DIS is a great english-speaking abroad program July 29, 2019

By (Middlebury College) - 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 so much about Danish culture, which was a great experience. It's great to see a different perspective of the world, and step outside of the mental and physical boundaries of the U.S.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any issues abroad but of the people I know who did, they had great experiences accessing healthcare in Denmark.

* Safety:

I felt so safe in Denmark. I was nervous to live so far outside of Copenhagen in my homestay and travel to/from the city alone, but I quickly became very comfortable with this routine and did not feel any hesitation in traveling alone around the city.

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

Given my academic constraints for studying abroad, DIS was a great program for me. I loved the academics, which were engaging although slightly less rigorous than my classes at my home institution. I loved living with a host family to learn more about Danish culture, although it was slightly isolating at time. Overall, I would definitely consider DIS. The program takes care of so many of the logistics for you, so the process is fairly seamless.

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)

Copenhagen is an expensive city, but because I lived in a homestay, I didn't have to worry about buying groceries or preparing meals. This helped me to cut costs for the most part. However, because my homestay was about 30 min outside the city, I spent a lot of money on coffee/snacks because it was difficult to leave for class in the morning and stay in the city all day without supplementing the food I brought from home. For fun activities and nightlife, it is easy to take advantage of free days at museums, events open to the public, and student deals.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you have to provide your own food, cook for yourself. Restaurant expenses will add up quickly. Also, make your own coffee in the morning. Coffee from coffee shops in Copenhagen is usually no cheaper than $5.

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

Had I not taken Danish Language and Culture, I could have survived without speaking a word of Danish.

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
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? If you are living with a host family, ask them to help you practice. If you are living with Danes in a kollegium, the can be great resources as well. If you are living with all Americans, do your best to practice the language in class and with any Danish friends you might make.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* 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 courses
  • being in Denmark
  • travel weeks
* What could be improved?
  • housing placements
  • creating an academic environment
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Take advantage of courses that are not available at your home institution. Try to connect with local students and other Danes, especially if you are not in a homestay.

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!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Danish Language and Culture I

Course Department:
Instructor: Charlotte Bjerre Beuck
Instruction Language: English/Danish
Comments: This class was so rewarding and really helped me to make the most out of my time in Denmark. I don't know why anyone would study at DIS and not take this course. It is so important to understand the history and the culture of the country that you will be living in for four months, and it can be helpful to pick up a few words and phrases of Danish, even if you will not become fluent in four months. There was a fair amount of work because of the culture and language components of the course, often with cultural readings and language activities. The assessments were very fair, with one main cultural quiz, one main written language assessment, an oral exam, and a cultural presentation. I participated more in this class than I normally do, because it was very easy to offer stories and explanations of things we had observed in Denmark. Charlotte was a great instructor. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone studying at DIS.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues
Course Name/Rating:

Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness

Course Department: Psychology
Instructor: Claudia Carrara Austenborg
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I loved this core course. While it was challenging at times and required lots of reading and understanding of abstract concepts, our discussions were so rewarding and have helped me to shape the future that I want for my academics and career. Claudia is incredibly knowledgable on the topic of consciousness and helped to make the material accessible to all of us. She wants to see all of her students succeed, so she is always there to provide help or answer questions. She took our feedback into consideration in designing and grading our exams to insure that the exams truly tested our understanding of the material. Because this was a core course, the two weeks spent traveling with this class were incredibly fun and meaningful. I can't think of any other class in which you could do martial arts, a wine tasting, and attend a music therapy session and have these all tie back to your course material. This was my favorite class at DIS and I would definitely recommend it to any student interested in cognitive science. My one criticism is that this definitely leans more towards psychology/philosophy, and has less to do with neuroscience.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues
Course Name/Rating:

Anthropology of Food

Course Department:
Instructor: Camilla Hoff-Jorgensen
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was challenging due to dense anthropological readings and unclear standards for evaluation. I didn't know what I needed to do to be successful in this course, and I did not find lectures particularly engaging. However, field trips were very fun because they always involved food and different tastings. I felt that I was able to gain a greater appreciation for Danish cuisine because of this course in order to enjoy my time abroad, which was very valuable. It also allowed me to question my own eating habits and the patterns of eating in America that are problematic. I would definitely take this course again for the content, but it was not well-taught.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues
Course Name/Rating:

Health Beyond Borders

Course Department: Global Health
Instructor: Siri Tellier
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Siri is an absolute expert in her field, and has crafted interesting and engaging presentations. This course required a fair amount of memorization of terms and concepts, but still allowed for discussion. The Wiki project required our groups to focus on one country throughout the term and apply all topics we discussed to this country. This helped to give context to the information we learned. The reading assignments, quizzes, and exams were all very fair, and I did not find the work to be too challenging or time-consuming.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues