Why did you choose this program? I chose DIS because it offered a variety of different courses, and I liked having options. I also knew I wanted to go to Europe, and Denmark is a really great location.
Describe your favorite classes abroad. I took Children with Special Needs and Prostitution and the Sex Trade while abroad. I loved both of the classes. Children with Special Needs allowed me to learn about the Danish view on childcare, which is very different from American views. Prostitution and the Sex Trade was very interesting, and through that class, we had a study tour to Amsterdam which was amazing.
What was the housing like on your study abroad program? I lived in a kollegium, which was a mix of Danish, American, and other international students. I highly recommend it! Mine was about a 45 minute bus ride away, but it was not too bad of a commute. I also had my own room and bathroom, which was nice.
What advice would you like to give to future study abroad students? My biggest piece of advice would be to push yourself out of your comfort zone. You're already doing that by going abroad, but make sure you're taking advantage of all the opportunities your program and country has to offer!
What’s your best memory from your time abroad? There are too many good memories to count. I got to celebrate my birthday while abroad, which was awesome. I went to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, and that was such a moving experience. I made such amazing friends while abroad, both American and Danish. On on of our last days, we took a boat ride through Copenhagen. Definitely do that!
What was your biggest surprise about the location, culture or other aspects of your program? I picked Denmark first and foremost for the classes my program offered, so I guess I was surprised by how much I grew to love the country. Danes have amazing social service programs, and such a different view on life than most people in America. They are very relaxed and open, which was refreshing.
Describe your experience with culture shock or reverse culture shock. The culture shock, for me, wasn't too bad, I was surprised, and I missed my family a lot at first, but adapting wasn't too difficult. I was a little surprised by reverse culture shock when I got home. I still miss Denmark a lot, so be prepared for that!
“If I could do it over, I would…” Blog more. I wish I kept more of a written record of my time abroad.
What do you know now that you didn’t know before you went abroad? I know that traveling to a different country by myself for over 20 hours is not as daunting as I once thought. I know that metro, bus, and train schedules are not as difficult as they may seem. And also, even if you speak a different language, you can still communicate with someone.
What do you wish someone had told you before you left? Denmark is always a little cold. Bring a variety of cute sweaters and dresses to keep yourself warm. Also, pack less. Lugging 50+ pounds through the airport is not fun.
What was your greatest challenge? Probably being away from my family and friends was the most difficult. I missed them like crazy, and it was really hard to be away from them and not talk to them every day. Definitely make sure everyone knows how to Skype before you leave!
Discuss: “Going abroad vs. staying on campus.” Being on campus is familiar and can be really great, but going abroad is (literally) a whole new world. My #1 piece of college advice is to tell everyone to go abroad! It's a great experience.
What fact about your host country do you think people would be surprised to learn? Almost everyone in Denmark speaks English-they start learning by 3rd grade- as well as Danish, which is a huge plus when trying to communicate.
How did you find scholarships for study abroad? I mostly learned about scholarships from my Overseas study adviser. They're great resources!
Would you recommend other students pursue any specific scholarship opportunities? If a student is a 21st Century Scholar, definitely apply for the Covenant award! It was a great resource for me. Also, the Hutton International Experiences Program scholarship is a good one to apply for too.