Danish Culture and Scandinavian living May 28, 2024

By (Public Health, Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/13/2024 to 05/10/2024 with

DIS Copenhagen: Semester

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about other cultures and it was definitely worth it. I enjoyed learning about Denmark and other countries academically and also experientially.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The management of the program is good in the sense that they provide a lot at the beginning when moving in and many resources that other programs do not have. Sometimes they were hard to work with when needing excused absences for illness or religious holidays.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my housing, good appliances, great location, and good roomate placement.

* Food:

It was very difficult to find Gluten Free food at grocery stores. DIS noted specific grocery stores that are better for gluten free food, but these were not stores covered by the grocery stipend card so that poses an undue hardship to those needing Gluten free groceries.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt that having Danish roommates and a visiting host family is what really helped me feel integrated. Without that, DIS would be an American bubble.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

It was easy to get a doctor's appointment when I was sick and I was able to find the number to call on the program website. They provided me a same-day appointment and prescribed antibiotics and it was smooth.

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I feel that it was the best fit for me, and the things I worried about were not issues (lack of integration with locals)


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Groceries were covered by the grocery card and transportation was also covered. This meant I had very few expenses other than pleasure and museum or site visits. These could be expensive because Copenhagen is an expensive city, but if I was cooking and using public transit it was low cost.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Always look for student discounts.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? I thought the Intro danish class was great, I learned some Danish but more importantly learned a lot about the history and culture.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Free transportation, Bedding and kitchenware provided, grocery card
  • International Travel with program
  • Weekly field studies to relevant places
* What could be improved?
  • Accessibility and accomodations
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that each kollegium is very different and some have more integration with Danish students than others. I am very lucky that I was placed in a building where we lived in the same apartment as Danes because that is what I wanted, but other Kollegiums are very isolating.