Fun yet slightly dissapointed December 16, 2019

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/17/2019 to 12/14/2019 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I thought I learned how to be more self-sufficient considering my host family's circumstances.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The teachers at DIS are great because they care about the subjects that they are teaching. I thought that the rigor was less than expected considering the people I had talked with prior to applying to the program. Of course it is helpful to have less work while abroad, since it frees up time for other activities that are important to the abroad experience. However, strictly speaking the abroad academics were not intense.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was with a host family, but the family was actually just one mother and her only child, who was away most of the time at a boarding school. I found that she was nice enough but it was not what I was looking for in a host family. I was expecting more people, as I am pretty sure I filled out my housing form according to those preferences. Ultimately, it was not the fault of the host family but the poor matching that occurred.

* 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 used the Danish healthcare system once and it was very easy. All you had to do was call the doctor on the social security card and schedule an appointment.

* Safety:

Copenhagen is pretty safe, and even though I commuted 40 minutes, the neighborhood I was living in was also safe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I would probably do more research as to the country I was going to. I felt that in the beginning it was great because of the weather but then got depressing when all the days became shorter and the sun was rarely out.

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? ~50, mainly for food. If there was traveling that week, of course that would increase.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Find places that take student discounts (although it might not be many). Spend time looking for cheaper food spots that appeal to you.

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

My language teacher often encouraged us to use the language outside of class.

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? Intermediate Spanish
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? Find someone who you feel comfortable talking with and practice with them. Then you just have to get over yourself and actually try it. An easy way to practice is by ordering food.

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
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?
  • Fellow American students
  • Field studies with class
* What could be improved?
  • Host-student matching
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The weather in Denmark can be dreary for the last few months.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'