I Left My Heart in Copenhagen Past Review

By (Psychology, Bryn Mawr College) - abroad from 08/14/2015 to 12/18/2015 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
So many things. I learned what it felt like to be thrown into completely new situations and cultures and languages and experience things openly and head-on. I learned how to communicate without language, and see things from a trans-linguistic point of view. I saw how different places and people felt the impact of terrorism and crisis, and how universal adaptability is. I pushed myself to the physical, intellectual, and emotional limit, and got a distinct appreciation for the multiplicity of the word "home". I have made lifelong friends, and cultivated memories I will cherish my whole life. I would not change my abroad experience for the world: it was beyond worthwhile, and I cannot recommend it enough.

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 a student at Bryn Mawr College, I am used to an intense academic environment. I appreciated the level of rigor in my classes at DIS, especially in the Psychology/Neuroscience departments.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Generally pretty helpful and kind.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I absolutely LOVED my host family! They were so sweet and considerate and flexible, and I really felt that I was part of the family. It was really difficult saying goodbye.

* Food:

My host family cooked me dinner, and I generally ate whatever they had in the house for breakfast and lunch and was totally satisfied. I also loved the coffeeshops and food stands in the city.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Especially having lived with Danes in a family setting and taken Danish Language and Culture as a class, I felt quite integrated in the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I only went to the hospital once, and had a fine experience. The nurses were nice and helpful, though the wait was as long as an ER in america. The fact that healthcare is free in Denmark (hooray socialism!!) was wonderful.

* Safety:

I have never felt unsafe in Copenhagen, which surprised me, as I am usually pretty trepidatious about the safety of cities (especially at night). But I was never catcalled, harassed, or fearful at all wandering the streets of Copenhagen.

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 expensive. There's no getting around that. And traveling can be expensive as well, especially when you travel as much as DIS allows (free time-wise). But there are ways to budget and plan ahead so that you don't overspend or feel financially stressed.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? probably around $40-$60, but more on travel breaks
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan ahead when traveling. Transportation gets more and more expensive the longer you wait to book, and hostels/hotels/airbnbs similarly get snatched up or more expensive as the date draws nearer.


* 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

I was required by my home institution to take Danish, which I loved.

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? ? which departure? any language or Danish in particular?
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? Always order in Danish. Those times you pass as a Danes make you feel awesome, and the Danes love not having to deal with too many naïve, clearly-american youths.

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

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Travel Opportunities
  • Core Class concept
  • Optional Study Tours
* What could be improved?
  • Danish Lang. & Culture should be required, or at least *highly* recommended
  • Transportation passes should include airport zones
  • Allow professor more freedom curriculum-wise (testing dates/policies, more flexible syllabi. etc)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How much time off we got. I didn't know we would have 2 full weeks off in addition to the study tour weeks, so I didn't plan as much in advance.

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.'