Eye-opening January 28, 2020

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/17/2019 to 12/13/2019 with

DIS Stockholm Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a new sense of independence, from cooking my own meals to being happy with eating alone. I learnt a lot about myself and thought it was a very worthwhile experience.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload was more rigorous than I anticipated, and we were given a myriad of resources.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I didn't have many issues with the on-site administration, they were pretty organised.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had requested a single and was put in a triple with no privacy. I did not really enjoy my housing experience and had found that the administration was unhelpful in giving me a new room despite requesting one due to roommate issues. They had many spare rooms and I found it frustrating that they were unable to easily accomodate a new room.

* Food:

The food was good and we were given a stipend for groceries.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I mainly hung out with the Americans on my program and felt that there could have been a better immersion program with the Swedish students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I thought the healthcare system DIS had in place was great, and I was able to regularly see their doctor and therapist.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Sweden.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

Personally, I loved the program and DIS but would not choose the same program purely because of the weather and lack of light in Sweden. The dark hours and the fact that it got dark at 2pm really affected me towards the end of the program.

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Sweden is very expensive and I did end up spending more than $200/week on food and personal expenses.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $350+
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would try and cook more and eat out less and each meal was pretty expensive. Moreover, I would make more use of the free and fun events happening in Stockholm.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

Pretty frequent

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I am fluent in Mandarin but had no experience in Swedish prior to departure.
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Definitely use duolingo and reach out to your teacher for any questions.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Interesting classes
  • The people on my program
  • The field study to London
* What could be improved?
  • Accomodation
  • Integration with local students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That it is okay to initially feel alone in the program as everyone else is probably feeling the same thing as you.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Course Department: English
Instructor: Anne Bachmann
Instruction Language: Storytelling Lab: How Narrative Works
Comments: I thought the course syllabus was very interesting and the teacher was great. However, she was a bit disorganised at times but other than that a really good class. We got assessed based on our papers and our participation.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Imagining the Other in European Literature

Course Department: English
Instructor: Jan Holmgaard
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was my favourite class- it was challenging and the essay prompts pushed me to work extremely hard in the class and produce good results. I participated a lot in this class and got very class to my other classmates. We were assessed on our papers and participation.
Credit Transfer Issues: No
Course Name/Rating:

Philosophy of Technology and Human Values

Course Department: Philosophy
Instructor: Jan Holmgaard
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I loved this class and found the content very interesting. The teacher was very smart and well-prepared for the classes. We were assessed on our papers and participation.
Credit Transfer Issues: no
Course Name/Rating:

Nordic Contemporary Art

Course Department: Art History
Instructor: Alessandra Di Pisa and Robert Stasinski
Instruction Language: English
Comments: this course had a good balance between being manageable and challenging. I would say it was more manageable than challenging. The teachers did a great job of taking us to different art institutions for field trips and they were very knowledgable. We were assessed through our participation, oral presentations, and essays.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Swedish Language and Culture I

Course Department: Languages
Instructor: Djina Wilk
Instruction Language: Swedish and English
Comments: Personally, I found this class to be extremely challenging. Swedish is a very hard language to learn and although we were given many resources, I still struggled a lot in this class. I felt that the teacher was extremely knowledgable but at times, I felt that she could be biased towards certain students. There was a lot of homework and the workload wasn't always manageable. We were assessed on oral presentations, exams and our participation.
Credit Transfer Issues: no