Studying abroad can change a college experience. Many factors play into whether studying abroad is the right choice for a student, and for Maddie Chandler, a Political Science and History major in her final year at CU, it was the experience she needed. For her junior year spring semester, Chandler chose to study abroad at Uppsala University, the oldest university in Sweden and ranking among the top 100 universities in the world. Chandler took classes in the Peace and Conflict Studies program, helping her earn credit for both her degrees and getting a chance to learn from a different educational perspective.
Chandler knew from her freshman year that she wanted to study abroad. “I knew that I wanted to explore the world when I would get the opportunity. I believe that challenging yourself and getting out of your comfort zone is important and studying abroad does this.”
During the process of finding the right program, Chandler said the study abroad office worked with her schedule and major. Their help made her feel comfortable committing to a program. “Don’t get me wrong, making the final decision to study abroad is scary,” she says. “Moving to a new country and being in a new culture can be intimidating, but I think that is what makes studying abroad so great.”
When Chandler finally began living in Sweden, she said that the experience was beyond amazing.
“I made friends from around the world that will be in my life forever,” she says. “I know that whenever I travel I will have people to stay with and explore with. I met Swedish students, but I also met students that were studying abroad from other countries, which broadened my perspective on how different cultures shape the world around us.”
Chandler has so many new stories of how her experience in Sweden felt different than studying in Boulder. She loved her Upsala schedule because she only had to take one class at a time for a few weeks. That structure allowed her to really explore the town she lived in as well as make small trips around Europe. “I had time to explore Uppsala and experience the way they live.”
Because studying abroad can be such a rich experience, the CU Education Abroad office provides many scholarship and financial aid opportunities to keep the programs affordable. Some programs are more expensive than others, but there are even programs cheaper than instate tuition at Boulder.
With connections in over 50 countries and advisors to help pick the site that fits you best, there’s no reason not to visit the abroad office to explore your options. Chandler wants to emphasize that “everyone has fears when they study abroad and every international student at CU is in the same position as you,” she says. “Ultimately, once you embrace the experience, everything falls into place.”
Learn more about the Political Science Education Abroad program