Great Experience in Copenhagen Past Review

By (Art History, Criticism and Conservation., Wellesley College) for

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
When I first arrived three months ago, I had little confidence in my ability to thrive in a new environment that required a large amount of independence, maturity and willingness to take risks. Moving to Copenhagen for four months threw me far out of my zone of comfort and familiarity. Beginning when I stepped on the plane in Kansas City, I have surprised myself everyday with my willingness to take chances and my ability to succeed in this highly new and strange situation. My greatest advances have been in my ability to take risks, work independently, and manage my fear of unfamiliar situations. Living in Denmark among the Danes has made me more aware of my own culture and national identity, and has expanded my thinking to a more global level. I am more understanding of cultures that differ so greatly from my own now that I have lived, experienced, and learned to love a new one. My time in Denmark has been an invaluable part of my art history education and my path to independence and adulthood.

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.

The workload was low to reasonable, but it was very heavy around midterm and finals time. Many of my classes were taught on-site around the city, in museums, in other countries, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration and support were very good. Everything was very organized and help was always available. They are very knowledgable about American education, and what we expect from them. I also enjoyed the small class size.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was very happy about the host family that DIS matched me with. The distance of my home from school was a completely reasonable distance. I actually enjoyed being a bit removed from the city. My neighborhood was very safe, and my host family provided me with practically anything I needed.

* Food:

My family accommodated my vegetarianism perfectly. I always had enough to eat, and it always delicious. I would not suggest that students living with host families eat out a lot. You are already paying for your food at home, so don't pay double. Don't be scared to ask your family to buy certain things you like or air your concerns about the meals they provide you.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The trips organized by DIS were amazing. The two trips (around Denmark and to Germany) incorporated into my core class were very well planned, fun and educational. I also went on an optional trip organized by DIS, which was also really great.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Health care and safety could not be better than in Denmark.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Denmark is a very expensive city. I almost never ate out at restaurants.


* 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? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I practiced Danish with my host family. I almost never used Danish in my everyday life because most all Danes speak English.

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

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This program is for both the serious student and the student looking to take a load off and party.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Danish Language and Culture

Course Department: Danish
Instructor: Mogens Larsen
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was not particularly challenging. The instruction about the Danish language was much less than I expected, but I learned more about Danish culture and customs than I expected. The exams required a good amount of work, and the final paper took a lot of time and effort. Mogens ended up telling a lot of stories that were partly irrelevant and partly informative about Danish culture. The learning of the language focuses on reading, rather than speaking or listening to Danish. I really wish that I had learned more about pronunciation.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Women, Art and Identity

Course Department: European Culture and History
Instructor: Andrea Homann
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was my favorite class at DIS. Andrea is a very good professor and extremely nice. Doing the reading was necessary for each class, but it wasn't too much. Her expectations were very clear, and the exams required you to really learn the material, but the difficulty was not unreasonable.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Germany, Memory and Identity

Course Department: European Culture and History
Instructor: Thorsten Wagner and Andrea Homann
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I was very happy with this course overall. I really enjoyed learning about Danish and German history from two extremely knowledgable professors of German and Danish background. The professors were great lecturers, and very interested in getting to know the students. This course involved a trip to Jutland (mainland Denmark) for 3 days, and Germany for one week. The trips were a lot of fun and very educational. The class required a good amount of reading and an reasonably sized research paper at the end of the semester.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Ancient Art and Archaeology: The Copenhagen Collection

Course Department: European Culture and History
Instructor: Thyge Bro
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Thyge is extremely knowledgeable about the subject, and had great insight into the subject. Almost all classes were taught on-site at museums around Copenhagen. There are no exams, and it is a little too easy to get away with not doing the reading. There are 2 large and 2 small papers due during the semester, all which require a good amount of time and research. Thyge is not the easiest grader, so you actually have to work to do well on the essays.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Impressionism in Paris

Course Department: European Culture and History
Instructor: Suzanne de Cunha Bang
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I really enjoyed this course, but I wish it was a fully semester, and not a half a semester, course. The class only met 4 times before a 3 day trip to Paris. DIS subsidized the trip, and organized an amazing experience for us. The professor is extremely kind, caring, and knowledgable. I was very happy with this class.
Credit Transfer Issues: Wellesley does not accept transfer of this class. It is only worth half a credit at DIS, so only .4 credits at Wellesley.
Course Name/Rating:

Developmental Disorders

Course Department: Psychology
Instructor: Anders Myszak
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I was very disappointed in this course. The professor did not have any experience teaching, and was a poor lecturer. His expectations for the exams and essays were unclear, and his exams were too difficult compared to most all DIS courses. This class was highly unusual, and the only class I did not enjoy at DIS.
Credit Transfer Issues: