Introducing Joslyn Hays

What is/are your major(s)?

Environmental Science

What is/are your minor(s)?

History and International Studies

What is the name of your study abroad program?

Lund University Exchange 

In what city & country is your study abroad program located?

Lund, Sweden

What is one thing that you are most anticipating about your study abroad experience?

During my experience, I am most anticipating meeting people with vastly different backgrounds while learning about new cultures. While I am excited to travel around Europe, I am more excited for the adventures that I will have here in Lund with new friends that I meet in class and clubs. I believe that actively learning about a new culture is one of the best ways to engage with your own biases and cultural values in a fun, thought-provoking, and meaningful manner. It is within this sphere of trying new things where I anticipate a lot of personal growth that will make me a better person all around. Essentially, I am looking forward to making new friends (both local and international) while also challenging my beliefs and comfort zone. 

Why did you decide to study abroad? or What inspired you to study abroad?

I have wanted to study abroad for as long as I can remember. Both of my parents and my older sister all studied abroad for a year during their undergrad, and it’s obvious that they all made amazing memories and experienced a lot of growth during that time. I definitely attribute my desire to study abroad to hearing their stories and meeting their best friends from their study abroad experiences. Getting to make life-long friends in another country while you are studying is such a powerful and distinctive experience that I have eagerly anticipated!
On top of following in their footsteps, studying abroad felt like the next logical step for my international experiences. When I was 10, my family lived in Iceland for seven months and I was enrolled in a public school. This experience transformed my perspective on the world and education and I have planned on another chance to study abroad since then. It also got me excited to live in another Nordic country. The summer after my freshman year of high school, I homestayed in Japan for two months. My time there gave me a lot of confidence in terms of my ability to try new things and leaps of faith. After both of these amazing opportunities, I felt that the next step was studying abroad for a year while I pursue my bachelor’s degree. I can use the skills I gained from these past international experiences while developing new memories and undergoing personal growth. 

The photo was from a beach day during my first week in Sweden.

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