An incredible city & personal growth January 08, 2020

By (Bryn Mawr 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?
Some of the Danish language! How to cook, clean, and completely run my life on my own! How to navigate the Copenhagen transportation system. How smart and independent I can be. It was definitely all worth it for my newfound confidence.

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.

Classes were less academically challenging than the level I was used to, as is expected of many study abroad programs. Although I was occasionally left wanting more out of my classes, I still think I learned some valuable things during the program.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I believe that DIS provides a lot of great resources for students. The only thing I think they need to improve on is mental health resources, as this is currently limited.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in one of the LLCs (Living Learning Communities). In many ways, one's experience in an LLC is based on the students one lives with and not DIS itself. I think DIS structured our living well and that we were in a great location in the center of the city.

* Food:

I received a food stipend from DIS for my semester, but many students ran out before the end. DIS explains that the stipend is not supposed to cover our entire time abroad, but I believe that for the cost of the program the food stipend should be larger, especially given the high cost of living in Copenhagen. Going out to eat was always very expensive, so cooking at home was almost always the better option.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Because I lived in an LLC, it was harder for me to interact with non-Americans, but through DIS I had a visting Danish host family and an opportunity to take a Danish Language & Culture class.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never experienced any health issues while abroad, but I had access to the universal healthcare system, which made me feel very secure.

* Safety:

Copenhagen always felt very safe to me, despite very little police presence. I lived in the very center of the city and felt comfortable walking alone, even late at night. Although pickpocketing is an issue, I never had any items stolen.

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

Study abroad, like most semesters, had its ups and downs. However, I gained a great deal of independence and had some wonderful experiences during my time at DIS. I also grew to truly love Copenhagen.

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 without a doubt the most expensive city I have ever lived in, and budgeting was definitely a challenge when a cheap cup of coffee is $5. However, there are definitely opportunities to take advantage of student discounts, free or discounted activities, DIS events, etc. The importance of creating a weekly and monthly budget cannot be overemphasized!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $10-25 per week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Apply for scholarships, if possible! Ask for student discounts. Look for student or youth airline tickets. Live in a homestay.

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

Although my Danish class was wonderful, DIS students in general are very coddled during their time in Denmark, and they are rarely if ever required to use Danish when out and about.

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? N/A
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? Make quizlets, practice with friends, and do the audio exercises.

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?
  • Core course travel
  • Many opportunities for individual travel
  • Danish Language & Culture class
* What could be improved?
  • Residential Advisor for my LLC
  • Mental health services for students
  • More resources for low-income students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be excited for study abroad, but remember that it is just like life, and that just because you're in Europe doesn't mean you won't have hard times or difficult days! Keep trudging and take the time to appreciate where you are!

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!