One semester is completed at DIS and another one is about to start. I took a while off during my winter vacation to relax and travel with my family.
First: reflection on the last semester. It was a blast! I remember being absolutely nervous coming into Europe with questions of: will I like my host family, what will classes be like, how is the commute, will I make new friends, budgeting(?), expectations of me, what is the daily life like, etc. I was pleasantly surprised with everything.
Host family, loved the host family that I was placed with so much I am continuing to stay with them next semester. I love the dinners together and the ability to talk with some local Danes about current events in the world as well as help with some of my homework. The commute was great. It allowed 20-40 minutes of chatting with homestay network friends (if we saw each other on the same train) or relaxation between home and school.
Classes turned out to be easier than I thought. Many of my classes had two papers and select other assignments. Coming from a school where the last time I wrote a paper was fall quarter freshman year, it was a great change of pace. Many weeks had only one thing due if any, however the two weeks between travel weeks were hectic! I ended up with 2 A’s and 2 B+’s so, very pleased with the academics side of everything. I liked having all my classes back to back creating an eight hour day, but only twice a week. Doing it again this semester!
My favorite class was my Danish Politics and Society class as it allowed me to keep up with current events and understand the micro state of Denmark’s opinion on many issues. I still use the metaphor I learned of the Danish welfare system being described as a bumblebee. Scientifically bumblebees are to heavy and their wings to small to achieve lift, yet bumblebees fly. Much seems to be that of the welfare system, it seems that it shouldn’t work, yet it does.
Outside of school and homestay I did not get involved with as much within Denmark as I probably could have. There were a few things that I was bummed to miss out on. One of those being the culture night in Denmark (I was traveling…). It was great with the warm weather at the beginning to go swimming in the harbor, take tours of Copenhagen, and stay out late.
Overall I greatly enjoyed last semester and am greatly looking forward to the next semester to come!