Cliche Continuation - A Semester of the Greatest Growth May 27, 2023

By (Neurobiology, Neurosciences, Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/18/2023 to 05/12/2023 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
What did I NOT learn? I learned more about what I want from life, and who I am - my likes and dislikes. I learned more about the world, the relationships between different countries, and why certain international relations are the way they

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.

There were not enough academic or health services resources - receiving help especially with health issues abroad was quite difficult.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Coming from an Asian household, it was hard to find Asian spices, or any in particular, to cook with.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare was not easily accessible. The program assisted, but after being met with resistance about needing healthcare several times.

* Safety:

Copenhagen is the safest city I have ever been in! There was never a concern about being alone at any time of day, including very late at night. It is still a city, and being cautious is still important, but I felt safer than I ever have in a city.

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

I chose to study abroad in Scandinavia because I have had an attachment to living there for years. I learned about the social welfare society, and many factors of culture that my personal values aligned with. Denmark, Copenhagen specifically, turned out to be the best fit for my desires. I wouldn't want to study anywhere else. It was safe, and people were genuinely kind. It matched my desires for a strong science program, based within a society that pushes scientific discovery forward quite strongly. The city-like environment, with values for community were heartwarming. There were many opportunities to engage in the arts as well, through workshops and museums, and more.


* 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)

Copenhagen is quite an expensive city, but with the food stipend provided it is more manageable, although not 100% covered by DIS.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $35-50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Yes!! 1. ALWAYS ask for a student discount - you will be surprised how many places offer them! 2. You will save a lot of money if you get VAT tax (or tax that EU citizens pay) back at customs before leaving. To do so, save receipts from purchase you make that are GOODS (i.e, not services or items you consume) that you bring back with you, for example any clothes you buy. Make sure to ask when buying if they can remove tax because you are not an EU citizen, or if not to give you a "Tax Free Form." 3. Cook as much as possible! Netto is the cheapest grocery store, but I recommend getting produce from Føtex, because Netto produce can be dicey. However, it is a great option for shelf stable items. Pack lunch with you for classes.


* 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? Beginner
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? College level intermediate German
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? Ask to speak in Danish to your local roommates, if you're living in a homestay or Kollegium! Try your best to respond in Danish when engaging with locals in stores or cafes. Duolingo was helpful to practice before leaving.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Integration into local culture - loved living with local danes
  • Student of color affinity group activites
  • Study Tours
* What could be improved?
  • More health resources within the program
  • Greater food stipend
  • An orientation that goes more in depth into need-to-know information, such as public transit or where classes are
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that everyone studies abroad for a different reason. The statement sounds trivial and obvious, but truly understanding it over time meant I felt secure in how I wanted to make the most out of my experience, and accepting that I didn't need to do it the way others did. That freed me to truly feel comfortable in how I chose to spend my time while studying abroad.

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.