One more week in Stockholm! I was able to finally have my dinner with a Swedish family that was included in our study abroad program through UNC. DIS, the local school we are studying at, set up me and a couple of my peers with a woman named Vera who actually happened to live five minutes down the road from our housing. She had three kids: two 20 year old boys and one 15 year old adopted daughter.
At the dinner, after the story of how she came to adopt her daughter from India, we discussed the value of travelling in depth. Vera explained how she was able to travel the world at my age, while still attaining a bachelor’s and master’s degree after. Going from country to country with a group of her friends, Vera stayed in many different hostiles and welcoming homes. She discussed how this time abroad opened her to new ideas, experiences, and people that she will forever be grateful for. On top of that, she revealed how travel subliminally opened her mind to the idea of adoption, after seeing the loads of foster children in some of the overly populated communities around the world. I believe she is a prime example of the value of international travel. Not only can it open your mind, it can open your heart.
I have personally experienced how studying and/or travelling abroad can better one as a person. I feel as if this trip has allowed me to see a variety of things from a perspective that is not simply American. Although this trip has not particularly changed any of my core beliefs or values, I think that my overall knowledge and wisdom in general has broadened dramatically.
I am so thankful, once again, for the opportunity to gain this knowledge and experience because of Fund for Education Abroad and its donors. It has also been great to be able to share and put my thoughts to paper to share with you all during this trip. See you in the States!!