Finally my study abroad has come to an end, although I am quite sad it is over, I am very happy that I was able to have an experience like this in my lifetime. I think that especially for American students these kinds of experiences are quite few and far between, therefore I am quite thankful it was something I decided to do.
I still remember the first day I came to Sweden, I was absolutely terrified and had no idea what to expect. In that moment I was regretting all my decisions to come and I just wanted to fly back home. Now I sit here six months later with no regrets. If I was asked if I would do it again I would say yes in less than a heartbeat. I’m glad I did something that scared me and that challenged me. I think I would have hated doing a program where I just stayed with other Pitt students. I’m glad I branched out on my own and went somewhere where even there were not many Americans let alone people I knew. I got to meet people from all around the world. Even though I studied in Sweden it truly felt like I traveled the whole world because I was able to learn so much about each culture and truly experience it first hand.
I met people who made me fall in love with their countries without even having ever visited. I made friends from all over the world and it’s the most amazing thing ever.
I was able to challenge myself and learn what I was truly capable of. I have become more confident and feel more secure with myself. I learned that I would even really like to return to Europe, and it’s no longer such a scary thought to think of a time where I will have to move away from Pittsburgh. I’m excited to return to America and see how my new mindset can improve my life at home, and also how I can utilize it to improve life for other people. I have more direction going forward in my life as well. Where I would like to live, what kinds of jobs I would like to look for, and even doing a masters after graduation.
I hope that in the future more students decide to try exchanges rather than going on typical study abroads. It was an amazing experience I would truly recommend for anyone, there is a lot to see and do in this world and it’s a waste of a life to stay in one place the whole time.