Take II: Copenhagen After Sweden August 04, 2017

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/14/2017 to 05/14/2017 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I feel far more globally aware as a result of my time abroad. The term "global citizen" is quite corny to consider when talking about yourself when you return from being abroad. Nonetheless, it is quite true. Being abroad undoubtedly allowed me to question at times both the culture I come from and the culture I was visiting. Ultimately, I was able to deduce that regardless of similarities and differences, it is remarkably rewarding to see how they influence your life moving forward. I am a different person than I was before studying abroad, and I can say this in a positive way. Furthermore, I cannot wait to have the chance to travel over the pond again!

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.

Students should know that a great deal of people have the opportunity to take their courses pass/fail in this program. Furthermore, if you are taking your classes for credit, set aside time to distance yourself from others in order to complete your work and stay as focused as possible while having a good time. It may be difficult to look to the person next to you and see they are able to get by with little to no effort, but putting in the work will truly teach you a lot about the subject and keep you tuned up for your return to campus.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Much less hands-on and invested than I experienced with the Stockholm program, nonetheless, I'm sure that's what comes with a program of this size.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing location and community were what made my experience in Copenhagen memorable!

* Food:

N/A we were responsible for cooking our own meals. However, I truly enjoyed Danish food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The health care was amazing. I had to visit Danish health services twice during my time and both experiences were helpful and enlightening.

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe in Copenhagen.

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

DIS Copenhagen is an extremely well structured program; giving its students all of the tools to be successful abroad. I greatly benefited from the way DIS constructs its orientation and educates you in things to be aware of as an American abroad in not only Denmark, but Europe as a whole.

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)

Budgeting in Copenhagen is definitely not something to take lightly. Nonetheless, it is completely doable if one sticks to spending money on the necessities. For example, I rarely ate out, which definitely allowed me to save money for trips and other personal expenses. All in all, one should know that Copenhagen (much like all of the Scandinavian capitals) is quite expensive, however, if you stick to your budget, you should be just fine.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? EAT OUT AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. Wait until heading to countries in Eastern Europe where the food is remarkable and significantly less expensive. Also, use RyanAir and Skyscanner when planning trips abroad. They often have great deals when traveling to countries within the EU. Scandinavian Airlines offers youth tickets which restrict your baggage, but can be gems as well. Make sure to book trips early and then budget with the money you have left over. It is easier to calculate this way and saves you from that "oh shoot" moment when checking your bank account.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

The Copenhagen program does a good job of giving you the tools to use Danish sparingly in certain situations. For example, I loved using Danish to order coffee in the morning or say hello. Before you know it, its like second nature.

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? HIT THE COFFEE SHOPS. Also, although Danes speak english extremely well, and often prefer it when conversing with Americans, I found they will let you go on a little bit longer in Danish than the Swedes before suggesting to switch over to your home language. From my experience, they enjoy humoring us Americans for sure. Similarly, if you have the opportunity to head to Sweden, try using your Danish. The languages are quite close and sometimes Swedes will get a kick out of an American trying to find common ground:)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • The People
  • The Culture Around Me
  • The Faculty
* What could be improved?
  • Honestly, not much comes to mind...
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have known how much of a difference it makes to book your trips earlier. Although I reached many of the destinations I had on my list, budgeting toward the end of the semester would have been much easier if those were out of the way.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Law Practice from a European Perspective

Course Department: Legal Studies
Instructor: Anne Brandt Christensen
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course, I hate to say it, was not very influential at all in my study abroad experience. I don't know if it was that my expectations for the course were too high or what, but aside from learning a great deal about the format and practices of the European Union, I did not get much out of the course. I believe students considering this course should know that it dedicated to a single type of law, corporate law, and is filled with assignments with little to no guidelines and ambiguous grading practices. All in all, if I had it to do over again, I would not have taken this course in Copenhagen.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Learning in Scandinavian Classrooms

Course Department: Education
Instructor: Heidi Vikkelsø Nielsen
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Coming with a basic understanding of American education practices, I am very glad I took this course while in Denmark. Not only was I able to see distinct differences in culture and the way it influenced education, but I was able to construct meaningful summary worksheets for each topic covered and will have moving forward in my career. Moreover, the course was taught by a very dedicated and passionate instructor who always pushed us to think outside the box. I am grateful to have had this opportunity.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Prostitution and the Sex Trade in Europe B

Course Department: Social Sciences
Instructor: Ane Krestine Larsen
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course challenged me without question. With my goal to study abroad, I wanted to take classes on a topic I knew nothing about, as well as would not be taught at my home university- Prostitution and the Sex Trade met both of those requirements. Taking this course as my focus for my time abroad was a great decision. I would 100% do it again.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Danish Language and Culture I Section 118

Course Department: Language
Instructor: Birgitte Duelund Pallesen
Instruction Language: English and Danish
Comments: I personally really enjoyed this course although I am not much of a language person at all. It was very enlightening to learn Danish customs and history in a class setting, as it truly supplemented my immersive experience. Additionally, the professor was very engaging, as well. My favorite aspect must have been our visit to a Danish high school where we had the opportunity to converse with the students and compare aspects of our lives.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Al-Qaida, ISIS, and Intelligence Analysis

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor: Nis Leerskov Mathiesen & Søren Hove
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I was thoroughly impressed with the real-world aspects this course had to offer. Not only were we guided through the history of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, but we were taught useful intelligence analysis techniques I had yet to come across in my academic career. Furthermore, the instruction was truly enjoyable having a real analyst and the head of a security services outfit in Denmark as my professors. I highly recommend taking this class if you have the opportunity.
Credit Transfer Issues: