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Economics and sustainability abroad

Many college students jump at the first opportunity to participate in a study abroad program. Living in a city of your choice, and picking from almost anywhere in the world is an amazing opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture. Grace Berry ’21, a politics and economics double major, took advantage of the opportunity to participate in a study abroad program in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Berry, along with other Brandeis students, was a part of the Brandeis in Copenhagen program, which is connected to a study abroad program in Scandinavia called DIS. DIS is a non-profit study abroad program located in Copenhagen and Stockholm, which provides study abroad opportunities in English for college students in North America.

During Berry’s five and a half weeks in Copenhagen, she took two courses: Microeconomic Theory, and Behavioral Economics. Microeconomic Theory was taught by Brandeis professor Nader Habibi (ECON, IBS) and Behavioral Economics was taught by two professors from the University of Copenhagen.

Looking to get ahead in her economics major, Berry took the opportunity to travel across the ocean to take classes. “Behavior economics is really fascinating to me and it isn’t taught here at Brandeis,” explained Berry. “So I went to Copenhagen to take it.” Even though she was there for the classes, the overall experience of studying in a different country, even for a few months, was unforgettable.

When Berry was not in class, she loved to go explore the city with others in the program. “Most of us rented bikes for the time we were there, and it was really easy to bike everywhere,” wrote Berry to The Hoot. “It was their hottest summer on record, and my favorite way to cool off was to jump in the canal in the city. It was clean enough to swim in, and there were ladders and docks everywhere.” Berry also really enjoyed the mix of old and modern architecture.

While she was in Copenhagen, Berry found it to be an amazing opportunity to study economics in a place outside of the U.S. Unlike the United States, Denmark has universal health care, tuition-free colleges and many other benefits. She found it extremely interesting to have professors outside of Brandeis, most specifically at the University of Copenhagen, and to have the two different perspectives on economics in the U.S. compared to Denmark.

“I am also really interested in sustainability,” Berry said. “And Copenhagen was a really awesome place to study because of this, too. Sustainability is ingrained in their lifestyle and it seems like most Danes don’t really think about being sustainable. It’s just a part of their life now. It definitely inspired me to think more about the choices I make and how it affects the environment.”

Berry cannot recommend enough participating in abroad programs, even if they are during the summer. “The summer was even more meaningful than I thought it would be, and I can’t imagine not going,” she said.

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