Today marks the end of my first full week of classes here in Copenhagen, and I feel like I’m finally adjusting to life in this city. I’m learning which bike lanes to use, how to say “thank you”(“tak”) and “excuse me” (unskyld) and most importantly, how to find the best dessert on every street corner. While the past two weeks have been quite the adjustment, I’m learning to love my new life here in Denmark, and I know the best is yet to come. With that, a few updates:
On my classes: I have absolutely been LOVING my classes. After a two-semester hiatus from human rights classes, diving head first into a semester of history and law has been a refreshing change. My classes about refugee law and refugee children have been particularly interesting considering the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis. I’m taking in as much new information as possible, and I’m eating up the fresh perspective my professors offer. The academic highlight of this week was definitely my first field study! One perk of studying abroad with DIS is participating in a field study nearly every Wednesday. This is a great opportunity for students to gain hands-on experiences that correlate with what we’re learning in class. This week my Danish class took a walking tour of the city, got to see where Hans Christen Andersen was buried and enjoyed a buffet-style Arabian meal–all courtesy of DIS! Studying abroad is the best!
On my homestay: I am so grateful for my host family and all they’ve done for me in the past two weeks. It is a slight adjustment to live under someone else’s roof after spending the past three years on my own, but the benefits of living in a homestay have definitely outweighed the potential struggles. Every single thing we’ve had to eat during my stay has been absolutely delicious, and I can’t explain how relieving it is to have meals taken care of for me. Family time has quickly become a staple in my routine, and while it may mean a little bit less “me” time, I’m thankful to have friends and a family to laugh and share stories with. Bonus points for my host parents who have been the most gracious guides and have been so patient with our endless questions and anxieties. Benny and Alice are truly the. best. ever.
On Copenhagen: This city is the bomb! I’m finally feeling comfortable with the idea that I will never blend in with Copenhagen residents… and that’s okay! One thing that has definitely defied my expectations of studying abroad has been the kindness and helpfulness of locals. Though I don’t speak a lick of Danish, and I’ve accidently screwed with about a billion social norms since I’ve arrived, all the Danes I have met have been inviting and gracious hosts.
It doesn’t hurt that the city has so much to offer by-way of new experiences and places to explore! Copenhagen is experiencing some uncharacteristically good weather, and my housemates and I have taken advantage of that by biking and jogging around our lake, swimming in the harbor and adventuring to Paper Island for Danish street food. I’ll be sad to see sunny and 70 go away soon!
On friends: I’m happy to say that with the support of good friends, Copenhagen is starting to feel like home. Though I love independently exploring the city to discover its treasures, there’s nothing like locking arms with another student who is experiencing the same things and taking on new adventures. We are all starting to plan some amazing European travels and I can’t wait to get started with this adventure!
Until next time!