Went abroad during a global pandemic, enough said May 17, 2021

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/17/2021 to 05/14/2021 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot during my time abroad. I learned a lot about being independent, assimilating to a different culture, and figuring out how to stay motivated and make the most of things despite some really difficult circumstances.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Because of pandemic-related border closures, the majority of the students in my program weren't able to come to Denmark for most of the semester. As one of the lucky students that was able to come in early January, I was very much on my own and was left to live independently with only Danish students. It was a really culturally immersive experience, but also at times really challenging, especially given that all my remote classes were late in the evening and everything beyond essential businesses was closed until last month. I would have appreciated receiving more outreach and support from DIS.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

This question isn't really applicable, because students independently shopped for and cooked their own food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I lived in housing filled entirely with Danish students, and had very little contact with other American students until they arrived in May. As a result I felt really integrated with the local culture, which was sometimes challenging, but also a really gratifying and fun experience.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The Danish healthcare system is super accessible and good.

* Safety:

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

I would choose the same program, I just maybe wouldn't choose to study abroad during a pandemic.


* 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)

Living in Copenhagen is really expensive, but because none of the restaurants or bars were open for the majority of the semester, it was fairly easy to live on a student budget by shopping for and making all my own food.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • making friendships with Danish students
  • very independent
  • location of my kollegium
* What could be improved?
  • outreach and checking in from DIS
  • more efforts to put American students in contact with each other
  • no afternoon/late night zoom classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that the other students wouldn't come until May and that Danish society would remain closed for a really long time, with very slow progress on vaccinations. I don't regret my decision to study abroad, but I'm not sure I would choose to go again if I'd known how difficult it would be.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Cognitive Neuroscience of Creativity

Course Department: Neuroscience
Instructor: Jes Buster Madsen
Instruction Language: English
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Epidemiology: Danish Case Studies

Course Department:
Instructor: My Catarina von Euler-Chelpin
Instruction Language: English
Comments: I did not find this course very interesting. Part of this had to do with the zoom-format and the fact that the class was really late a night, but I also found the content very dry. As one of three students in the class I participated a lot, and I felt that the workload and grading for the class was reasonable.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Health Economics and Policy in Europe

Course Department: Economics
Instructor: Holger Sandte
Instruction Language:
Comments: I found this course really interesting, and felt that the instructor used the class time well and had reasonable expectations for student work. As someone who had never taken economics before, this course was still very approachable and interesting.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Danish Language and Culture I-II

Course Department:
Instructor: Catharina Rosendal
Instruction Language:
Credit Transfer Issues: