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Study Abroad Student Report: Sarah Pastor

Over the summer of 2024, I participated in a study abroad trip to Denmark – to learn more about technology and culture. My trip was through DIS, a UT affiliate program, meaning that I picked from a variety of courses, and I joined students from all across the United States. I enrolled in “the Development and Programming of Serious Games”, a three-week course where we learned about game design theory and created small video games. We stayed in Copenhagen, Denmark, a coastal city filled with elegant architecture, seagulls, and curious visitors from across the world.

Being able to design games in my class was a wonderful opportunity for me to expand my skillset as a computer science major. Throughout the course, we practiced the basics of creating a functional game, including player movement, world terrain, collectible items, and enemies. While we primarily held class in the DIS building, we also visited a board game café and a science museum to enrich our experience and help us put player interaction in a realistic context. In the final days of our course, we collaborated to make games that educate players on topics such as litter, misinformation, discrimination, and car maintenance. I look forward to bringing my new skills and ideas into my career.

When I wasn’t in class, I took the opportunity to explore Copenhagen and its adjacent cities. I was delighted with the affordable public transportation throughout my time there. Denmark has buses, metros, trains, and boats that allowed me to reach many cities that I never could have walked to, including cities in Sweden! In their reputation for being sustainable, I also noticed the popularity of paper straws, reusable household towels, and plastic to-go boxes. In my free time, I was able to visit many popular attractions in and around Copenhagen, including CopenHill, the Church of Our Savior, Nyhavn, Tivoli, the Museum of Illusions, and the botanical gardens near Rosenborg Castle. These were beautiful to see, and they are a large part of the memories that I keep with me from this adventure. Outside of Copenhagen, I had a wonderful time talking to locals who were willing to share their stories and perspective on the world.

Having the opportunity to study abroad in Denmark allowed me to expand my awareness and knowledge like never before. Studying abroad provided me with a unique chance to be independent, as I navigated a foreign city and became comfortable with doing new things. Visiting for a limited amount of time teaches you how to use your time in a productive and fulfilling way, and to make the most of what you have. This experience is one I won’t forget for a long time. I would happily come back again, as there is always more to see.

boats floating in the Denmark canal with colorful old buildings in the background
Sarah Pastor and her friends sitting in a booth in a restaurant in Europe
city in Europe