An Awesome Experience, But I'm Ready to go Home May 02, 2022

By (Psychology, Gonzaga University) - abroad from 01/14/2022 to 05/14/2022 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about how to advocate for myself, set boundaries, and have a more open mind.

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.

Overall, the academics at DIS are interesting and fun. There are tons of topics to choose from that I found were not offered at my university back home. For example, I got to take Cyberpsychology as my Core Course and travel to Amsterdam with my class--one of my favorite experiences to date! The professors are from all over the world and bring a lot of experience to the table. However, some of my professors were...less than ideal. At times there were frustrating cultural differences that made class difficult, like professors not understanding how typical American students have been taught to write, read, or ask questions. Sometimes these conflicts were resolved with a quick conversation, but other times they seemed to come up repeatedly over the semester. Other than that, I had an exciting and interesting experience that exposed me to many different world views.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I think DIS did a pretty decent job on housing and finding matches for most Homestay students. Of course, it's not always a perfect match--I had a few friends who had to move out because of conflicts with their hosts. In my own experience, the Housing Admin was quick to respond to my questions and matched me well. However, homestay is NOT for everyone--keep in mind that you will be living with another family, in their personal space. If you enjoy independent living and doing things on your own schedule, I would not recommend a homestay.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My hosts were generous, honest, and did their best to welcome me and my roommate into their home. There were definitely a few occurrences of culture shock and difference, but that's to be expected.

* Food:

I had plenty of food! My hosts were amazing at keeping groceries stocked well and asking my roommate and me if we wanted them to get something specific. I generally bought my own snacks and other things (drinks, chocolate, etc).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I feel like I've learned a lot about the Danish people and Danish culture, especially while living in a homestay. I've also been able to share American culture with them. Just the other day I made french toast and bacon for everyone for breakfast, and they enjoyed getting to try a staple favorite from back home!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have to use the healthcare system while I was here (luckily) but I was able to get Covid tested regularly and efficiently.

* Safety:

Copenhagen is a relatively safe city within a very safe country! I never felt in danger or uncomfortable. That being said, take precautions wherever you travel and be aware of your surroundings.

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

This was an awesome experience that I will remember forever. No program is perfect, but that's life.


* 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)

I was able to live relatively easily on a student's budget. There are lots of DIS student discounts in and around the city (mostly food and coffee). However, Denmark is an infamously expensive country. Be aware of this when planning your expenses and research how much you might need for your stay.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Roughly $50-$75 per week (including drinks on the weekends), but I ate most meals at home during the week and made an effort to pack snacks in my backpack.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Research, research, research! Bring a reusable water bottle--water costs a lot in Europe and is not free at restaurants.


* 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

Many students take a Danish language course or are required to, but I did not (schedule conflicts). Also, almost every Dane speaks English, so I didn't have to learn Danish to get by.

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? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? N/A
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Interesting Classes
  • Integrated Travel
  • Culture
* What could be improved?
  • Housing Matches
  • Activities and Day-to-Day Programs
  • Hiring of Faculty
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew more about Scandinavian culture and prepared myself more for potential cultural differences.

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 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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:


Course Department: Psychology
Instructor: Veronkia Leonova
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The course was challenging in that it forced me to expand my academic horizons and consider new possibilities. The field studies and longer academic trips were relevant to class material (and tons of fun!). Veronika is an awesome professor and I will miss her quite a bit.
Credit Transfer Issues: It transferred to Gonzaga as a general upper-division Psych elective.
Course Name/Rating:

Gender Perspectives and Human Rights

Course Department: Political Science
Instructor: Campbell Munro
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course is challenging both in terms of the workload and the topics covered. However, it was one of my most interesting classes and the professor is genuinely interested in what his students had to say. I even had the opportunity to investigate an issue that pertains to the field of law I'm interested in going into. That being said, this class is not for the faint of heart when it comes to reading or writing.
Credit Transfer Issues: This class transferred as a Political Science general upper-division elective.
Course Name/Rating:

Neuropsychology of Brain Injury

Course Department: Psychology
Instructor: Carla Caetano
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course is challenging. I had never taken a neuroscience or neuropsychology course prior to this one, and I knew it would be academically demanding. The professor has lots of experience, but I think she would be better off teaching in a graduate-level program. I learned a fair amount, but I often felt overwhelmed and lost in class. There was a lack of structure and an emphasis on self-teaching and I often felt confused. Her grading can be vague and unclear, and she repeatedly misspells--despite "grammar" being a category on her grading rubrics for assignments.
Credit Transfer Issues: This course transferred as Clinical Neuro at my home institution, which is largely the only reason I didn't drop the class--all my other DIS courses transferred as general elective credits.
Course Name/Rating:

Stolen Childhoods: Immigrant and Refugee Children

Course Department: Political Science; Humanities
Instructor: Salim Aykut Ozturk
Instruction Language: English
Comments: In terms of positive aspects, I enjoyed the field studies of this class. Other than that, this course was a hot mess. We rarely discussed the assigned readings in class, had very few opportunities to collaborate with our classmates, and the teacher often spent the majority of class on an unclear tangent--as in, he would rant for 20 or so minutes, ask a vague and abstract question, become frustrated that students didn't know how to respond, and then rant for another 20 minutes. I learned more from our two guest lectures and my own research than I did from the professor. I was excited to take this course because it seemed like an opportunity to take a unique class not offered back home. However, it was a waste of my time and money. Do not recommend it.
Credit Transfer Issues: This class transferred as a generic Political Science upper-division elective credit.