Let's get out of the country!

- By Andrea, '11

This does not so much resemble Boston. Or Needham.

I've been pretty absent from this blog of late, because, well -- life abroad is sufficiently removed from the Olin bubble that, outside the occasional spotting of Big Belly solar compactors (both in Copenhagen and Malmo), I have trouble coming up with subjects that are relevant to the community at large.

The disconnect feels a little strange, but it's definitely not a bad thing. Olin is a pretty consuming sort of environment, so it's been a refreshing sort of break. Regarding the away experience, I have only one thing to say: DO IT.

I know, it's quite a while before the next abroad application cycle, but I don't think it hurts to have the process on your mind! Start early. Yes, there's the paperwork to consider, but more importantly, doing so gives you time to choose a program that suits you well. If you have any questions about making the experience happen, I'd be happy to answer your questions. (And I'm sure the former away bloggers would, too.)

Some of my favorite things, after the jump.

  • Having the chance to experience another slice of life. Though I love Olin, I've always wondered what an engineering education elsewhere might be like. (C'mon -- Olin is never going to have a computing cluster that uses >1 TB of RAM. And this is only for a single department, the Center for Biological Sequence Analysis.)
  • A large and diverse body of people -- I've missed having my anonymity. (It's also really cool being in a mixed bachelors, masters, and PhD environment.)
  • Exposure to new teaching styles. I really enjoy the structure they follow here, though I have to admit, I actually miss being pushed (sometimes overwhelmingly so) the way I am at Olin. I'll write more about this another day.
  • Leisure time in abundance!

In short, it's really fantastic learning to take life at a different pace. I quote Nikki, '10: "Sometimes it's ok to not be stupid intense about academics and such."

Coming up: The Mermaid Bowl to watch Danish football, Verdi's La Traviata, a professional badminton match, and a trip to Oslo. Needless to say, I love it here.

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