Jeg elsker, og savner, Danmark!! (I love, and miss, Denmark!!) Past Review

By (Psychology, Geography, Bucknell University) - abroad from 01/12/2011 to 05/13/2011 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This experience was absolutely amazing. Denmark is an wonderful place, DIS is an incredible program, and I met such great people. I traveled ALL over Europe, played for a Danish soccer team, made lasting bonds with my host family, and truly learned to appreciate and love the Danish culture. I gained an entirely new perspective on many things I took for granted, and try to live my life a little more Danish. And...HYGGE!!!

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.

As far as study abroad programs go, DIS is definitely not a semester off. It will (likely) not be as challenging as your home university, but learning while you are abroad takes place outside of the classroom even more than it does inside. Your educational experience will be WHAT YOU MAKE IT. At DIS, you get to learn from a variety of teachers, from professionals in the industries you are learning about to professors from local universities. And they have so much to offer beyond what they are teaching in the class. Plus, many courses at DIS have an out of the classroom component, and this will enrich your experience more than any lecture. Children in a Multicultural Environment was my core course, and I was SO impacted by the experience that I had working at the forest kindergarten as part of that course- it changed the way I view parenting, child rearing, and children in general, and specifically, in America.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Like pretty much all Danes, the people at DIS are absolutely wonderful, and so extremely helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

COULDNT HAVE BEEN HAPPIER!!! I wanted a host family, and was placed with a family. It was a 50 minute commute at best, and at night after soccer, it could be over an hour and a half. I learned to LOVE it though, and I wouldn't have traded my experience for anything. It was just what I wanted. And believe me, I was VERY nervous and apprehensive when I first read about my host family. They ended up being absolutely amazing- I loved them so much that I went back to visit senior year for spring break!! Again, your housing is what you make of it- you might not get exactly what you want, but it WILL be AMAZING. There are pros and cons to all of the housing situations, and I have friends who had amazing experiences in all of the arrangements.

* Food:

DIS didn't really have it's own food, but when we were fed in our Danish class (TAKE IT), it was great :) Housing does a great job of making sure everyone has food or money on their card for food!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Danes are so welcoming and friendly (even if they don't seem it at first glance). It's an easy culture to integrate into, especially given the fact that nearly everyone speaks English. DIS provides so many ways to integrate, from host or visiting families, to Danish buddies, to hangouts at a local cafe with Danish college students, to opportunities to play sports on Danish teams, etc. And TAKE DANISH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE to really understand the culture you're in- it makes your experience so much richer :)

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no health issues, but my friends who used the doctors were treated quickly and easily. DIS walks you through how to register with the local authorities (since it's a country with universal health care, and as study abroad students, we are temporary Danish residents), and you receive a card to show at the doctor. The card should also tell you where to go. And pretty much everyone speaks English (especially doctors!!).

* Safety:

Never once did I feel unsafe. Obviously, Copenhagen is a new city, and you should use common sense and be careful. But as far as crime goes, you can't find a city with rates lower.

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)

Copenhagen is an expensive city. However, DIS gives you a food stipend (if you're not in a housing situation that feeds you, like a folkeskole or a host family), as well as a transportation card to get you to and from classes, so you don't need to worry about that. I lived with a host family, and barely spent any of my own money, aside from treats and shopping and things like that.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $10
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Decide what your priorities are- if you want to party, be aware that that WILL be expensive (I'm talking hundreds or thousands of dollars expensive). Some people go crazy with shopping (It can be dangerous. Keep in mind the question of- "will I wear this at home?", because European fashion is very different, and often ahead of, American fashion). I, personally, spent most of my money on traveling (not to say I didn't come home with new clothes...oops). But I knew going into my semester I wanted to travel, so I saved, spent, and came home with an empty bank account, accordingly. Just prioritize, and stick to the budget/priorities you set, and you'll be fine. Find out all the great free stuff that Copenhagen has to offer!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

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

We used it in class, and there were phrases

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

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
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?
  • the amazing people
  • the amazing opportunities to engage with Danish culture
  • my host family and HYGGE!!
* What could be improved?
  • nothing
  • nothing
  • nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To take advantage of Danish/Copenhagen attractions earlier- I was left with so many things to do and see my last 2 weeks!!!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Danish Language and Culture

Course Department: Danish
Instructor: Christina (or ANYONE)
Instruction Language: English
Comments: TAKE THIS COURSE. It will make your experience so much deeper and richer, and it will really allow you to understand what is going on around you. Seriously, even if your college doesn't require you to take it, TAKE DANISH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE!!
Credit Transfer Issues: