An Amazing Semester in Copenhagen January 10, 2022

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/21/2021 to 12/17/2021 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained invaluable experience in the Danish education system, made amazing friends, and found a culture that I could see myself living in long-term in the future. I also gained more confidence and independence by being so far away from home. It was absolutely a worthwhile experience!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I really enjoyed the academic experience and feel that I got some really great applicable and field related knowledge. I also appreciated getting a different cultural perspective on theories I may have otherwise only learned about from an American perspective. In terms of intensity, I would say that the academic intensity was slightly lower than that of my home institution, but with that I think it allowed me to delve more into the experiences I had with my classes and being abroad in general so ultimately although it may have been less readings, I got the same amount out of it, just in a different way than at my home university.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The onsite administration was pretty good, the people in the student hub were friendly and helpful. The only thing was that communication could have been a little more prompt and clear, but due to the Covid situation, it is understandable that they did not always have the answers for us.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was living in Stads Kollegium and I loved the opportunity to live and get to know Danish students. The apartment was very nice and we were provided with almost all of the necessities.

* Food:

There was not food provided aside from during the study tours, however, we were given a fairly generous stipend for groceries to make our own food. Just be aware you will be cooking for yourself almost all the time because eating out in Denmark is very expensive.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Although all of my classes were with other DIS students (so all students from US universities), I felt that I was decently integrated with the local culture through my flatmates at my kollegium, my practicum site working with danish pedagogues and students, and volunteering at a student-run cafe called the Studenterhuset. I would highly recommend seeking out opportunities like that because I do think it would have been easy to not be integrated into local culture and only engage with Americans unless you actively try to meet danish people.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Due to delays in processing our resident permits (which were due to COVID), I was not eligible for a CPR card which is the Danish social security card that gives you access to things like healthcare. Typically DIS students do get this, but I was lucky to not need healthcare while I was there so it ended up being ok that I never got one.

* Safety:

Copenhagen is one of the safest cities in the world and I felt super safe the whole time I was there.

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

I had such an incredible experience abroad and if I could have stayed the whole year or move back there someday I absolutely would.


* 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)

Denmark is a very expensive country, so if you're not careful the expenses can add up quickly, but if you budget well and use your food and transportation stipends effectively, it is possible to live on a student budget.


* 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

I took an optional Danish language and culture class and there we were encouraged to learn the language and use it when we could, and I was encouraged to try to use danish a little bit at my practicum since my students did not speak English, although there was definitely no expectation of fluency at all - they were just happy we were trying. Almost everyone in Denmark speaks English so it was not required to get around or be able to experience the culture.

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? I had fluency in French but no prior language courses in Danish at all prior to departure
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? I would recommend getting a Danish friend to practice with you and help you because the pronunciation was definitely the most difficult part for me and having my Danish flatmates help me was very beneficial and also helped with bonding, so it was a win win!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • My practicum opportunity
  • The chance to learn about and experience Danish culture
  • The study tours to be able to see a different part of Denmark and another country with my class
* What could be improved?
  • More connection opportunities with locals
  • Weekend trip opportunities to different areas in Denmark through the program would be cool!
  • Better communication about policies especially related to Covid
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The only thing that I wish I knew ahead of time was how intentional I would need to be about meeting locals because I do wish that I had more long-lasting friendships with Danes.

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.