I’m currently studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark through DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia. I’m participating in the child development core class, but I’m also taking photojournalism, a developmental disorders class and I intern in a Danish sixth-grade class every Thursday. I love this program so much, so I apologize in advance to my friends for talking about abroad non-stop for the rest of my life.
Before I got to Copenhagen, I had a long list of places I wanted to travel to and things I wanted to do. The first few days, I definitely was in the mindset of having to check things off a list. Nyhavn Canal? Check. National Art Gallery? Check. As much as I love the tourist lifestyle, I realized that abroad doesn’t have to be about seeing everything and traveling everywhere. While I still want to see all that Copenhagen has to offer, I’ve been trying to go with the flow and not worry as much about all of my usual lists.
I’ve also realized how important it is to try and forget about all the expectations there are for studying abroad. It’s hard to see other students’ social media posts and wonder if you’re “doing it right.” I was really stressed about this the first couple of weeks, worrying about traveling every weekend. However, I’ve learned that I don’t need to worry about how my time in Denmark looks to other people. We all have our own unique abroad experiences that are meaningful to us. I’ve started to settle into life here and have found my place with different groups of people, so I love the opportunities I have to discover more and more about them and their lives here in Denmark.
Sure, there are several places I’d like to visit, but I also love staying in Copenhagen and exploring and spending time with my visiting host family. I spent one Saturday driving up the coast of Denmark with my host mom and my best friend from home, who was visiting. We took a guided tour of Kronborg Castle and got to enjoy the beautiful coastal scenery. We could literally see Sweden across the water. At home, it can take me 45 minutes to drive into Boston. Here, 45 minutes gets you to a different country. It’s wild. Still blows my mind.
Anyways, after our castle tour, I spent the rest of the day at my visiting host family’s house. We had a very quaint, Danish lunch, and then I introduced them to the wonderful world of peanut butter cookies. I even taught them to eat the raw cookie dough, which they were amazed by. It’s life-changing, I know.
We finished off the day with pizza, our delicious, slightly deformed cookies for dessert and a marathon of half the “Hunger Games” movie series and a Disney movie in Danish — luckily, the songs were in English, so I could still sing along. It’s a wonder I didn’t scare my host family off.