane flying across the world to Stockholm, Sweden.

Have I been to Sweden before? No.

Have I blogged before? No.

So this should be fun!

Rewind to August 2020 when I was a scared, pandemic freshman knowing that studying abroad was a college experience must-have for me. At Tulane, I had heard through the grapevine that DIS Stockholm/Copenhagen were go-to trips for those on the pre-med track, and, trusting the wisdom of experienced upperclassmen, I forged full steam ahead researching DIS. I knew I wanted a mix of academic rigor, small class sizes, and opportunities aplenty for cultural immersion. I saw that DIS Stockholm had some sick classes (I mean, classes on Vikings and crime fiction??), was smaller than Copenhagen, and its classes would be held at the Royal College of Music. I was sold.

Another reason for choosing Stockholm was that it offered Affective Neuroscience: Emotions, Cognition, and Behavior as a Neuroscience core course (whose last run will actually be this Fall 2022 semester), and I knew that was the kind of stuff I wanted to dive deeper into as a Neuroscience major, especially knowing that Scandinavia’s healthcare and medical field were topnotch. Also, Stockholm is just really cool, and I guess I wanted to see what that Syndrome was all about (haha). It became clear that DIS Stockholm was the perfect fit for me on paper, and I’m so grateful that putting things into action has worked out considering the chaos of the world over the past few years.

Although I’m having all of the nerves associated with studying abroad, I’ve mostly just been excited to see a new country, and I’m hoping that there won’t be as big of a culture shock because I’ve had the privilege to travel out of the country before. While they opened my eyes to international travel, those trips were all with family. In Sweden, I’m going to be ~independent~, which is something I hope to adapt to and find a support system for while I’m there.

From left to right: my sister Emily, me, and my twin sister Sarah in Mexico, looking our very best in 2010 fashion.

This summer has been all about planning, and no joke, it’s a lot. From cell phone plans to international insurance to finding a full-blown winter jacket (of which I have never owned as I live in Alabama and go to school in Louisiana), there’s a lot that goes into living and studying in another country (wild, right?). Thankfully DIS has been super helpful with visa applications, information sessions, and Canvas courses. I’m an anxious person, so I have expectations and often need things planned out perfectly. But it’s a constant battle between that side of myself and the easygoing side who just wants to go with the flow and not worry. Hopefully I’ll be able to find a nice, healthy balance in Sweden.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Back to finding a jacket!

Lagom

Swedish word meaning not too much, not too little, just the right amount. Being in perfect balance.

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