Great Experience and Program/Bad Classes June 16, 2019

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/12/2019 to 05/12/2019 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a little Danish, about the Danish and Finnish education systems, and how to be more independent.

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.

The classes were not challenging or intellectually stimulating. There was very little work throughout the semester, but a ton the last two weeks. It was not spread out well. The professors taught in a different way than American professors. They were harsher graders than professors at my home university. Three hour classes were long and not engaging. The same activities were used over and over again even if students gave the professors negative feedback of them. There was little intellectual participation in class discussions because students came from different academic backgrounds.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Student Life Information Desk was not very helpful with medical advice etc. However, it is clear that the program is excellently planned and executed.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Nimbus Kollegium was amazing. It is a very social environment between the Americans. Some Danes are friendly with the Americans; some are not. DIS does a great job of placing you in housing and matching roommates and flatmates based on the housing survey and your interests.

* Food:

Copenhagen has great food, but it is very expensive. DIS should have provided more money on the food stipend card, a space dedicated to eating lunch, and discounts at more local restaurants both near classes and living arrangements and provided a list of these places for students.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I learned a little Danish and about Danish culture and childhood. I had one Danish flatmate and worked with Danish children, but always spoke English and did not feel particularly integrated. Everyone speaks English, so there is no need to know Danish, so you get little practice with it unless you are in a folk high school.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The healthcare was free and accessible. However, they were uncaring of sensitivities and it was hard to find a doctor before getting a cpr card. Once you got one, you could also only call at certain times to make an appointment and your doctor might be booked for weeks.

* Safety:

Denmark is one of the safest countries in the world. Though there are some crazies and drunks like everywhere and they have different ideas of consent, I never felt unsafe. You can even take the metro alone in the middle of the night as a woman.

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

Though the academic were weak and Copenhagen is expensive, DIS is a very old, well-run program, and Copenhagen is a very quaint, cozy, student-friendly city with access to the rest of Europe.

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)

1 Copenhagen is the fifth most expensive city in the world. Food is especially expensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 375
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Do not eat out. Use your supermarket card wisely. Do not travel too much. Go to the sustainable boutique and studenterhuset and dinners run by community centers.

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

Only in Danish class unless you were in a folk high school.

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? None
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Talk to the Danes in your kollegium, your host family or visiting host family, the students in your folk high school, or the children in your practicum in Danish. Use basic Danish phrases in the supermarket and cafes.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • Housing
  • People
  • Field Studies
* What could be improved?
  • Classes
  • Expenses paid
  • Customer service
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This is an expensive city. The classes are not high quality and the workload is not well spread out. The Child Development class is education focused, not psychology focused.