Hi friends! My name is Jocelyn Sitton and I’m a junior journalism, political science & French major from Nashville, TN. I love traveling (always down for spontaneous road trips) and so I’m completely stoked to be embarking on this trip to Scandinavia with such a stellar group of individuals.
Growing up, I went to an all-girls summer camp in Tennessee. Campers were divided into two teams for competitions, the Amazons and the Valkyries. I was a Valkyrie for many years, and part of that camp tradition was learning some Norse mythology to better understand the Valkryies and the society that created them.
That, combined with my love for the Sweden-set Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson, has really given me an interest in Scandinavian culture. I’m looking forward to exploring three countries that I don’t hear much about, and inevitably being accepted as a local due to my remarkably fair skin. Also, my mom has upwards of 6 Swedish dala horses sitting around our house, so I’m excited to see what that’s all about.
One of the main points of interest for me going into this trip is Scandinavian culture. As some of the other people have touched on, learning more about the Nordic model of economics and social policies will be very topical considering the election going on in our country. I’ve always been interested in systems of governments, so I think it will be very refreshing to see something different than the American way for a time.
A more important aspect for me of Scandinavian culture is their approach to human rights. Scandinavia is one of the most LGBT-friendly regions in the world, with Denmark being the first country to offer same-sex marriage in 1989. I’m very intrigued to see how these countries’ relationship with LGBT populations will translate into everyday distinctions from our own society.
The other big highlight for me is the food. I like to think of myself as somewhat of a foodie (I mean, I’ve instagrammed my dinner a few times, so that counts right?) and I’m definitely going to step outside my tastebud comfort zone to try some Scandinavian classics. When I was a senior in high school, I went to France on a school trip. For part of that trip, I was in a home stay with a family in Aix-en-Provence, during which I had the opportunity to try some foods I had never been exposed to before.
All that is to say, I’m really excited for this trip. A few years ago my grandmother went on a similar trip and couldn’t stop raving about it. Her favorite destination was Copenhagen, so I’m really looking forward to exploring that in her memory.
Scandinavia is a place with such a rich history and culture, and I’m really lucky to get to partake in all of that with a really cool group of people. I can never articulate how thankful I am for the Chancellor’s Scholar program on an average day, but this trip makes it even harder to do so. I’m counting down the days until we’re there (and don’t worry, I’m prepping my Instagram followers for the onslaught of pictures).