Semester of a Lifetime August 25, 2016

By (neuroscience, psychology, Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/16/2016 to 05/17/2016 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself and the types of environments I thrive in. I also learned a lot about the value of travel and getting to know loads of different people, even if you will only know them very briefly. It was definitely worthwhile, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

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.

I had some phenomenal classes, and some not-so-phenomenal classes. Most of them were pretty easy, but there were a few weeks where my workload was overwhelming.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Incredible homestay, but really difficult commute (over an hour sometimes)

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My homestay was critical in feeling immersed in Danish culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I walked home from the train to my homestay for half an hour in the middle of the night several times on the weekends, and never felt unsafe. The only moments I ever felt unsafe while abroad occurred while traveling outside of Denmark.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I absolutely loved DIS, but I wish I instead did a program where I was directly enrolled with Danish students. I found myself frequently wanting to get away from other Americans.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About $100 a week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make sure you're getting the conversion rate properly, and track everything you spend. It's really easy for daily cappuccinos and pastries to add up. Also, make sure your credit or debit card has a chip. Many places in Europe won't accept cards without chips.

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

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? Watch Danish TV with English subtitles, listen to Danish music, get the Danes you're living with to practice with you every now and then, talk with your American friends from classes in Danish every now and then for practice and a laugh

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
  • 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?
  • Travel breaks
  • My homestay
  • Interesting course offerings
* What could be improved?
  • Organization of group class travel
  • Homestays closer to the city
  • Less clumping of assignments between travel breaks
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew to be more outgoing at first. I was a little too shy when first meeting other DIS students and Danes, and I wish that I were a little more brave in trying new things because the first part of study abroad was a little lonely.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!