Amazing city, okay program January 08, 2020

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/15/2019 to 12/14/2019 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
As a public health student, I learned a lot about Denmark as a model country for healthcare.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

DIS isn't the most academically rigorous program, but some aspects of it were harder than Brandeis because the teaching style is so different. For example, almost every class has group projects and group papers as a major part of the course.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in Nimbus Kollegium, which was nice because my apartment had a full kitchen. Didn't love living in a double as a college senior, but not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things.

* Food:

Food in Copenhagen is RIDICULOUSLY expensive. I cooked most of my meals; the grocery stores in Copenhagen are nice and if you live in a kollegium you get a card with about $600 (I think) for them.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Because DIS is a standalone study abroad program, all of your classes are just with other Americans; it's not a culturally immersive program at all. That being said, I signed up for the visiting host family program, which I highly recommend! I learned a lot about Danish culture with my host family and it was great to spend time with people outside of DIS.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Denmark is known for its healthcare system, and as a temporary resident you get to utiilize it. Going to the doctor is free, although it can be difficult to get an appointment. Cold medicine and OTC painkillers are hard to get in Denmark, so bring them with you.

* Safety:

Copenhagen is one of the safest cities in the world. I was able to walk home alone at 2:00 am without feeling at all unsafe.

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

Copenhagen wasn't my first choice for studying abroad, I just chose it because it was the only program that had the classes I needed. That being said, I'm SO glad I ended up going. I didn't love DIS, but Copenhagen is an incredible city (despite the cost of living). It has the best public transport I've ever seen and protected bike lanes on almost every street. I hope to live there for longer someday.

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 EXTREMELY expensive --- it's the second most expensive city for coffee in the world, and even fast food is expensive.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $80
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make enough dinner so that you have leftovers to bring for lunch; don't get tempted by all the restaurants near DIS. Find student deals. Go to Studenterhuset for coffee (DIS students are automatically members which gives you a steep discount).

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

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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?
  • Location
* What could be improved?
  • The Danish classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's not an immersive program, you spend most of your time with other Americans, and most of the students come from big party schools (not necessarily a bad thing, just very different from my home university). At times it just felt like I was at an American college.

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!