Jason Leon: My Summer in Scandinavia
This past summer, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Europe. This was my first time ever traveling alone, and it just so happened that it would be halfway across the world. I had the privilege of receiving two very generous grants that covered my tuition, housing accommodation, plane tickets, and food expenses. So I was able to travel without any worry of whether or not I would be able to afford such an experience. The program I attended was in Copenhagen, Denmark and the course I took was on Strategic Leadership. I honestly never would have imagined that I would be taking a course in a completely different country where the people spoke a different language, ate different foods, and had different customs than I was used to. It was both eye opening and inspiring to be able to be a part of such a thing. I met other students from the US who were from all over the country and I also met residents of Copehagen who were originally from all over the world! In addition to this, the program also consisted of a week-long study tour in Florence, Italy. We spent the week visiting the headquarters of various businesses and they talked to us about different strategies they use to grow their operations and stay relevant in such a competitive market. This is where I got closer with a few other students and where I made connections that will last me a lifetime. I now have friends who go to school in Oregon, Rhode Island, and Virginia; states that I have never even been to! The group I worked on the final project with also consisted of people from all over the country who had so many stories to share about what life was like growing up. All these interactions with people from other places and different backgrounds was mind blowing and it allowed me to become more accepting and understanding of other people’s world views.
Stepping away from my comfort zone for a whole summer and pushing myself to adapt to a new culture was great. Denmark will forever have a special place in my heart. The city, the people, the culture, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a place to visit in Europe. There’s so much to see out in the world, it’s incredible.