Hey guys, it’s Jackie! As y’all know, I am currently studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark this semester. Studying abroad so far (I’ve been here for three months now!) has been one of the absolute highlights of my Furman Experience. In this blog I’m going to share a bit about my DIS experience.
DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia
DIS is a study abroad program for all international students wanting to study abroad in Scandinavia, which includes their Copenhagen, Denmark program and their Stockholm, Sweden program. There are about 1000 students that are in the DIS Copenhagen program, so it’s a good amount of exchange students. Lots of new friends!
I chose Copenhagen because they had more courses that were applicable to both of my majors, and Denmark is actually one of the happiest nations in the world. Me, being an optimist, ate that up so Copenhagen it was.
I wanted to do an affiliate program, which can be further explained in this blog post, because I wanted to push myself outside of my comfort zone as much as possible. I did not have one close friend that was also doing DIS Copenhagen with me, so naturally that was pretty anxiety-inducing. But, like everything in life, with time it was just fine. I have made a bunch of really, really good friends from schools all around the world, and have gotten really close with a few other Furman students whom are also on this study abroad program. I have grown in ways that can’t be measured and I wouldn’t change a thing. Low key would move to Denmark (sorry mom!).
I live in a suburb of Copenhagen, which is about a 20 minute metro ride to city center where my classes are held. The public transportation system in Denmark is absolutely wonderful – timely, clean, and reliable, I love it! I am in an apartment which I share with ten other wonderful humans. Across the hall is another apartment, and combined we make up what is called the Outdoor LLC: living learning community. This is basically like Engaged Living at Furman. We all chose to live here based upon our mutual interest in the outdoors. Once a week, we do a DIS sponsored activity that has to do with the outdoors. We’ve been hiking, biking, camping, rock climbing, kayaking, and so much more. Like I said before, no one knew each other before this, but making friends was relatively easy. Plus, everyone I live with is so cool, like way cooler than me. I feel pretty lucky.
I am taking four classes over here, and three of them I am getting credit for my majors which is awesome. I am taking Health Economics, Environmental Economics, Strategic Communications, and Holocaust & Genocide Studies. I would say the workload is a lot lighter than Furman’s work load, but I don’t feel as if I am learning less. If anything, I’m learning so much about myself and life since being here. I have gotten to travel quite a bit with my classes as well. Strategic Communications is my core course, which is the class that you spend the most time with. I traveled with my Strat Com class to Western Denmark for half a week and London, England for an entire week. Throughout these travel weeks, we had a combination of academic visits related to Communications and fun visits. For instance, we went to visit one of Denmark’s main TV/News Stations, we went to Wimbledon to talk about their communications strategy, and we went to see Windsor Castle and Book of Mormon. All in all, those travel weeks were SO fun. With my Holocaust & Genocide class, we traveled to Hamburg, Germany to visit a Concentration Camp. Definitely not fun, but it was so, so poignantly important. This history is hard to learn, but it needs to be, I was definitely moved by that experience.
Life in Copenhagen
I am so relaxed here. Not that I don’t love my life at Furman, but it is definitely less stressful here. I don’t have any responsibilities besides my schoolwork and enjoying my time here. How cool is that? So, what do I do with all of my free time? I spend intentional time with my new friends/ Furman friends, I hang out at coffee shops and read, I joined a hot yoga gym and go at least three times a week, I volunteer as a barista at a local coffee joint, and I spend time with my visiting host Family (a wonderful Danish couple who volunteer to take in a DIS student every semester) and get to know them. Mine are so cool and have me over for dinner at least once a week. They have been such a highlight to my experience here in Copenhagen. So, all in all, I live a pretty slow-paced life here. But, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am a lot more introspective, and have had time to really reflect on who I am, who I want to be, and how I can get there.
If any of you have any specific questions about Copenhagen, please please please reach out! I would love to talk your ear off.
It’s a good day to have a good day!
Love & Laughter,