I sit here thinking back on my first five weeks in Denmark. I still remember looking out the train window in awe as we pulled into København H after my 11 hour journey from Amsterdam, wondering what life would be like, about my host family, and about the upcoming year. Thus far I have been pleasantly surprised.
Yes, each day presents itself with some new challenge. The first few days were food and culture differences – I still cannot get myself to try spaghetti and ketchup. But with each passing day I start to feel more comfortable with Denmark, Roskilde, and DIS as a whole.
These five weeks have included multiple trips to Stockholm, Western Denmark, and Bergen. Each place has been beautiful to visit, yet I haven’t learned about those cultures I visited – more on this later.
My host family has been amazing. It has taken some time to adjust to waking up at 6 am to a screaming one-year-old, but I just think of it as my own personal alarm clock, albeit a whole hour early. My host grandfather has taken me out sailing on the viking ships in Roskilde harbor, which has given me ample time to see a different side to Danish culture. Many nights I find myself chatting about classes and viewpoints with my host parents which have given me even more insight into Danish ideology. Even when I have my Danish homework, the nine and eleven-year-old try their best to help me complete it.
Classes have started to finally ramp up. My Danish Language and Culture class has challenged my views and expanded my world view in ways I hadn’t even fathomed. Danish Politics and Society has brought my passion for current events and political discussion forward, and I am now feeling more comfortable talking with locals about their own politics – usually Danes would much rather talk about the US, Trump, etc, rather than themselves. New Nordic Design has taught me many things of Scandinavian culture, from food to furniture to architecture. Furniture Design Studio has been a great pleasure to be in. Currently we are building one to one models of our piece of furniture in cardboard.