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Jared

Jared Harris

Major: History

"Studying abroad impacted my view of the world as it challenged things that I never had questioned, like the settings on my dryer, the lack of sun during the winter, or how it's like to be lost in a place where nobody speaks the same language as you."

What led you to study abroad? Why did you choose your country/program?

I wanted to study abroad because I had never been outside of the US and wanted to experience different cultures and lifestyles. I chose to study in Copenhagen for its rich history and to experience its unique culture.

What was the most interesting cultural experience you had abroad?

The safety of Copenhagen has to be one of the most interesting experiences I encountered while abroad. Even in other European countries, big cities such as Paris and London struggle with severe crime and is unsafe for foreigners to travel around freely at night. In Copenhagen it was completely different, after spending a night out with my friends I could walk back to my dorm at 6 am and experience no safety issues. Especially after living for 3 years in Berkeley where crime is a common occurrence, it was quite shocking to experience this type of security.

What was the biggest challenge/concern of your study abroad experience? How did you respond?

The biggest challenge I faced during my study abroad experience was being recalled during the Covid - 19 pandemic in March. It was an extremely stressful and frightening situation and the UCEAP and the Danish study abroad programs went out of their way to help us continue our programs online so as not to lose all of our credit for that semester.

Describe a typical day for you abroad.

In an average day I would wake up and go to class. Afterwards I'd then go out and explore the city with other study abroad students until the sunset, when I would go back home and catch up on my reading for my classes. Finally I would end my day by going and checking out the Copenhagen night life with my friends.

What coursework did you take while abroad? How did courses abroad compare with Berkeley classes?

I had three classes while abroad, the first one being a Danish language course and the second and third being Danish Colonialism in Greenland and Danish architecture respectively. The courses were still rigorous, but in quite a different manner than Berkeley. Where as Berkeley relies heavily on test evaluations, i.e. quizzes midterms, finals etc., the University of Copenhagen relies on a 20-30 page final paper at the end of each class to assess your understanding of the content. It was very interesting to take classes where there wasn't any set midterms or weekly homework assignments and your work schedule was primarily up to you.

What was the most memorable/meaningful aspect of your time abroad?

Although its hard to narrow down, my most memorable part of studying abroad happened during my first month in Copenhagen. During one of the few sunny days my friends and I got to truly explore Copenhagen in all of its splendor. Especially with how few and far in between sunny days are in Denmark, it is one of my fondest memories to date.

What impact did studying abroad have on you personally?

Studying abroad impacted my view of the world as it challenged things that I never had questioned, like the settings on my dryer, the lack of sun during the winter, or how it's like to be lost in a place where nobody speaks the same language as you.

What would you recommend to students considering studying abroad, especially to your country or program?

I would recommend them to look at the weather of their intended place and make sure that they have the required clothing for the climate. Copenhagen is extremely cold and windy and without water proof boots and a thick raincoat you'd get sick very quick.

How has study abroad influenced your future career path? Or, how do you see the skills you gained while abroad translating into the field you want to go into?

Studying abroad has really opened up my eyes towards understanding different cultures and towards international jobs, such as the US foreign service or international law.