Cecilia Tillberg of Stockholm, Sweden enrolled in Columbia Summer Session in order to enrich her academic life while living in New York City. Currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree focused on retail management at the Stockholm School of Economics, she is studying Macroeconomics as well as Masterpieces of Western Art at Columbia.

Between classes, she sat down with us to chat about her upcoming visits to New York City’s finest art museums, and the joys of being a foodie in the city.

What brought you to Columbia?

I wanted to go abroad, and I knew I wanted to go somewhere where people speak English, in order to improve my own English. I also really wanted the atmosphere of New York. Columbia is a very good school, and it's also in the city. I thought the combination of New York and a great school was very exciting.

Had you been to New York before?

I've been to New York before, twice. But I've only studied in Sweden and France. In Sweden, we always say that Americans are so open and easygoing. It's very easy to come here as a foreigner and feel at home.

Tell me about the classes you’re taking.

I'm taking Macroeconomics and Masterpieces of Western Art. I've done economics at my home university, but this is intermediate microeconomics, so it's more intense. I also heard that Columbia is excellent in economics, so that's one of the reasons I chose an economics course and not a business course.

I'm taking art history because I love the subject. We're going to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), and to be in a city where the museums have the actual paintings we're talking about in class, it's great.

What was it like applying to Columbia?

The application was pretty easy, but of course there are a lot of documents because you’re coming to the U.S. You have to fill out a lot of different visa forms. But I was in contact with Karl Rutter [Associate Dean, Non-Degree and International Programs], and he was very helpful.

How early did you apply?

I applied around March. I think it's good to apply early if you want housing here. I live right by campus.

What is your favorite thing about the campus?

I love the libraries on campus. Just today, I sat down in Avery [Architectural and Fine Arts] Library. It's so beautiful. It's the best fine arts library in the whole U.S. It's quite cool to actually be at a place where the resources are the best in the country.

Also, there is a nice mix of international and American students. In my dorm, I have friends from Colombia, the Netherlands, England, Dubai. It's great.

What do you like about New York so far?

The city is so big. I love that there are so many areas you can explore.

Food is one of my passions. I look forward to trying all the different restaurants. There are a lot of parks, and you can go running or go do yoga. You never feel alone in the city.