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Studying in Denmark

September 11, 2013 / Posted by in Blog

Written by Emma Spero

In the 2013 spring semester, I studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad. Reflecting on my experience, it is impossible to summarize the entire six months, but the main lessons I learned are shared below:

1) It takes effort to meet locals.
I assumed that living in Denmark would mean constant interaction with Danes. However, my study abroad program had about 1,000 American students, which meant that it often felt easiest to simply interact with other Americans.

2) Do not eat where the tourists eat.
I thought that I would easily be able to spot “tourist traps” when exploring different countries, but this proved to be quite difficult at times. After spending a week in Rome, my friends and I learned that it was smart to avoid restaurants that had English menus because that meant they were trying to appeal to tourists.

3) It is entirely possible to function with a smartphone and computer.
Before I left for Copenhagen, I was not alone in saying that I was addicted to my iPhone. In Europe, my phone plan did not work; at first, I felt stranded without the comfort of always having email, text messaging, and the internet at my fingertips. However, after about a week, I began to realize I felt more “free” without my phone. I was forced to navigate my way around cities without digital maps and rely more on person-to-person communication. I now feel less dependent on technology and more confident as a traveler.

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