DIS in Copenhagen is the place to be for the college-aged student: trendy, social/fun, challenging! Past Review

By (Urban Planning, Art History, Cornell University) for

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
INCREDIBLY! I would not have gone anywhere else. I loved DIS, but loved Copenhagen and Denmark even more. My studies and surroundings have encouraged me to perhaps try out architecture, and stray from my originally-intended "City Planning". I am finding more meaning in sustainable design, and Nordic strategies.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Workload was similar to that of my home university, I learned a lot, had a lot to do, but because of DIS's amazing arrangement which gives us Wednesdays off, the week was broken up very well. The grading system was a little vague, and I received some assignments back for which at home, I would argue directly with the professor (but for these assignments you were unsure who actually graded your work, since we share professors, classes, trips, etc.) Teaching methods were FAR superior to those at Cornell, professors at DIS are invested, have more experience teaching, or are just natural instructors. I would far prefer to have my professors and their teaching style than the ones at Cornell.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The admin got things done - but it was hard to access them, and being a design student, I rarely could get to their offices during opening hours. For example, I need to pay off a printing debt in order to receive my grades... yet could not get to the IT office to pay it during finals week, and have not heard back by email.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a Kollegium - there is a range of set-ups in Kollegium, but mine was a high-rise-style, 12 rooms on each floor, 8 floored arrangement. 6 of us shared a kitchen, and we each had our own rooms and bathrooms. So, it was kind of apartment-style, but in a larger dorm style building. I loved it, but feel the quality of amenities was a bit degraded - peeling paint in the shower, deteriorating grout & tile, cheap Ikea bedframes, 50-year old couches (who knows what happened on them...) but a beautiful location right on the Amager Fæalled nature preserve, and also right on the Metro - great connectivity and only a 10-minute ride into center city. DIS provided cheap quality sheets (if I was allergic to polyester, I'd have been in trouble!) as well as really old, shapeless, wornout pillows. An additional bath towel would have been nice. My kitchen was equipped with everything I could possibly need, which encouraged me to cook - everything from pizza, to fish, to stir-fry, to desserts. I always felt safe coming in and out of my Kollegium - although there was a 2-month long period during which the management was re-fixing an electronic main basement door open and lock system, so people could've walked right in...

* Food:

Food stipend only lasted me up until a month before departure - and the last month is critical with the darkness/cold, traveling, and studying for finals! On study trips, there was no accommodation for non-red-meat options (which I put on my student information, but that doesn't qualify as "vegetarian" so I was ignored). Copenhagen is EXPENSIVE - so we really explored the DIS area for cheaper options than what was right in front of us.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Copenhagen is a wonderful place for 20-somethings in College. I had so much fun exploring different bars, clubs, parks, restaurants, and public spaces.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I always felt safe, even alone when waiting for the Metro at 4 am. People rarely steal - several of my friends lost their wallets... and had them returned to the DIS address listed on their student IDs within days - and without any money stolen. That was extremely culturally different from the US.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* 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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Danish Language course. Everyone speaks in English in Denmark. I did use Danish with my visiting host family, locals, and to order food.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Classes, professor enthusiasm, course topics
  • Housing - such a variety, and so unique, as compared to other Study Abroad programs that my friends have done.
  • Location - central, historic, beautiful
* What could be improved?
  • Culture immersion - it was very American
  • More reliable technology in computer labs - the system was down a lot.
  • More money for us, please!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? One ready to be swept up into city culture. You have to see Study Abroad as your freshman fall semester again - and then you realize everyone is in the same boat. Design students, come here! There is an amazing laboratory of architecture all around where you're studying - and professors make use of this.