Making the most of "Stockholm as your home, Europe as your classroom" January 19, 2023

By (Physics and Computer Science, Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/20/2022 to 12/17/2022 with

DIS Stockholm Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Much of what I gained from my experience abroad was personal and formative, as I feel that I have grown so much as an individual and have a new perspective from which to live my life. This program was absolutely worthwhile, and I am sure that it will have an impact on me for the rest of my life.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I didn't find the academic experience to be incredibly rigorous, but I do feel that I learned a significant amount during my time in this program.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Administrators were responsive to student requests and concerns, and the program felt quite well organized.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My housing site was amazing! The location within Stockholm was fantastic, the communal kitchen made for a great social space for me and my friends from my building to spend time together, and the individual room arrangements were quite comfortable.

* Food:

As DIS had said, the housing stipend didn't cover all of the food costs for the semester but certainly made it easier to justify spending money on fresh food to prepare at home.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I didn't feel a ton of integration to my "local culture" through my housing site, but I joined a number of community organizations including a rowing club and weekly running club through which I was able to meet a variety of interesting people from within Stockholm and elsewhere.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

DIS was accommodating of illness when sickness spread throughout the program, but I never ended up needing access to the actual healthcare system though my understanding was that it was easily accessible.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe at any point in Stockholm, and truthfully didn't feel unsafe in any of my travels around Europe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I loved the fact that I was able to explore so much of Europe during this program while still gaining valuable academic experience through my various classes.


* 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)

I did a significant amount of traveling on weekends / during breaks so I spent much more money than some might have. Without so much traveling, though, it would definitely have been easier.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $250
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you are comfortable cooking your own meals and using affordable produce (which will almost certainly still be quite fresh and healthy), you shouldn't have too much difficulty saving money on food-related purchases.


* 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

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? None
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • I loved being so fully integrated into local life in Stockholm in terms of navigating the city, commuting, and shopping like a local.
  • I enjoyed the fact that we were encouraged to travel during our breaks from the program, which allowed me to see many incredible places in Europe that I might not have otherwise.
* What could be improved?
  • Ensure that different core course trips can have equally engaging and appealing activities, as there was substantial variation in the kinds of activities and the level of enjoyment that students had on their study tours based on which program they were in.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There's plenty of incredible stuff to do in Stockholm and Sweden in general - you can have a very rich and fulfilling experience without traveling during so many weekends.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Engineering Sustainable Environments in Scandinavia

Course Department: Engineering
Instructor: Khaldoon A. Mourad
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This core course provided a very comprehensive overview of the many aspects of sustainable engineering, ranging from technical instruction regarding different renewable energy production methods to writing project development proposals for a municipality. The field studies and study tours for this class were fascinating for the ways in which we were able to witness first-hand many of the concepts and ideas we were learning about in the classroom. Assignments throughout the semester were very manageable and felt relevant to the course material.
Credit Transfer Issues: Given that I was not expecting to receive any major/minor credit for my courses taken while abroad, I did not have any issues transferring them towards my necessary graduation credits.