My semester in Copenhagen opened my mind to new ways of seeing the world. January 13, 2020

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/22/2019 to 12/13/2019 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I think that the most valuable experience for me abroad was seeing the design world from another perspective, even though I would not have thought that Denmark would have much of a different view of the world from my own 'western' views. I learned to approach design projects with a different intent, and was shown more sides of each problem to consider.

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.

I felt that the descriptions for a lot of the courses I took were not that accurate, and I wished I could have read other student reviews of the specific courses before I took them to get a better idea of the content. I felt that I had a good balance of courses and types of course work, from papers to projects to presentations, but it seemed like many of the students around me were overloaded with papers or projects based on the collection of courses they chose. I was a little disappointed with the facilities, since the automatic lights in many places were unclear and wouldn't turn off.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I appreciated the organization of logistics necessary for study tours and everything, but I do wish there were more events for students to get together and know each other. There are groups for rented room students, host family students, etc., but I wish there were more events for larger amounts of students to actually get to know one another.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was in a rented room with a young couple, and I feel like I was matched with them perfectly.

* Food:

I was given the food stipend, but I do wish the stipend worked at more grocery chains as well, like Rema 1000 or Meny, as that was what was near where I lived.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I joined a local frisbee club which helped me integrate with the culture more, and living with locals helped me understand the culture as well.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I personally did not experience the healthcare system there, but I did hear some other students complain that they were often just told to drink tea if they were sick instead of being given medication.

* Safety:

It took me a while to understand just how safe I was in Copenhagen, and by the end of my four months there I was confident and felt secure walking in the streets at night, though I much preferred being with at least one other person rather than being on my own. None of my belongings were ever stolen, and the only time I heard about bikes being taken was when my friends neglected to lock theirs. I was only cat-called once the entire semester, something I cannot say is true of any other city I've been in.

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

I fell in love with the city of Copenhagen while I was there, and as soon as I could find my way around it felt like home. In other cities I've visited, even once I figure out how to get places, it feels like a vacation place, not like a second home. As far as the DIS program in Copenhagen, I am extremely appreciative of all the trips they organized for us, and the opportunity to study Denmark through all of my courses, and expand my understanding of many subjects in ways I had not forseen. I appreciate as well that DIS was not as rigorous as college back home (which is frequently stressful for me), but that it was still a rigorous program and I was still required to put effort into my courses.

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)

the cost of living for me was greatly aided by the food stipend, and I didn't do other shopping so I didn't spend money on things other than project supplies and dinners out with friends.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? ~$50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you are in Copenhagen/Scandanavia in general, don't plan on doing a lot of shopping, since everything is very expensive. (For example, a second-hand sweater could easily run you up $30).

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Other
* 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?
  • The travels
  • The provided compensation
  • The credibility of the professors
* What could be improved?
  • the functionality of the facilities
  • planning student events
  • making clear what services are provided by the program (phone service, etc.)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known that they provided a phone service for students so that I didn't set up a phone service of my own beforehand.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.