UMD: A Globally Connected University

Braden Hause

ProgramENGR Exchange: Technical University of Denmark (DTU)​
Term: Fall 2019
Major: Electrical Engineering 

During my exchange semester, I encountered a wide variety of different cultural experiences both socially and educationally. I learned how students from all different cultural backgrounds can come together to work towards facilitating a fun, yet rigorous educational experience. Group projects were emphasized throughout my study period. During group projects, I collaborated with like-minded students all from different countries to produce both technical and abstract reports regarding the future of sustainable development in our energy system. I definitely was placed outside of my comfort zone. However, by doing this I was forced to meet new friends with different perspectives on life that truly made my experience studying in Denmark one of a kind.

Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: My experience of studying abroad was purely wholesome. I think the communities in Europe are every so inclusive, no matter what background you have. There are always great people to befriend and share everlasting memories with while doing an exchange semester.​

Before finals, I took a week long trip to the most northern part of Sweden. There, I was in a completely different setting compared to what I was used to. I didn't know anyone going on the trip prior, however, I was able to make so many new friends to share the experience of traveling around the winter wonderland known as Lapland. There were so many different activities that we were involved with including husky sledding, snow mobile riding, arctic survival training, and snow shoe hiking. Between making family dinners with the new friends that I made, I was able to enjoy the peaceful tranquility of the arctic nature, warmed myself up in tradition Swedish saunas, and best of all, I was able to encounter the pure beauty of the Aurora Borealis. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience and it only made it better that I was able to share it with other wonderful exchange students.

Advice for future #TerpsAbroad: Coming from a fifth year senior, I chose to study abroad during my last semester [while pursuing] my bachelor's degree. A lot of people didn't think that was possible, but it is as long as you allow yourself a flexible class schedule during the semester you plan to go abroad.

The hardest part [about studying abroad] for me was just trying to do the most with my time in Europe. Sometimes you just want to stay home and lay in bed if you cannot find anyone to go on an adventure with, but that shouldn't stop you from exploring the world, even if it is alone. I had trouble finding friends to travel around Europe with, so instead of forgoing a trip for the fall break, I planned one out myself, where I would visit Amsterdam and Berlin. It was just as fun to do one of those trips alone because you meet great people along the way that you become friends with. This pushes you out of your comfort zone, but builds social skills at the same time. I had a great time during my travels alone, and made the most of my time in Europe.