#UbishopsAbroad : Meet Nate Beech

The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) launched the Learning Beyond Borders program to provoke a national conversation on learning abroad.

At Bishop’s University, we nurture studying abroad as a transformational life-changing experience, opening minds to different ways of living, promoting understanding, contributing to academic success, enhancing communication skills, self-awareness, and adaptability. It also offers opportunities to develop soft skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving, deemed necessary in a global workforce. To promote this national conversation, we are featuring Bishop’s students who have taken advantage of our study abroad program.

Meet Nate Beech, a BA Bachelor of Science, Major Environmental Science and Physics student, who went to Örebro University in Örebro, Sweden.

“I arrived in Örebro on January 15th, 2017, and went through three weeks of orientation right away. There I learned some very important information about Swedish culture, and also made some great friends from all over the world. In order to get to know Sweden better, I went to a local market with a great selection of local Swedish goods. I tried Reindeer sausage, Moose bacon, and local cheese, but had to avoid the fermented fish because of its pungent and unique smell. Before long, some friends and I decided to visit the rest of Sweden. We went to Goteborg in the west, Stockholm in the east, and way up north to Kiruna, far above the Arctic Circle. Of course, each city had its own appeal, but seeing the northern lights in Kiruna sticks out as being the most memorable to me.

It was important for me to see the Swedish countryside, rather than just the cities, so I enrolled in a course called Outdoor education and recreation. Unlike any class I have taken at Bishop’s, the curriculum for this course included, cross country skiing, mountain climbing, horseback riding, and much more. I found that the landscape reminded me a great deal of Quebec; there were hills and mountains great for skiing or hiking but not quite at the scale of the Rockies. The snowmobiling culture was popular on frozen lakes and rivers, and of course, there was a great deal of snow to make me feel right at home. I had some amazing experiences in the Swedish wilderness, but I think the best view might have been from the mountains of Harjedalen, where I learned to cross country ski.

After I had gotten to know Sweden, I decided I should see the rest of Scandinavia and the surrounding area. I visited Norway, Denmark, and Estonia and found each place to have a very unique atmosphere. In the anarchist commune of Chrstiania, Copenhagen, Denmark, art and culture flourished, and I found some of the friendliest people I have ever met living there. In Tallinn, Estonia, the old town is so full of history, that all one needs to do to find a medieval building is walk to the next street corner. It is no surprise that the entire town is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Oslo, Norway, there were more museums than anywhere else I know, and I believe I truly got to know Norwegian history and culture from there.

Back in Örebro though, I did have to spend some time studying. Between courses in differential equations and analytical chemistry I continued to meet people from across the globe, and I think I learned at least as much about the rest of Europe, as I did about Sweden (and my courses). I have already made plans to visit the friends I made, and hopefully I will continue to learn from my experiences in Europe for many years to come.  This exchange has truly made a great impact on my life, and I am sure it will continue to do so.”

Nate Beech
Class of 2019






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