I spent six weeks in Copenhagen, Denmark. It seems random, right? But I quickly learned to adore this city, with its 18 hours of daylight and abundance of bicycles. I developed tight-knit relationships with my flatmates through music festivals, grocery shopping, and a mutual love for beautiful buildings. I met students from all over the US through my program and classes, as well. Nothing turns strangers into friends like biking 70 miles in two days on an island in the Baltic Sea. My American friends and I did our best to embrace Danish culture during our short six weeks in Copenhagen; we wore plenty of black (and no t-shirts), rode bikes, and learned how to say “thank you!” I even had the opportunity to visit two Phi Beta Chi alumnae in Madrid for a weekend, where they graciously hosted me and showed me the city.
Tears were shed on my final day in Copenhagen, but my summer of adventure wasn’t over yet. I set off on a month-long tour of Europe with one of my best friends, who is also involved in Greek Life at UNC. 20 cities later, I had 4 new kinds of currency in my wallet and 8,000 pictures on my phone. We travelled through Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. I treasured not only the breath-taking views we saw, but also the interesting friends we made. By encountering people from so many countries, I developed a new appreciation for cultures and cities different from my own. It was definitely the summer of a lifetime.
As a senior in high school, I never imagined that I would be brave enough to spend 10 weeks on another continent. Two years later, however, I boarded my flight at RDU with feelings of excitement rather than fear. I’d like to thank Phi Beta Chi, where I found not only my home at UNC but also the encouragement to pursue my dreams. My sisters inspired me to “Set Sail with Phi Beta Chi” by being bold and studying abroad. Phi Beta Chi and Copenhagen will both always hold special places in my heart.