Making my (Den)mark: Abroad Housing

Today, I went to my first ever real soccer game. Scratch that — my first ever football game. Am I European yet? It was a good team — Copenhagen won — but I’m definitely still a bigger fan of American football.

This football match is just one of the many activities my housemates and I have done together. I live in the Visual Arts Learning and Living Community (LLC), so we have weekly events that incorporate either visual or performance arts or other cultural topics.

I was pretty nervous about living in the arts house at first. I mean, I was nervous about living with new people in general, but I was intimidated by all the talented people with whom I was going to be sharing an apartment. It turns out that everyone is good at something different, and everyone is really respectful and encouraging of each other. We all love sharing our artwork and seeing what we all can do.

Additionally, it was really nice at the beginning of the semester to have an immediate circle of friends. We’d go out to restaurants, find new bars to try, get lost in different grocery stores trying to read Danish and attempt to figure out public transportation together. After two months, we’re no longer getting lost, but we still spend a lot of our free time together.

Each week, we have an LLC night, during which we go to some new art exhibit or a show of some sort. We join with the Performance Art LLC (our downstairs neighbors) for all our events. Some of my favorite events have been a professional street art performance, a visit to a contemporary art exhibit and a trip to see a comedic, Tony-award winning play. It’s been really great to have exposure to these activities that I otherwise would not have discovered on my own.

Each LLC also has to complete a semester-long project and for ours, we’ve chosen to paint a mural. The best part is that we got approved to paint on an actual wall in one of the DIS program’s buildings. I’ll literally get to leave my mark here in Copenhagen, even if only DIS people get to see it. We all came up with our own sketches for the mural, but ended up combining most of our ideas. Of course, we had to include the iconic, colorful Nyhavn buildings, but the mural will also include a Danish flag on which we will write phrases and words that describe our favorite things about Copenhagen and DIS. It’s super cute and a little cheesy but I think it’ll be a perfect addition.

I really lucked out with my housing. Not only am I living on the same street as the DIS class buildings, which is ideal for “commuting” to my 8:30 am classes, but I’ve also gotten to meet really great new people. There can definitely be some negatives to living with a big group, but for the most part, my LLC has been a really great part of my abroad experience, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


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