Smart spending and proactive engagement with local community July 11, 2019

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/17/2019 to 05/09/2019 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
A new cultural outlook and integrating into a community that is hard to integrate into. I appreciated how my classes took me beyond the classroom to have hands-on application of content material.

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.

Content material of the classes was not as difficult as my home institution's, but the workload and lack of adequately spaced assignments made for an academically intense semester that does not fall short of my home institution's rigor.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Prompt response to questions from DIS.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Location was excellent, but I had originally requested for housing shared with Danish students for more integration and was unable to be placed in one.

* Food:

Shopping for groceries was easy and convenient (plenty of nearby grocery stores, and we were given a grocery card). However, food expenses are very high in Copenhagen.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I had little social/cultural integration since the program consisted of only American students, and there were not many program opportunities for cultural integration. Due to Danish culture, it was harder to integrate with new Danish people as well. I proactively formed new friendships with Danish people on my own time.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not experience health issues, but health care was assured to us via a resident health insurance card. It was slightly unclear how to go about a medical emergency, so verbal instruction would have been appreciated.

* Safety:

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)

I tracked my spending in Excel, so keeping a budget (despite the very high living cost in Copenhagen) was attainable.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? set a budget beforehand and diligently track your spending throughout the semester

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

see tips section

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? It is very difficult to use Danish as a beginning speaker in Copenhagen. Locals speak English and automatically talk to foreigners in English; pronunciation is extremely difficult, so practicing the language with Danes (especially strangers) is intimidating. The best way is probably with a host family.

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?
  • integration of courses and experiential learning
* What could be improved?
  • cultural integration
  • visiting host family program
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Register as soon as possible for classes. Knowing how difficult it would be to integrate into Danish culture would have been helpful. Also, I knew Copenhagen is expensive to live in, but just how expensive it was made me readjust my budgeting, which was fine in the end.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!