2014 | Reciprocal Exchanges Blog - Part 5


Howdy! I have been in Copenhagen for a week now, and I am already in love with everything here. One reason I picked CBS is because the school works well with the students. For example, I was able to have a buddy who picked me up from the airport and I can also hang out with. I would have been absolutely lost without her. They also have optional social packages so I am able to meet many international students and do really fun activities with them. I came here not knowing anyone, and by the second day had great friends.

IMG_4614I have traveled a little around Copenhagen and have made one day trip to Lund, Sweden. There are always people in the dorm who are willing to go with you, so I never have to worry about traveling alone.

It is now January 29th, and it is my second day of classes. Classes work very differently here than back home. There are no grades except the final. I have three courses in quarter 3 and one in quarter 4. The classes are twice a week and about 2 and half hours long (two breaks in between, thank goodness). The lectures are informative and useful for studying. I plan to keep up with studying so I do not have to cram once finals come around.

That’s all for now!

-Catherine Neil

Categories: 2014, Denmark, Reciprocal Exchange

Well, what can I say? Just over 3 short weeks ago I began my 8 month study abroad experience and it has already been, in a word, incredible. I will be at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom until the end of June, and then move on to some personal travels around the rest of Europe for two months during the summer. Here in Lancaster I am living in a flat on campus with 5 other people and another 6 in the other flat on the same floor. I was nervous going in, but there is more than plenty of room for everyone and all of my flatmates have been incredibly welcoming and hospitable. I can already tell that we will be friends for years to come.

The sun setting on the city of Morecambe

The campus itself is much smaller than Texas A&M’s but it makes walking to class a lot quicker so I’ve got no complaints! Nothing on campus is more than about a ten minute walk and a short bus ride will take you into town easily. The amount and (relative) easy of public transportation has been one of the biggest changes for me since I’ve arrived here in England. Just from the bus stop on campus I have already been able to journey to the cities of Chester, Morecambe, and Manchester – all very interesting places in their own ways.

I have already had so much fun and I know that as the term progresses I will get to experience and learn some amazing things that will allow me to grow and excel both personally and professionally.

Until then I’ll be having some more fun in Liverpool this weekend and at Manchester United Football Club’s stadium “Old Trafford” this Tuesday!

Categories: 2014, Reciprocal Exchange, United Kingdom

I’ve been in the moderately sized town of Jonkoping, Sweden for about two weeks now. I honestly cannot describe how amazing, beautiful, exciting, and fun it has been. I had heard many stereotypes of Sweden before my journey, and I was hesitant to believe them. “Sweden is just freezing cold and the sun sets at 3:30 PM.” “Everyone in Sweden is tall, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, and beautiful.” “Swedish people just club all of the time and listen to DJ’s play House music.” Well I hate to say this but all of those stereotypes are so true. The weather started off in the 40’s but the temperature is dropping and snow is starting to fall. I can’t complain though. I love the snow and cold especially coming from Texas where it snows like once a year. And the people are all beautiful, dressed well, and fit (and blonde). And I have been in new student orientation (like Fish Camp) for the past two weeks and our group leaders have taken us to a different club every night. Yes they play house music everywhere.

My backyard!!!

My backyard!!!

Anyway I live in a dorm overlooking Lake Vattern, the second largest lake in Sweden. I live with 60 international students, only 3 of which have grown up speaking English. The language barrier is sometimes an issue but it is mostly just humorous. Living with people from other countries is actually my favorite part. The Italians are teaching me how to cook and the Mexicans are helping me with my spanish. The multitude of other nationalities are influencing me as well but in other ways.

some new friends downtown!

some new friends downtown!


welcome dinner

welcome dinner!

I must say that the Swedish lifestyle is very different from that of a Texan. Everything here is so clean, simple, environmentally friendly, and safe. Everyone rides bikes, but no one locks them because the crime rate is so low. The Swedish standard of living is very high so every establishment is nice, clean, and sophisticated – even gas stations. You get money from recycling bottles and cans, and the printer at school prints on both sides of the paper (resourceful). I would never eat at a 7/11 or a McDonalds in America, but I would go there whenever here! All 7/11’s have bakeries and gourmet food.  Coffee shops are very prominent because Swedes spend time in the afternoon to meet friends and eat coffee and pastries. This time is also known as “fika.” No one needs to worry about the calories though because we walk everywhere! Now I just need to figure out how I can spend the rest of my life in this country… next time you hear from me I may be married to a Swedish boy. Fingers crossed!

Thanks and Gig’Em,


Categories: 2014, Reciprocal Exchange, Sweden