Learned a Lot and Enjoyed Denmark! December 21, 2016

By (Economics, Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/20/2016 to 12/13/2016 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This experience was definitely worthwhile. I learned a lot just by living in another culture, like how cultural norms and values penetrate everything, and, in Denmark, how a history of a homogeneous society presents challenges today. I also gained more personal awareness of what kinds of things I enjoy doing and learning.

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.

The classes included academic field studies and travel weeks, where you could learn a lot if you chose to take advantage of the experiences. Otherwise, the workload for most classes was not bad until finals period.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

DIS took care of everything and helped us through processes like getting visas and residence permits and a CPR card. I knew if anything happened, like health problems etc., DIS would have been there to help.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

DIS did an excellent job of matching me with a host family.

* Food:

It was pretty easy to find familiar foods.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

DIS classes are only with American students, so for most of the day those were the only people I interacted with. My integration with the local culture only came from my professors and my homestay, so I wish there had been more.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Copenhagen is a relatively safe city, and the only problem I ran into was my bike getting stolen.

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

DIS really did a great job, and I learned a lot from my classes and from living with my host family. Denmark is a beautiful country with interesting political, economic, and social systems to explore. However, if I were to study abroad again, I might choose a program with more cultural immersion.

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)

Copenhagen is a very expensive city. It helped to be in a homestay where all meals were included, but I would sometimes end up buying coffee or lunch or dinner in the city.

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

Not everyone was required to take Danish, and so I mostly used it in class. Everyone in stores, cafes, etc. spoke English well, as did my host family and so it was not necessary for me to speak Danish.

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? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Stay in a homestay and make a genuine effort to speak to your host family in Danish

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Homestay
  • Field Studies
  • Professors
* What could be improved?
  • More cultural immersion
  • Language required for everyone
  • Higher academic standards
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how capable I was of living in another country. Studying abroad with DIS in Denmark, looking back, is a very safe option. I wish I had challenged myself a little more either by living with another language, taking classes with local students, or visiting a country more different from what I knew.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.