Fabulous Program in a Lovely City! January 10, 2022

By (Public Health, Brandeis University) - abroad from 08/23/2021 to 12/15/2021 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The saying goes that you only can truly understand your own country when you leave it, and it really rang true during my time in Europe. Not only do you get the opportunity to meet Danes, but also students from all around the US and see the way others live outside of the US. It really broadened my lens to a global scale and made me appreciate but also scrutinize things I had been socialized to believe in my home country. This experience was certainly worthwhile, in a beautiful city, beautiful new friends, and a great program that allowed me to learn a lot about public healthcare in the Nordic countries.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It was certainly easier than my curriculum back at home, but I greatly appreciated the experiential element (Wednesdays were off and reserved for Field Studies which I feel as though enriched what we were learning inside of the classroom)

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

DIS was always incredibly kind, helpful, and accommodating for any questions or issues that arose. A special shout out to their Care Team to being an excellent and helpful part of their administration

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a homestay and it was by far one of the best decisions I have ever made. I was slightly outside of the city (about a 20 minute train ride), and that was the case for most of my homestay peers, so be cognizant of that if that is an issue for you. Otherwise, it was such an excellent way to really engage with the culture and makes me feel connected to the country even as I am gone.

* Food:

Food is quite expensive, but man, is it great! Definitely try to utilize services such as TooGood2Go or communal dinners at Absalon to stay on budget.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Everyone speaks English in Denmark, so it was easy to navigate many situations-sometimes people could tell I was American before I even started speaking. Danes are certainly not as outwardly talkative or extroverted as Americans, but as long as you are kind and courteous they are quite kind and helpful, so don't be afraid of them!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I unfortunately had an allergic reaction during my time in Denmark, but the silver lining of that entire experience were the lovely people at every step of the way of the process. The staff in the ambulance and hospital were incredibly kind and generous in what was quite a stressful situation for me, and DIS was great about providing resources for paying back the hospital services I utilized. Also, random comment-the pharmacies do not cover cough drops-check your closest 7-11 for them!

* Safety:

I felt more safe in Copenhagen than I do back home by a longshot. However, no culture is without its weirdos, but I would always advise traveling in groups as long as possible at night or staying on the phone with a friend until arriving back home.

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


* 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)

It was very difficult to live on a budget in Copenhagen. Food and drinks are quite pricey, and I definitely had to check in with myself multiple times during the semester to reprioritize my spending. While much easier to say than do, really try to limit your coffee/cafe endeavors, because that is really where cost adds up in a week.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 250


* 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? college conversation Spanish courses
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? download an app like Duolingo to practice general phrases and especially hear the proper pronunciations-the trickiest part of Danish is that thigs do not necessarily sound how theyre spelt!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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?
  • Experiential Learning
  • City of Copenhagen
  • Fun Culture
* What could be improved?
  • Standardization of Course Expectations
  • Danish Language Course
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There is no way you will be able to fully comprehend Danish in for months, and that is totally ok! Danes themselves understand how complex their language is and will gladly speak to you in English if need be.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.