Eye Opening Experience January 12, 2017

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/22/2016 to 12/09/2016 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The experience definitely opened my eyes to a new culture outside of the US. It was interesting to learn about and see the values that make up Danish society, which are so different from the US. It was also interesting to hear the Danish perspectives on societal and political issues. The experience was definitely worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

The food was delicious, but less culturally diverse and more expensive than in the US.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

For classes you are mostly surrounded by American students, so you have to reach out and put in the effort to get to know other Danes. I would say staying in a homestay definitely helps you integrate with the local culture and gives you chances to meet other Danes.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Very safe, but be smart and careful of petty crime.

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

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 definitely on the more expensive side. Living with a host family definitely helps cut down on food costs.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I spent about $200 a week on food and other expenses (attractions/events/sight-seeing) each week since I lived with a host family. This does not include traveling costs though during travel breaks.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If on a budget, try to cut down on coffee, eating out, and shopping. Try to cook or pack lunch.

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
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? In Copenhagen, try to listen to the locals in your surrounding speak Danish. Try to order food and buy things in Danish. If you live with a host family, definitely try speaking and practicing Danish with them, and watch Danish movies/TV and listen to Danish music. Use duolingo.

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?
  • Organized program
  • My host family and meeting new people
  • Travel opportunities
* What could be improved?
  • More opportunities to interact with the locals
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Looking back, I feel that Copenhagen was still a very safe option and was not a huge culture shock. While the experience was wonderful, it would've been nice to maybe have done a program that allowed for more integration with the local students and was culturally even more different.