Beautiful City with Great People January 22, 2020

By (Middlebury 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?
It was absolutely worth it and I wish I could have stayed for another semester. I learned more independence living in an apartment and how to make new friends in an unfamiliar setting.

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.

Computer science courses are very hands-on and you get a lot of great coding experience as well as learn real-world applications. Environmental courses at DIS are also fascinating since Copenhagen plays a unique role as a leader in addressing climate change, so it's great to learn environmental concepts from the source of progress.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved where I lived in a Kollegium in Amager, it was a great location and easy to get transportation to DIS classes. I requested a Kollegium because I really wanted to meet Danes, but I never made a single Danish friend. I was put with two American roommates and only hung out with Americans. I think the housing staff could have done a better job of facilitating Danes and Americans meeting because the current system is not successful. Also, the housing staff were very unresponsive and you had to request important things such as a laundry key for weeks.

* Food:

The food stipend was very useful and there were many grocery stores nearby to choose from.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I barely interacted with Danes and wish I had had more opportunities to do so.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not experience the healthcare so I do not know.

* Safety:

I felt completely safe in Copenhagen. The transportation is really easy and accessible and I never felt unsafe walking alone at night back home. Only advice I have is be careful when you start riding a bike!

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

Since I did not study any language in college, I had fewer choices for where I could study abroad in English-speaking countries. Copenhagen had both interesting classes and an amazing culture that felt very different than America and challenged me even though I still spoke English. There are so many things to do in the city after class and the transportation system is so useful.

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)

Everyone warned me that Copenhagen is the most expensive city ever, but I found it very easy to live on a budget. If you do most of your meals at home, grocery shopping is pretty cheap and easy to prepare meals for only one person. Eating lunch occasionally at restaurants in between classes can be expensive and coffees are definitely much more expensive than in America. They also give students in Kollegiums and grocery stipend which can provide food for at least 2 months.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50 at most on food and coffee without my stipend. Another $20-30 if you go on adventures around Copenhagen or go to museums.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Prepare food at home! Also do not do a big grocery trip once a week since food will go bad and be wasted, so just buy a few things every day after school to ensure fresh food all week.

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
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? We all took the first level of Danish language and culture.
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? Watch Danish TV shows or read Danish newspaper to get more familiar with the language. Also, knowing Danish at the grocery store is super helpful to understand all of the labels.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Pace and material of the classes
  • Copenhagen's livability and culture
  • Independence and ability to travel
* What could be improved?
  • Overload of assignments from all classes at the very end of the semester
  • M√łnten housing support
  • More opportunities to meet Danes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I expected to meet more Danes through my living situation and going out in the city, but was disappointed. Danes were very friendly, but it was difficult to create authentic relationships. I would recommend managing expectations about befriending Danes.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Artificial Neural Networks and Deep Learning

Course Department:
Instructor: Ulf Aslak
Instruction Language:
Comments: This is a new core course at DIS and I loved taking it. There is nothing like it available at my home institution and the material is very modern and interesting. The pace of the course is great and the final projects are really useful as a personal experience and a resume builder. Ulf is super smart and helpful at explaining topics and his assignments are clear.
Credit Transfer Issues: