The Study Abroad Experience: Hannah Cederquist, ’21

Tell us about yourself. Family, life, background, and interests…

My name is Hannah Cederquist. I studied Legal Studies at Davenport and recently graduated in 2021. I am a Probate Paralegal at a local law office. In my free time, I love to travel, hike, rock climb and visit national parks. My goal is to see all of them one day. I also have a Goldendoodle named Finn, who is the best adventure buddy.

What drew you to Davenport? Tell me why you picked Davenport for your degree?

I chose Davenport because I was pursuing Competitive Cheer. I started as a Finance major and found myself unhappy and decided to look into other programs Davenport offered and came across the Legal Studies program. I immediately knew that I wanted to make the switch in the hope of potentially going to law school or pursuing a master’s degree where I could u

se my legal background to help people in our communities.

What inspired you to go abroad? 

My cousin studied abroad when I was younger, and I had always traveled with my family, so it was always something that lingered in the back of my mind

. While growing up, movies romanticized traveling abroad, and when social media became big, we were able to look into people’s lives who have been there and done that. After some of my teammates took the trip to Costa Rica, I began to research the study abroad programs available, EuroBiz study abroad sparked my interest. With encouragement from my mom, I submitted my application.

 

What made your experience abroad unique? 

The layout of the trip, the students, and the faculty made the experience unique. Over three weeks, we traveled to six countries. We had a larger group of students that varied in age, background, and degree program. I found new friends I may not have connected with before.

What is one thing that every participant should know before studying abroad? 

It is exhausting at times, and not everything will go according to plan, but the experience is worth it. I would recommend students research where they are going beforehand and make a list of things they may want to see in their free time, like booking a ticket to a different city on your free day. Also, order your currency exchange through your bank beforehand because it can be expensive when you get there.

 

What surprised you the most about your study abroad experience? 

I was surprised by how much free time we got. We received our itineraries, and at first, it was a bit overwhelming, but the trip is so well organized that when you get there it’s simple to navigate. Another thing that surprised me was the spontaneity that happens when you’re abroad. We found out when we got to Italy that we had a free day the next day, and that night a group of us booked a train ticket to Venice. Do not be afraid to take a chance, and always have a buddy!!

 

What skills did you develop while abroad, and how did those skills help you in your professional experience? 

One skill that I think about the most is adaptability. Being able to adapt to my surroundings and applying the knowledge from the classroom to this experience has been the most valuable.

 

In your experience, what do you think the biggest benefit of studying abroad is? 

One of the benefits would be understanding other cultures and why people may act the way they do or the way businesses operate in another country. This experience has helped me understand people around me better. Studying abroad is one of the many ways a student can step out of their comfort zone and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I believe having international experience makes us well-rounded individuals.

 

How did studying abroad change your perspective of the world and yourself? 

Studying abroad showed me how much our world has to offer and how important it is to understand other cultures.

 

How did studying abroad impact your personal, professional, or academic life?

Studying abroad defined how I want my lifestyle to be and how I could implement more things like this opportunity into my life. It has created opportunities that helped me find my passion and figure out what my dream job could be. I let this international experience guide me when deciding which courses I want to take during the remainder of my time at Davenport and what I want to learn about in the future.

 

To make a gift to support international experiences at Davenport please visit davenport.edu/give. Or contact Megan Shepherd, Assistant Director of Annual Giving at megan.shepherd@davenport.edu, or call 616-233-3416.

 

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