Pros and Cons of Living with the Danes August 02, 2011

By (Biology, DePauw University) for

DIS - Danish Institute for Study Abroad: Copenhagen - Various Programs

Would not return abroad with the same program
What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I've become much more culturally aware of myself as a U.S. citizen. My Medical Practice and Policy Program has significantly impacted my perspective on health care globally. I have a much broader perspective on the world which I now want to expand even more!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The classes were not that difficult for me but the amount of reading that we were required to read was much heavier than what I was used to in the U.S. The teaching methods were not that different. I had to write more papers than I normally would. The grading system was easier than the U.S. because once given a letter grade on an assignment or test, the exact grade was not taken into account-only the letter grade was factored into the final grade. So there was no difference between an low A- and a high A-.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my host family, but I didn't like how far away from the city I was. I had to commute 45 minutes to the city for class or go out by train and bus. Also, I was the only kid living with the host family so it was a bit lonely at times. I was treated excellently and very much enjoyed living with my host parents-it just wasn't as crazy of an experience than if I would've lived in the city with a Danish roommate or in DIS housing.

* Food:

My host mom was an excellent cook!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The study tours were a lot of fun. They were a bit academically heavy, but the cultural events were a lot of fun. For example, on our trip to Berlin we got to go to a Symphony Orchestra concert, a bike tour, and even ate a meal at the Reichstag (the white house of Germany)!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt fairly safe the whole time I was in Denmark.

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Denmark is super expensive so be prepared!! I can't comment on specifics because part of my housing money went towards my host family for extra food et cetera..
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? How horrible the Danish kroner to U.S. dollar conversion was.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I didn't take Danish prior to depature because it is not offered at DePauw.
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Almost all the Danes knew English, so it wasn't necessary to use Danish in most cases. Our Danish classes did not push us hard enough to learn Danish fluently so we mostly just used it to order things, talk to each other, or say we didn't speak Danish when spoken to.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

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  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? An already independent, open minded person looking for a unique experience.