UCF: A Whole New World

Guest post written by Jamal Jenkins

Taking the opportunity to study abroad can be a thrilling and life-changing experience. For Matilda Segergren, it has been just that. Segergren is a 23-year-old media and communications major from NSC’s sister school in Sweden, Jonkoping University. 604158_10152567426175711_988829272_n

This semester at UCF actually marks Segergren’s second time studying abroad in The United States. She previously spent a semester in Sacramento, Calif.

“I love meeting new culture and new people … I like America,” said Segergren. She is determined to get out and explore all the attractions Orlando has to offer. For spring break, Segergren plans on visiting several of the major draws of our city: SeaWorld, Disney World, Universal Studios and the Kennedy Space Center.

Segergren, a resident of the Nike community, has been maximizing her on-campus life experience. She shares her apartment-style dorm room with two Americans and an Australian student. Segergren says she appreciates the blending of the different cultures along with the ease of being able to have her American friends help her out if she ever needs anything. Segergren has also been finding students around campus to be really friendly.

“In Sweden, we are really shy when we meet new people and here it’s everyone like ‘Hi, my name is Matilda, I’m from Sweden.’ ‘Oh from Sweden?!’ And they want to hear all about it.”

Segergren also noted some variances she’s picked up on between Americans and Swedes. “I’ve noticed that people here talk more about religion; they’re very open about it. And they’re also very open about money and how much they earn. Like you can’t ask the Swedish people how much do you earn for a living like they might be offended … we don’t talk about money that much.”

Segergren is currently taking four classes: Foundations of Story, Directing for Film I, Principles of Advertising and Public Relations. She said her experience with classes here have been positive, and that her teachers are really helpful and friendly.

However, she did note some key differences of teaching styles.

“It’s really different because here in America it feels more like high school because at the end of every class they say next week, you should read these pages or you should do this homework’ and in Sweden they’re like you take your own responsibility for your homework.” said Segergren. “There are also more quizzes here. Like we only have one big exam at the end of the semester and here you have like one quiz every other week.”

Even with the extra quizzes, Segergren is reaping benefits from her experiences here.

“I think I’ve grown more as a person when I came to America … like I need to take more responsibility. I see another side of me … mostly like taking charge of what I’m doing. Before I went to California, I sucked a lot [at speaking English] … I almost didn’t pass my English test. So I learned a lot while I was there but I also think I’m learning more through this semester.”

For more information on the study abroad program and the various opportunities available through the Nicholson School of Communication’s international programs, please visit:http://communication.cos.ucf.edu/international-programs

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