There are so many options as to where to study abroad. So why did I choose Stockholm and The Swedish Program? Economics was a main factor; I wanted to broaden and globalize the scope of my economics knowledge, my major at school. As an economics major, having the opportunity to study at SSE was also important.
Lastly and most importantly, size. My semester had 41 people. This size fostered independence; we didn’t live in dorms with tens of fellow abroaders, like some programs. Instead, we lived in houses or apartments, with others on our program nearby, but not in the same building. Especially for me, I lived in Kista with three others…with the closest American to us 40 minutes away, the same distance to school. This allowed my roommates and I to cook consistently, explore our area, and lead a much more adult lifestyle than one would in a dorm. Yet at the same time, given how few of us there were, we were afforded the opportunity to build real friendships with each other because of how few we were and the continued interactions we had.
Size fostered independence and many opportunities for cultural immersion; I felt no pressure to continually meet Americans; I felt free to explore. I went to plenty of cafes alone, and many walks and adventures around town. I often went to one of my favorite choir’s rehearsals and “choir beer” with them afterwards.
So, what’s the main takeaway? The program lived up to and surpassed expectations because of the friendships I made, the independence I was afforded, and the knowledge about the world and myself that I learned. In a world with so much information and opportunities, this is an experience that deserves to be shared.