Amazing August 08, 2016

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/17/2016 to 05/17/2016 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained both intellectual and personal growth from studying abroad, growth that could never have occurred had I studied at home. DIS was an incredible study abroad experience, and I would definitely recommend this program to other students interested in studying abroad.

Personal Information

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.

DIS was an incredible experience because I immersed into a new society and culture. DIS enabled me to undergo tremendous intellectual and personal growth.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration of the DIS program in Copenhagen was excellent.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The living arrangements in the Bispebjerg Kollegium in Copenhagen were overall very good. My only concern was that I requested in the housing application to be placed in a housing option near the Chabad of Copenhagen. Instead I was assigned to housing in an area of Copenhagen called Norrebro, an area with a history of anti-Semitism. Despite this, the living arrangements were very good.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

DIS enabled me to immerse into a new culture that helped me undergo intellectual and personal growth.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The universal health care system in Denmark was much easier to navigate than the health care system at home. I was able to obtain prescribed medication and see doctors in a relatively timely and cost-efficient manner.

* Safety:

Overall Copenhagen was safe. My only concern was that Norrebro, the section of Copenhagen where I was living, has a history of anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic assaults. I could not walk in this area while wearing a yarmulke without fear of getting assaulted.

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

DIS was an amazing experience that enabled me to see the world through the eyes of a society and culture completely different from mine. I learned new intellectual perspectives about a variety of issues, ranging from European politics to history, that challenged my own preconceived notions and allowed me to undergo intellectual growth as well. Immersing into a new culture also enabled me to appreciate elements of my home culture that I had previously taken for granted. I also underwent tremendous personal growth.

Finances

* 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)

I was provided with a food card with about 4,000 DK ($600) on it. This greatly reduced my food expenses because I could use it at several major grocery stores throughout Copenhagen. Eating out tended to be expensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $40.00
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Eat out as little as possible.

Language

* 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

Although most Danes speak English fluently, I took a Danish class in order to learn more about the Danish language and Danish culture. My professor actively encouraged students to speak Danish as much as possible.

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? N/A
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? Speak Danish outside of the classroom as much as possible.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* 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?
  • Cultural Immersion
  • Travel
  • People
* What could be improved?
  • Some elements of the Housing process
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had received official recommendations from DIS as how to undertake independent travel most effectively. I received many recommendations primarily from my professors as how to do this, but I wish that DIS had issued some recommendations to help assist students directly.