Positives and Negatives of Studying in Denmark through DIS Past Review

By (Villanova University) - abroad from 01/21/2012 to 05/20/2012 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Everyone should study abroad if they can. By experiencing another culture you gain the tools and alternative perspective to re-evaluate your own culture. I feel like I could hold an intelligent conversation with your average Dane about Danish Politics and Society, in addition to the other subjects I studied. And the traveling provides great opportunities to see and do and experience in ways you never could normally. I also feel more confident, independent and self-reliant. Two words for anyone considering study abroad: DO IT.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: DIS + Copenhagen University
How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

A few of the highlights include some really interesting and insightful professors and classes, field studies which take you to places around Copenhagen you would never normally get to see (such as a debate in Parliament, the ballet or the former working class district of the city) and the long study tours, which give you and your classmates the chance to spend a week in an awesome European city or cities to see the sights and at the same time learning about your class' topic (my international law class went to Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina and had an unforgettable experience meeting local people including members of the EU,NATO, professors, leaders of the local religious communities and survivors of the war, which would have never been able to do otherwise).

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

DIS is there for you to use as much as you'd like - you can get their help everyday or never once talk to them, up to you.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing can vary, I talked to people who had good and bad experiences with host families, in kollegiums and in DIS housing so it all depends. My home stay was excellent, and although it limited me socially (especially for going out on weekend nights) since I lived so far outside of the city, their good cooking, the great dinner conversations, insight into the culture and having a family and a house to come home to every night was the highlight of my time in Denmark.

* Food:

My Host Family's food was excellent, although the program does not provide food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

DIS offered programs like the "Buddy Network" to get American students to meet Danes. Living with a Host Family, the Visiting Family Program, and taking classes on Danish topics and with Danish professors all offered opportunities for cultural immersion. However, DIS is comprised of 800 mostly American students, and I've heard they are planning to accept even more students next semester, and I definitely felt overwhelmed by the number of fellow American students. It takes away from a more personal experience meeting people and in classes, and it also made it very easy to get comfortable with American students and friends rather than venturing out on your own, meeting Danes, immersing yourself in the culture and becoming more independent and self-reliant.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Denmark has universal healthcare so you are covered during the length of your stay.

* Safety:

Copenhagen is an extremely safe city and at no point did I ever feel unsafe or hear of any alarming issues. The worst that I ever heard of happening was a bike being stolen.

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)

The program gives out a transportation passes and a food stipend for those living in apartments, while those living in host families have their food covered. However, Denmark is one of the most expensive countries in Europe. I'm talking $8-$10 a beer expensive. You will spend less with a host family since they provide most of your food, if money's a big concern, I'd be hesitant to spend a whole semester here. The basic expenses are more or less covered - housing, food, and transportation - but additional expenses can be really limiting.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you want to save money, stay with a Host Family.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

No encouragement outside of the Danish class.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? It's tough because all the Danes speak English really well, and Danish is an impossible language to pronounce.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • My Host Family
  • Outstanding classes, profs and field studies
  • Long Study Tour trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina
* What could be improved?
  • Fewer students
  • Make Denmark a cheaper place
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How expensive Denmark is. How difficult it can be to travel on weekends (off day is Wednesday, not Friday) with this program and into and out of Denmark (expensive and limited flights). That there would be 800 other mostly American students in the program as well.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Kierkegaard's Authorship

Course Department:
Instructor: K. Brian Soderquist
Instruction Language:
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Danish Politics and Society

Course Department:
Instructor: Jacob Buksti
Instruction Language:
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

History of Copenhagen

Course Department:
Instructor: Carsten Pape
Instruction Language:
Credit Transfer Issues: