Lauren Byers

Major: Human Development and Family Studies
Class: Junior
Timeframe: Summer 2023

Overall Experience

My experience in Stockholm, Sweden was so fun! I met some really sweet people who I am still friends with today. The course I participated in was Women, Gender and Leadership Studies. They chose to do this program in Stockholm because of their advancements in gender equality. Stockholm is made up of many islands and has so many unique activities and experiences to offer.

Learning experience

There was a place called The Living History Forum in Stockholm that teaches the lessons learned from the Holocaust in order to work towards equality. I learned about how Jewish people were not the only targets during the Holocaust. The exhibit displayed how Roma people were targets of violence and how they experienced further discrimination in countries like Sweden. Our tour guide was very passionate about her work and told us how she sees discrimination issues in modern day Sweden.

Memorable experience

My most memorable experiences are the talks we had with the KTH students, the hikes we did most nights to the top of a lookout near our hotel to watch sunsets, and the cruise we did to Helsinki, Finland.

What did you not expect?

One speaker talked to us about making real change. She said to never start at the top because you won't get anywhere. You must change the minds of the masses, then the people at the top, like lawmakers and CEOs, will listen. I think this is good advice and I will approach socialization norms I would like to change with this mindset.

What advice would you give?

If you are even slightly open to studying abroad, talk to your advisors and apply on ISUAbroad! There are more scholarships available than I thought before looking into it.

How has this experience impacted your life?

Traveling abroad not only helped me learn about another culture but gave me a new perspective on my own culture as well. Many of the students from Sweden that we met follow along with U.S. politics, as well as news for the rest of Europe. It was really cool to hear outside perspectives and compare differences and similarities in our cultures. I also furthered my learning in leadership and feminism.

How did you learn about this experience?

I learned about this opportunity after finding the ISUAbroad brochure. It was really easy to apply after that.

International Connections