6 months of tedious preparation; research, professors’ signatures, graduation plans, confirmation deposits, visa applications, flight arrangements, money saving, and mental preparation, now I’m flying through the European sky from Iceland to Denmark as the sun rises, getting closer and closer to my long awaited destination: Copenhagen, Denmark.
Why Denmark? The initial appeal: a predominantly English speaking country making it possible for me to take Journalism courses and continue working towards the completion of my major. Also, while residing in Europe, I will be able to travel and experience several different countries and cultures over the course of the next semester. As I continued to research the benefits of residing and studying in Denmark for the semester, I also discovered the prevalent international aspects of the country that will provide me with a unique education and contribute to the ultimate quality of my Journalism major and International Business minor.
I have always known I wanted to study abroad but never had a set destination. Freshman year I would occasionally sit in the back of certain classes and could not get my nose out of the study abroad booklets that I picked up at the fairs in Alliot. I was convinced I would have to decide between New Zealand, South Africa, or Greece. Funny, when it came down to it, I was deciding between England and Denmark. It’s a very long and complex process to decide where to study, it can go in one million different directions before the final decision is made, but I’m sure it’s going to be worth every ounce of effort.
The program I chose to enroll in at DIS (Danish Institute for Study Abroad) is Communications and Mass Media. The courses I am taking are Current Trends in New Media (the core program course), International Marketing, International Reporting, Journalism and Public Relations, and European Storytelling: From Homer to Harry Potter. I am considering making some alterations to my schedule because once I arrived here, I realized I want and need to know more about the history of Copenhagen and look more into the Danish language. I have a couple of weeks to decide that so I’ll figure it out soon.
Aside from the educational aspects of my study abroad experience, for the cultural immersion and discovery of European life, I’m not sure what to expect. This will be an adventure. I know the basics that I found on the DIS, but other than these few helpful hints, I’ll be constantly observing and learning about the Danish culture from today, day 1, until May 17th when I fly home. What I know so far…
“Denmark is full of ridiculously attractive blondes.” –DIS website. Yes, no problem, I can deal with that. Also, DIS noted that Copenhagen is the “world’s most livable city and Danes are the happiest population in the world.” What a fabulous combination. The Danes are very tall! Also, I think almost every child I have seen is in a one piece snow suit. It’s precious – they have great little accents.
“Copenhagen is the second safest city in the world.” –DIS website. My mom was happy to hear that. It’s clean, it seems easy to navigate, and the buildings I have seen so far are very cool – uniquely designed. I have a neat dorm room equipped with my own bathroom (SO GREAT), a stove top, sink, mini fridge, and some cabinets. There’s a common room with couches, TV, and an oven, coffee maker, and toaster open for the other DIS students and I to use as we please. I’ll be grocery shopping at the supermarket called Netto that’s down the street, and cooking all by myself every day for the whole semester! I’m so very excited about that. I’ll be exploring the city more tomorrow and will have more to report on my observations then! My building is located in Osterbro, a borough within the city of Copenhagen. It’s about a 20 minute public transportation ride to my classes at DIS – much different than life at SMC but it’s going to be thrilling. Do one thing every day that scares you, right?
Well…with my personal addiction and obsession with Italian food, the idea of indulging daily in authentic Italian cuisine is mouthwatering and arguably a reason I would have chosen to study in Italy, however I’ll have to resist my temptation and the desires of my taste buds until I can travel during my Spring break. Instead, I’m not sure what to expect of the Danish cuisine. Based on several google searches, the cuisine consists of an abundance of pork dishes. Hot Dogs wrapped in bacon, sausages, pork chops, pork tenderloin – almost anything that can be done with a pig, as I have been told, the Danes will snack on it. But for my first night in Copenhagen, I joined about 40 other DIS students who I live in Tasingegade (a DIS Shared Housing residence hall), for some Thai food! Thai food must be one of the most universal cuisines – everywhere I go, people can’t get enough of it. It was indeed delicious, as always. Although, due to jet lag, I took a nap and slept through the group’s departure from my building to the restaurant so when I woke up 20 minutes late, I had to google the restaurant name and use my keen mapping and directional skills (none) to find the group – it was painless, proud of myself!
Tomorrow we have orientation starting at 11. It’s an all day event, including a scavenger hunt and I’m sure many other little ice breaker activities. I’m looking forward to seeing the other parts of the city and where I’ll be taking classes and spending most of my time. So far – it’s excellent, I can’t wait to see more.
My journey to Copenhagen will be an adventure to say the least. The uncertainty and ambiguity of the trip is incredibly exciting and I expect nothing but the opportunity to explore, learn, and enlighten myself through the thrill of a completely new culture and world.