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Counting down to Stockholm…

Hi there! My name is Charlotte and I am a rising senior at Northwestern studying Social Policy, Global Health, and Data Science. In a week, I will be heading off to Stockholm, Sweden, studying various courses relating to Public Health, Politics, History, and Swedish.

As part of my Social Policy and Global Health Studies curricula, I am required to study abroad. As such, I have been exploring different study abroad options since I was a freshman. Though the pandemic disrupted my original plan, I am so excited I am finally going abroad. I chose DIS Stockholm among all other options because of Stockholm’s public health system, the small cohort size of the program, and the amazing experiences shared by my friend who was in the DIS Copenhagen. I have grown up in Asia and lived in the US for these past couple of years so I am eager to experience living in Europe. I am very much looking forward to my two Public Health courses – Public Health & Migration and Epidemiology –because I want to learn more about the unique strengths of the public health system in Stockholm and the challenges it faces, the public health needs of immigrants and refugees, as well as how data science can be applied to public health. I hope this experience will help me gain clarity and perspectives regarding what I want to focus on for my academic and professional career in public health.

Coming to Stockholm this Fall will be my first time studying in a country where I have no family nor friends (yet). My excitement level has been quite high up these past months, but now, the thought of being on my own in a foreign country in a week is slightly daunting. On top of unfamiliarity, this summer I have been spending time with my friends here in Evanston and working in the Chicagoland area with a health organization serving low-income immigrants. I have grown so close to my friends this summer as we work, talk and enjoy summer together. Exploring Chicago together, I have also grow even fonder of the city. Now, leaving is slightly more nerve-racking than I had expected.

However, I trust that the new experiences will be a highlight of my upcoming senior year – making new friends, exploring public health in a new set of context, traveling, and learning about different cultures. I just received my housing assignments today, and I am so excited to meet everyone at my Studentboende and wander around my new neighborhood. On the top of list is finding cafes to study, work and read in!

Speaking of reading, I am actually looking forward to the daily commute in Sweden. I am a big reader whose reading habits have been heavily disrupted by the intensity of college academics. Daily commutes here in Chicago have been a way of forcing me to read and I look forward to tackling my long to-be-read list on the T-bana!

Just finished reading this – the second book in a 3-part series. It is by one of my favorite authors who apparently is Swedish!

Well, before my flight next week, I have so much to do! Packing up, moving apartments, and wrapping up my summer classes… the to-do list is long but as my friend commented, it is a good distraction from the nerves of going away. With that said, I need to get back to conquering my long list of chores and errands. See you in Stockholm!



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