As part of their positions, CGIS Advisors embark on site visits to visit students and ensure that our programs are the best they can be. Senior Intercultural Programs Advisor Callie Rouse recently traveled to Stockholm, Sweden to visit students attending the University Study in Sweden - Stockholm University program. She spoke with Marne Fox, a junior in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, studying Organizational Studies.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Callie Rouse: Why did you choose to study abroad on this program?
Marne Fox: Well, it was good for my major with those social sciences and humanities options, and since I don't speak in other languages—Scandinavia speaks really good English, so that was also a plus—and I just like Stockholm. Nothing really big that went into it.
CR: What is something that you took away from this experience? Or a story that you'd like to share? Like, a particular anecdote about your experience here?
MF: This wasn't actually in Stockholm, but I went up to the Finnish Lapland for a trip through Erasmus Student Network. It was memorable from the things that we did. We jumped in the Arctic Ocean, which is something I most likely wouldn't have done normally. We did like Husky sled rides, and I guess it's just like a lot of new experiences and things to do. But I also think like, you know, some like the good friends I've made here. We just bonded so quickly. It's interesting, but yeah, you bond so quick and it kind of makes the new experiences and stuff so much more memorable and exciting.
CR: Is there anything you'd like to share about your identity that has been notable or different from the US?
MF: I mean it's like it's safer here, being a woman. It's a lot safer to like to walk at night. I don't feel as scared and unnerving as I do in the US. I do think it is this sense of like, more calm, intensive being a woman in Scandinavia.
CR: What do you think you'll remember the most about your experience abroad in 20 years?
MF: The people and my friends I've made. I definitely think it's just the people and then the little stories that we've done that, you know, kind of go along with it.
CR: Is there anything else you want to add? Like maybe like the educational system that is very different?
MF: It definitely is a lot different since they block it off. It's not common to take multiple classes at once, you can but it's not common. You focus on one thing at a time; the classes do go faster, which is an adjustment, but it kind of seems like there's more focus on other activities, like more of a social life. Whereas back home, it seems like it's a lot of “go, go go.” So I'm less stressed here in terms of schoolwork and stuff. It's harder and easier in different ways.
CR: Did you receive any scholarships or funding for the program? And are you comfortable sharing which ones if you did?
MF: I received two scholarships. One was through my major, through organizational studies. And the other one was the Mary Sue Coleman Scholarship, so I was fortunate.
CR: Anything else you want to say about the experience?
MF: I think in terms of cold, it's not as intimidating as it seems. Because I know looking it up beforehand, like where it is on the latitude, longitude kind of thing. It's the same thing as the Canadian Yukon and southern part so I was really nervous, really scared. But it's not. It is cold, but it's not anything that you can and I don't think, you know, yeah.