The NSAC Team members all have one thing in common - the desire to explore the world and its many opportunities. In this post, we get to follow the stories of three team members that followed their dreams and went abroad. These stories all have their own unique path, and represent the fact that there is not only one way to reach the final destination of abroad studies. Read the stories of team members Natasha, Joshua and Theodor!
Part 2 – Joshua
Where are you from?
– I'm from a place called Charlottenlund, a suburb of Copenhagen, where I went to a public high school.
Where are you studying now?
– I'm studying my undergraduate degree at Yale University, where my intended major is "Ethics, Politics, and Economics."
When did you first think of studying abroad?
– In concrete terms, probably when I was on a basketball camp at Georgetown University, in the summer before going to high school. That didn't manifest into a concrete plan of going abroad, but it probably primed me with the idea. I was so impressed by the atmosphere around the place of Georgetown, and the college life. However, I can genuinely say that it was only when I went to NSAC that it turned into an actual plan.
How did you end up where you are now? Tell us your story!
– After NSAC I decided to apply to schools in the UK and the US, and I had a gap year at the time, so luckily I had some time. But it was still a bit rushed, NSAC being in September and application deadline is in January, so I rushed through the whole SAT, my application to Cambridge in England, I went through my interviews and somehow managed to get all that sent before the deadlines. In the spring, I was accepted to Cambridge and to Yale. I was then faced with the tough choice between Cambridge and Yale. I agonized over that for an entire month, and it came down to the very last minute of the very last day when it was still 50/50. But I had to make a decision, and some intuition, although it was not very strong, persuaded me to choose Yale. Today, I'm really happy about that choice.
What have you gained from studying abroad?
– The two main things that persuaded me to choose Yale are also the things that I love about Yale now. One of them is the liberal arts system, where I don't have to declare a major until the third year, and I can take courses across a wide range of fields, and I absolutely love that. I almost want to say that I feel a little bit sorry for those of my friends who do very rigorous educations and learn a lot more within their subjects, but don't get to have the multidisciplinary experience that I get. In my education, I can take courses within economy, psychology, politics, and philosophy, and I can already tell that, when I'm working on one subject, I'm drawing on my knowledge from another subject, which is very rewarding. The other element is the extracurricular life. Although I also think it's good in a country like England, the US college structure is just unique in the sense that it has a particular focus on extracurriculars. And perhaps especially at a place like Yale, we have a capella groups, stand-up and improvisational theatre, and on any given Friday night there is always something creative you can go watch. Even if you don't know what your extra curricular passions are, you will realize what you want to do when you arrive at campus. For example, maybe you decide that you want to try journalism, and then there is a newspaper with thirty employees and a daily newspaper that you can write for. These are the things that I enjoy the most about Yale, but also what I feel studying abroad has added to my life. Also, I want to add something that goes for any given top-ranked university, and that is how amazing it is to being able to talk to leading professors. Being able to talk to the professors who are cited within the textbook that you are using in your studies is a special kind of experience.
What will you be doing in the future? What are your dreams?
– I probably won't go to grad school in Denmark; the liberal arts system is not compatible with Danish universities. So I probably want to take my masters in England; hopefully, something within politics and economics, or perhaps public health. It's very important to me that I end up doing something that really has a positive impact on the lives of others - but I haven't yet figured out exactly how I will pursue that goal. Off the top of my head, I think of public health as an area where the right solutions can affect the lives of thousands of people.
Number one tip for people who want to go abroad?
– Reach out to people that are doing what you want to do in five years. Talk to people that are ahead of you and can help you, and help the people that you are ahead of and need your help. I started out doing the former, and now I hope that I'm doing the latter. When I was applying, I talked to people at Cambridge about the interviews, and I'm not sure I would've done so well in my interviews if it hadn't been for there advice. Now, at Yale, I'm reaching out to people who are doing research and work in areas I'm interested in. You'd be surprised how far you can get just by expressing interest for someone's work.