Hej! My name is Hannah Yuster and I am a fourth year student majoring in International Relations and minoring in English. From the summer of 2017 to the end of the 2018 academic year I studied abroad in Lund, Sweden through UCEAP and made some of the most enriching memories and amazing friends I could ever have dreamed of.
Going into college at UC Davis, about the only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to study abroad for a year. I attended nearly every study abroad fair and function that was held to try to help me pinpoint where and through which program I wanted to study. The environment at all of these events was always filled with enthusiasm which only furthered my excitement. When I did finally decide upon studying in Sweden through UCEAP I knew I wanted to pursue classes for my major and learn Swedish while I was there. I was able to apply all of the classes I took in Lund towards my major, and I finished my two-year language proficiency requirement in one year. I settled upon Sweden because I wanted to experience seasons and cold weather in addition to wanting to learn more about the welfare state and Sweden’s policy on immigration in light of the influx of refugees in the past years. Not only was I able to gain a better understanding of these topics through my studies at Lund University and by engaging with my Swedish peers, I also had first-hand experience learning about these things in my day-to-day life.
The international environment of the university itself helped to foster my close friendships with a diverse group of wonderful people. I would not have been able to make these connections in such a way had I not studied abroad; sharing a commonality in one’s differences is a powerful tool for connection. During my free time I was able to travel both within Sweden and to my friends’ home countries. Being able to explore cities and see them through my friends’ eyes strengthened our friendships and my understanding of them and their cultures.
As a peer advisor I want to provide for my peers what the past UC Davis Study Abroad staff gifted to me. I want to aid and excite students for this absolutely amazing journey on which they are about to embark. Studying abroad is truly a life changing experience that will ultimately make you a stronger and more cognizant individual, so I hope to help as many of my peers get this opportunity as well.
Trevliga resor! Hej då!