Happy I studied abroad but I'm not sure DIS was the perfect program for me May 26, 2023

By (Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/14/2023 to 05/11/2023 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a lot of independence with having to cook for myself, budget for the first time, and traveling without family. Additionally I lived in a major city for the first time which a new experience for me personally because I come from living outside a smaller city in the States. Overall it was so worth it! I would not change my decision to study abroad, I think everyone should do it.

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.

The courses were easier than the courses at my home institution. I did get some good information out of my courses aboard but less than I would normally do in a semester at my home institution.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was not placed in my first choice housing option which was a main reason why I chose this program. I wanted to live in a kollegium to allow myself to meet more Danes and interact more with the culture, yet I was placed in a living place with only other Americans which was not what I had wanted.

* Food:

Really good food in Copenhagen, but eating out is expensive.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I didn't feel as though I integrated much and I think a big reason was because of my housing because I was only living with other Americans and not Danes. Additionally because all of the DIS classes are taught in English and only with Americans there is not much time to meet locals.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have to use any of the healthcare systems but I heard from others that they were great.

* Safety:

I felt safe in Copenhagen, only a couple of uncomfortable interactions but I would feel safe walking home by myself at night and on the metro.

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

I think going into the experience I thought DIS was the right chose for me because of the academic options and how closely they aligned with my major. Upon reflection, I wish I had though about other aspects of abroad before choosing a program. I would have enjoyed an experience where I was more integrated with the culture and there was not a language barrier (ex. going something English speaking because I would want my classes to be in English). DIS does have options to allow for more integration host family and kollegium, yet I was not placed into a kollegium (my first choice for housing and a big reason why I chose DIS). Host families are a great option yet most are far from the city and I wanted a chance to live in the city of Copenhagen. I lived in a residential community with only Americans which I did not enjoy as much. I wish I had had a chance to be more integrated with the community. Although this was a negative aspect of my experience, there are many positive about DIS including the long study tour with your class, field studies every Wednesday and much more. As the semester went on, I became happier and happier with my experience in Copenhagen and felt more ok with the housing situation I was put into.


* 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)

Really depends on how you are living in Copenhagen. Some people ate out all of the time and traveled every weekend which costed so much more. Others cooked every night to save many. DIS provides a ~$600USD grocery stipend to help with paying which was very helpful to have,

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100-150 (more if traveling)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't eat out a ton because Copenhagen is expensive.


* 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? High School
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? Take the DIS Danish class because it gives you a little Danish to use while ordering/at the grocery store/etc.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Long study tour to Portugal
  • Making friends with other Americans
  • Biking in Copenhagen
* What could be improved?
  • Integration with locals
  • Housing (for me personally)
  • Orientation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known my housing more than 10 days before the start of the program especially because it was not my first choice of housing.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Medical Biotechnology and Drug Development

Course Department:
Instructor: Daniela Hartl
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This was my core course at DIS and the class I got the most out of. In particular because of the long study tour where I traveled with the class to Portugal. We were able to visit many biotechnology companies and see first hand what working in the field looks like. This allowed me to see what a future career could be like. For assessments, we have 2 exams, and a final presentation and group paper. The grading was inconsistent at times.
Credit Transfer Issues: I have not tried to transfer my credits yet so I am not sure.