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My kid is studying abroad

My kid is studying abroad

In 2012, our youngest left the nest to test his wings as a college freshman at Tulane University in New Orleans. While I was delighted that our college visits, essays and application fees were over and the right school had “picked” him, the thought of my son, Jeremy, traveling 500 miles from home had me rather weepy (for months).

And alas, he has had a wonderful two years—excellent grades, lots of new friends from all over the country, opportunities to be in “second lines” and only one hurricane (a story for another time.) And, although the house is a little too quiet for us, on the bright side, my grocery bill took a lovely downward dive without one hungry boy and all his friends (who regularly arrived early and often). And my laundry loads were cut in half. Whoever believes that boys don’t frequent the laundry chute as much as girls is ill-informed!

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So fast forward to 2014—those first year anxieties are back, at least for me, as we prepare to send him to Copenhagen, Denmark for his fall semester abroad. With a double major in environmental studies and international development, Copenhagen was a perfect choice since Denmark is one of the most environmentally advanced nations in the world. Of course, it didn’t hurt his decision when Google searches consistently noted that most of the city’s young women look like they just stepped off a fashion week runway.

As parents, we are thrilled that he will study through a well-established program like DIS, which offers a challenging academic program and a chance to really immerse himself in the Danish culture. Additionally, the opportunities to travel within the continent are exciting and affordable—especially while still young enough to enjoy a youth hostel (his choice) rather than a 5-star hotel (my choice).

With tech advances and gadgets, we are staying in touch with Jeremy via texts and Skype—so that makes the distance a little more palatable. And, he has applied to be an official DIS blogger, which will allow our family and friends to keep up with his adventures.

And, yes, we have booked our trip to visit him, which will allow me to give him a real hug not just a virtual one.

Stay tuned for a Danish travelogue this fall and a photo of the Little Mermaid—who is apparently really little!

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15 Comments

  1. Vince Pierri

    Really exciting! What a great opportunity for him. Can’t wait to hear updates.

  2. Ernst Lamothe Jr.
    Ernst Lamothe Jr August 18, 2014 at 10:15 am · Reply

    Linda great story. I always wanted to study abroad myself. That is the one thing I wish I got a chance to do in college.

  3. Erin Abbey

    Great story and definitely take the opportunity to visit! I too wish I had studied abroad during college.

  4. Good for him! I am sure he is going to have an amazing experience. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Julie Nakis

    How exciting, I can’t wait to hear about your visit and how your son is enjoying his time there. Before my junior year of college, I went to London through an internship abroad program and worked/traveled for the summer. Those three months flew by and created some of my favorite college memories!

  6. Thanks for sharing your story, Linda. It’s obvious how proud you are of your “little boy” and the many successful choices he’s made during his college life (kudos to you Mom and Dad!). Since I don’t have a child in college or studied abroad when I was a student, what does “DIS” mean?

    Can’t wait to hear about your trip out there!

  7. I was fortunate to travel to Copenhagen a few years ago. It is a lovely city and the architect is different from the U.S. I hope you enjoy your trip as much as my husband and I did.

  8. Linda Williger

    Chris

    DIS stands for Danish Institute for Study Abroad and is the program Jeremy choose for this semester. It is a well-established, highly organizied program (which pleases Mom) and his a great global environmental study program. Check out the website!

  9. Linda, your son will have a wonderful experience and will absorb so much during his studies and travel! When I was in college, I spent J-Term in England traveling to different cities watching plays and learning about theater. While in college, my niece spent a Semester-at-Sea traveling to South America, Africa, Asia, Europe, etc.. My two high school daughters are going, with their high school, to China over spring break. All of these opportunities, create such an awesome experience that provide such growth and appreciation for all that we have and provide young people that all of the world is not like the US. It’s so fantastic for your son to be exposed to different cultures and meet so many different people. I’m looking forward to hear about his adventures!

  10. Linda, how awesome for you son! It’s a great opportunity for him and for you as you get to go visit him! He will have a wonderful time exploring the rest of Europe. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I also got the chance to study abroad in college and loved every minute of it. Now that I’m a mom, I can’t imagine my kids being so far away! Fortunately, there is much better technology to keep in touch today compared to when I went across the pond. At the time, I had to teach my mom how to use email.

  12. Loved hearing about your and your son’s story Linda. We’re preparing to send our son to Australia for a semester – so if you have any tips, please share!! Hope you enjoy your trip!

  13. Linda,

    I am glad to hear that your son is able to take advantage of such an awesome opportunity. I too studied abroad in my college years. It was one of the largest mentally stimulating experiences of my life. Your son will come back with a whole new view of the world and that is something that only this once in a lifetime experience can offer him. I cannot wait to hear more!!

  14. Melissa Osterbur

    What an amazing opportunity for the whole family!

  15. Hi Linda

    Could you post a link to your son’s blog please. Would love to Reading about his adventures!


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About the Author

Linda Williger
Linda Williger

Linda Williger, health enews contributor, is a public affairs manager for Advocate Health Care. She loves spending time with her family, enjoying a good book and spending time outdoors, from music festivals in the park to Saturday morning walks.

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