Great opportunities for field experiences but classes not very structured December 23, 2019

By (Wellesley College) - 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?
The experience helped me become more open-minded and better at navigating cultural differences. I have also become more responsible and better at taking initiatives.

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.

I gained a lot of knowledge from my field studies and practicum, in addition to what I learned in the classrooms. There weren't as many required readings and the assignments allowed for a lot of choices and flexibilities. "You get what you make of it" definitely applies even more here than any classes I have taken back in the U.S.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed with a nice host family.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Only time I had experience with the healthcare system was when I had to get a flu shot (which I had to pay out of pocket for because it is not covered by the insurance unless you have certain pre-existing conditions or you are an elder, etc.) – it went quickly and smoothly in a pharmacy. Besides that, I was aware that Danish doctors do not write prescriptions easily and over the counter medicines are not as accessible. I made sure to buy enough over the counter medicines (cold, fever, pain, antibiotics, etc.) with me before I left.

* Safety:

The city felt very safe overall. Take general safety precautions that you would take in any busy city. Pickpockets are very common, especially in the city center and the central line of stations.

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)

Copenhagen is a very expensive city (slightly more than in NYC). But, the homestay option helped me save a lot of money, since the DIS stipend to my host family was supposed to cover my three meals/day, in the form of cooked food or groceries. I also had a transportation pass covering many zones due to the location of my homestay, so traveling to/from DIS and anywhere within the city center involved no personal expense.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $40/week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? -cook your meals when traveling -make sure your bank card has no international transaction fee (e.g., BoA Travel Rewards, Charles Schwab) -take advantage of student discounts (look into their websites, especially for museums) -use a budgeting app or excel spreadsheet to keep track of your spending -get a rejsekort if you plan on traveling a lot outside of your zones (it's cheaper than getting tickets online)

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

Encouraged by Danish teacher, but locals will switch to English once they see you struggling. I was also encouraged to use English only when talking to my practicum students (older students) and my host sibling.

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?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? -talk with the locals (sign up for a visiting host family if you are not in a homestay) -duolingo -watch movies/shows

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • core course
  • field studies and practicum experience
  • homestay
* What could be improved?
  • bonding with locals
  • navigation and safety resources
  • higher academic expectation from faculty
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wished I learned more about the Danish education system (since I was in the CDD program) and Danish culture before my departure, because I would have been able to ask more questions and have a better plan of what I wanted to get out of the program.

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!