I Love Denmark Past Review

By (Environmental Studies., Wellesley College) for

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
YES! i'm not going to claim it was earth-shattering like other places you could study abroad--in general the standard of living in denmark, and with DIS, is pretty high--but still, it definitely helped me to grow a lot as a person. it also changed my general life perspective--i feel like i look at everything differently now... i'd say it was the best four months of my life.

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

one cool part of DIS classes is that they integrate field studies and study tours (or trips to other countries) into classes for some real-world learning and applicability. everyone goes on a short (weekend) study tour and a long (week-long) study tour as part of their core courses. they try to use american teaching methods (work spread through the semester instead of all at the end, participation counts, etc) because the students are pretty much all american. they do teach you a lot about europe and the european perspective. the workload depends a lot on the classes you take and i think i accidentally chose a lot of really work-heavy classes or something because most other americans i talked to didn't have as much work. but DIS definitely emphasizes the "study" in "study abroad" more than other programs. i'd recommend taking the 1-credit courses, they're a lot of fun and i wish i'd taken more of them.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

one of the best parts of DIS, and i think one of the things that makes it an absolutely stellar program, is how well things are administered. everything is arranged perfectly--study tours with classes, "adventure trips" and activities, etc--and you never ever have to worry about logistics because it's all planned for you. (don't worry, free time is scheduled in so it's not a totally inflexible trip and you can do what you want sometimes.) things just run so smoothly all the time... some people complain that DIS babies you too much but i don't mind that they plan administrative details perfectly and make your life unbelievably easy. DIS takes really really good care of you and you hardly ever have to worry about anything.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

i lived in a danish folkehøjskole, which is a uniquely danish institution. you can read more about it on the DIS site. i liked lots of things about DIS but i have to say that my folkehøjskole was the heart and soul of my time in denmark and it MADE my study abroad experience. i think i lucked out with an amazing group of people but i LOVED living there and have absolutely no regrets about my housing choice, and i believe most people who lived with me share my sentiment. my folkehøjskole was the defining part of my time abroad and i identify with them more than with DIS, and i wish semesters there counted for academic credit because i'd just drop DIS and enroll there instead. the folk high schools are far from DIS but the commute is pleasant and pretty and quiet, and what they don't tell you is that many host families and some kollegiums are about the same distance away anyway, so don't let distance deter you.

* Food:

my folkehøjskole had two professional chefs... who not only prepared delicious meals (warm nutella-filled croissants at weekend brunches? YES) but also made us midnight breakfast pizza (randomly), cake on tuesdays, and flaming shots amongst other awesome things... the food was really good (and they do have decent vegetarian options). anyway... in general denmark eats a lot of pork and meat and potatoes. i ended up buying lunch all the time because classes were too far away to go home for lunch (and the folkehøjskole isn't technically supposed to provide lunch)... food is EXPENSIVE (kind of like everything else in denmark). a hot dog or a slice of pizza is $5-7 and the absolute cheapest sandwiches start out at like $6. go to 7-11 for their random deals. otherwise pack lunch... eating out all the time will probably make you broke.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

really lots of things... i thought all the DIS trips were well-organized and a lot of fun.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

welfare state health care takes care of illnesses so no worries about that--it was very easy to get doctor's appointments (for free!). a few people i know were pickpocketed. also there were some weird incidents at my folkehøjskole... but in general denmark is supposed to be very safe, and also i think DIS insurance will cover a lot of things. one night someone broke into a student room at the folkehøjskole, but it was definitely a very odd exception--it had never happened before--and they increased security measures afterward.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? this depends heavily on your housing and general lifestyle choices... i didn't need to buy much aside from food. it's not as easy but definitely possible to pack lunch from the folkehøjskole... but as someone with no culinary skill whatsoever i ended up buying lunches and spending about $35 a week on that. overall i got away with spending about $600 for the semester in denmark, but it's possible to spend a lot more or less than that. but in general denmark is really expensive. that excludes travel break--i spent a LOT more money then, obviously, because we had to pay for our own transportation and hotels and such.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? don't forget souvenirs and gifts from not only denmark but any other countries you visit. and budget for travel break... learn to love ryanair and easyjet (europe's cheap airlines) and youth hostels. withdrawing money from atms is easy, you can do it multiple times (but not TOO many because at some banks there's a flat transaction fee on top of the currency conversion fee). also, all the DIS-sponsored trips (1-credit classes or adventure trips) are waaaay cheaper (really also better in many more ways) through DIS than on your own. so do them with DIS instead. i REALLY wish i took advantage of more DIS-run trips.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

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  • International Students
  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • my folkehøjskole!!!
  • denmark
  • travel opportunities throughout europe
* What could be improved?
  • some of the americans who decide to attend...
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? DIS gives you lots of cool opportunities to see europe. it also makes your life fairly easy. also, denmark is surprisingly awesome! it's the happiest country in the world for a reason, if you're willing to look beyond the uninviting climate and weather patterns and those cool scandinavian exteriors...

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

international law from a european perspective

Course Department:
Instructor: martin mennecke
Instruction Language: english
Comments: SO GOOD! it's challenging, and the amount of work and martin (the professor) are both intimidating at first. but you also learn so much! martin is so smart and knowledgeable but he's also very down-to-earth and has a great sense of humor and pays a lot of individual attention to students. he's very busy and involved in other things in life but still obviously invests lots of time and effort in this class. he is incredibly clear and engaging during class and he's one of the best professors i've ever had. it's a very sharp class and i highly highly recommend it. seriously. this class is spectacular.
Credit Transfer Issues: