Amazing opportunity for personal growth January 21, 2019

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/18/2018 to 12/15/2018 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
While I was not particularly academically challenged, this experience far exceeded my other expectations. I learned that I am comfortable meeting new people and exploring unfamiliar cities. I surprised myself with my ability to navigate on my own. I learned how to cook for myself. Overall, my study abroad experience was incredibly worthwhile; I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Coming from such an academically rigorous college, I was a little disappointed with the quality of classes at DIS. I think that the teaching styles and assignments were scattered at times, and the material could have been more engaging. I really appreciated the opportunity to learn about an unfamiliar culture through an educational lens and especially enjoyed the experiential learning that the study tours encouraged. However, I think the classes lacked the depth that I have come to expect from my courses at Middlebury.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I got incredibly lucky with my housing. I lived in the Culinary LLC and really enjoyed the quality time I got to spend with the 9 other girls in my apartment. I think the LLC experience was so positive for me because it provided me with a community to come home to every day. I would highly recommend this living option to any other student applying to this program.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I thought the visiting host program provided a really nice opportunity for cultural integration for those students who didn't want to live for a host family. However, I wish that other opportunities to become involved with the local culture had been more advertised, since I spent the majority of my time with other American students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I had no issues with safety during my time in Copenhagen. However, I would advice future students to be really watchful of their valuables when going out at night, since I know several students who had their phones and/or wallets taken.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100-200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Traveling expenses definitely made up the bulk of my spending. I know that it's not necessary to travel, and in theory students could spend all of their weekends in Copenhagen. However, since the majority of students tend to make travel plans, it would have been fairly lonely on most weekends if I had stayed in Copenhagen. I think this factor would make it really difficult to study abroad in Copenhagen if you have serious financial restraints.

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

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The Culinary LLC
  • the incorporation of study tours into classes
  • the location
* What could be improved?
  • quality of classes
  • expense issues – larger stipend
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had budgeted a little better throughout my time in Copenhagen. I also wish I had taken more advantage of all the outdoor activities available in the city while the weather was still warm.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Criminology and Criminal Justice in Scandinavia

Course Department: Criminology
Instructor: Anne Okkels Birk
Instruction Language: English
Comments:
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Danish Language and Culture

Course Department: Danish
Instructor: Bianca Liberski
Instruction Language: English
Comments:
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Psychology of Adolescence

Course Department: Psychology
Instructor: Rasmus Nørgaard
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Although I enjoyed the assessments in this course – primarily essays based on case studies – I found the class periods to be somewhat dull. It was Rasmus' first time teaching, and I don't think he had quite gotten the hang of giving engaging lectures. The material had the potential to be interesting, but fell short a lot of the time.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Learning in Scandinavian Classrooms

Course Department: Education
Instructor: Heidi Nielsen
Instruction Language: English
Comments:
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Cultural Diversity and Integration

Course Department: Sociology
Instructor: Deivida Vandsinskaite
Instruction Language: English
Comments: While I went into my abroad experience with high expectations for this course, I left Copenhagen disappointed by the lack of feedback I received from Deivida throughout the semester. The expectations for this course were very unclear, and the structure of the class was poorly organized. Although I came away with a better understanding of immigration politics in Western Europe, I gained most of my knowledge from our study tours rather than actual class material.
Credit Transfer Issues: