Homestay experience made up for everything else that COVID ruined June 23, 2021

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/20/2021 to 05/12/2021 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about the differences between Danish and American culture, and it was a very worthwhile experience once I actually arrived in Denmark. The 3 months online were difficult and stressful because our arrival date was always being pushed back.

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.

The classes were at just the right level of difficulty. I have a strong dislike for learning on zoom but given that online learning was the only option, it was a well-coordinated effort. I like the small class size, so that we could have group discussions as an entire class.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were generous with planning lots of activities for us but I didn't like that we had to competitively sign up for them. It didn't feel great if we really wanted to go to an event, but all of the spots got taken. Also, my core course week part II in Denmark (to make up for part I that was online) was online, even though a lot of other core course groups had theirs in person and did lots of activities together, which didn't seem fair.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My homestay was the best part of my experience, I learned so much about Denmark and my homestay family members were so kind and generous. I feel like I truly have a second family.

* Food:

Homestay food was delicious, food in Copenhagen is pretty good, especially bakeries, but very expensive. The international food scene there has not reached its peak yet.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Copenhageners generally keep to themselves. I didn't go out and socialize with locals my age a lot, but I did socialize with my homestay family's friends and extended family, and other DIS students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

N/A I didn't use any health resources

* Safety:

I felt safe walking alone at night as a woman, but of course I always walked with others whenever possible.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

Copenhagen is a very small city. I will study abroad again but I feel like I saw a really decent amount of Copenhagen and of Denmark, and I am ready to keep exploring new places. I will really miss my homestay family though.


* 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)

Thanks to DIS stipends and tour opportunities and my homestay family's generosity, I spent an average of $80 on personal expenses for 8 weeks. This may seem like a lot but it included a round trip flight to the island of Bornholm, with an overnight airbnb stay there, as well as all my weekly spending on museum passes, souvenirs, going out to eat, and transportation. If I hadn't gone to Bornholm, my weekly expenses would have been <$50 per week.

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? If you are interested in staying with a homestay family, do it, it is much more affordable than living on your own. Also, o on as many DIS sponsored trips as you can.


* 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

There was an option to take a Danish language and culture class but I didn't take it

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? 200 level Spanish (not relevant in Denmark)
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? Stay with a homestay family, they can teach you

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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?
  • Homestay experience
  • Trip/tour opportunities
  • Professors
* What could be improved?
  • Signup process for trips and tours
  • Amount of money spent on each department (some departments spent much more on their students than others)
  • Summer session 1 was not long enough, 2 weeks was barely enough time to learn anything
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It is very difficult to do a remote internship and study abroad at the same time.

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.'