Denmark in the spring Past Review

By (Cognitive Sciences, Rice University) for

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Very worthwhile. It was still a very Westernized experience in a European capital, but Copenhagen and its people have a quirkiness and lifestyle that cannot be found elsewhere. It didn't change any of my future plans, but it did allow me to take a more proactive role in my life (social and academic), to gain independence and to enjoy the challenge of exploring a foreign city.

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.

Classes were a decent size (25 or so), and the teachers were very helpful. As far as overall experience, I really enjoyed the flexibility allowed in scheduling courses. Each student is enrolled in a "program" but other than the required course for the program, all other classes were up to the student to choose.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

great support system; administration didn't hound students but were always willing to help if asked.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The dorm/kollegium housed many international students; this didn't allow for practice in the Danish language, as everyone spoke English. Plus, a lot of residents kept to themselves, so it was difficult to meet people. There were several kollegium options (though students are randomly placed), so this is not representative of all kollegium experiences. It just so happened that I stayed at one quite far from the city center and the experience wasn't too stellar. However, all amenities/furniture and dishware were provided, so that was very helpful.

* Food:

When at a dorm, one cooks for herself, so quality/quantity of food depends on the individual. Dining in the city or dining out is quite expensive, but quality of food in restaurants, I would say, is never lacking.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Really, you get what you make of it. I didn't do all the field trips arranged by the program (though I did go on their longer trip excursions) but I benefitted the most from the interactions made from my own efforts. See the country outside the city center and put yourself out there (meet people); this is what I learned to do and wish I would have done more of.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The city as a whole feels super safe and students in the program receive social security cards for health visits and such. I never had to use it but it was great to know that it was there.

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? A lot of the spending will be spent on food. And transportation: I liked exploring areas of the city outside the suburb that I lived in, but transportation and train costs was only provided to and from a place of living and school (which is totally expected and fair). Just make sure to budget for inner city train/Metro costs for traveling on your own; it's a small expense one might easily overlook.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? All courses were taught in English.
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

The language course was an optional course, which I decided to take. It was very helpful and included interesting Danish cultural lessons as well. It was hard to practice Danish (not having a host family), however, because everyone in the city was so great at English. This made it hard to force myself to practice the language.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans