Here is just a general (kind of very detailed actually) overview of my first week in Copenhagen! There is just so much to say about this new experience, and I didn’t want to forget a thing about my first week here! I will definitley go more into depth about my living situation/classes/overall Copenhagen thoughts etc. very soon!
I have arrived in Copenhagen! After an 8 hour flight where I think, maybe, I slept for a few hours off and on, I was able to look out the window and see what would be my new home. Luckily I was flying over with two other students from my home university, so after getting off the plane we were all able to follow the groups of DIS students through the airport. By far the highlight of this was going through the passport control and getting my first stamp (its the little things ya know!).
Once we got off of the plane representatives from DIS were at the baggage claim to show us where to go once we got all of our luggage. This was really funny to me because everywhere you turned there were people speaking different languages trying to find their traveling groups and then amongst all of the commotion were these young students peering through just hoping they would see their luggage that was going to last them their time in Copenhagen. After I found my luggage I was directed out of the airport and across the street to a hotel where we split into groups to be bussed to our housing. My most surreal experience was definitley my first step out into the Copenhagen air. For me I think this is when it felt real that I definitley was not in the US anymore!
I arrived at my housing, met my roommate, and started to unpack my suitcases and make my bed. I can confidently say that this move in was by far the easiest I have ever done! The SRA’s of my building then took us for a quick tour of our new neighborhood. There were so many new people and things to see so I definitley retained nothing on this tour and was confused as to where I was upon exiting the building (since then I have found my way around quite well!).
Today we had a neighborhood scavenger hunt with the two floors of DIS students in my building. My group of four (Callahan, Madeline, and Caroline) decided not to take this competition too seriously and instead just adventure! First on our personal to-do lists was to learn the metro! We were trying to decide when to get off and I thought I remembered the name of the stop where the ‘picture perfect’ Copenhagen spot is (colorful houses), so we went for it, walked down the street, turned the corner, and BAM right there was Nyhavn! For those reading this that actually know me, you would know just how exciting this moment was for me because I was actually right with my directions for once! Later in the day I tried my hand at the grocery store and was able to find some staple goods to hold me over, but will definitley need to work at this as exploring the markets was actually much harder than I expected.
One of the things I really love about the DIS program is how well put together everything is, and the great organization that is put into a orientation before classes even begin. On Monday we had the opening ceremony at the Royal Danish Academy of Music where we got to see opera performers as well as the director of the program speak. It really was a great event to kick off our time here! Afterwards I was able to get my books, and then eat in a cute little cafe by where DIS facility buildings are, called Paludan. Since I am really trying to be budget friendly while here I made myself a nice dinner with an apple and bread and crunchy peanut butter! (I was saddened to not have my beloved creamy but I will say I am really starting to enjoy this stuff!)
Everyday so far I have been able to meet new people from all over, and today was no different as I joined a group of six people to go on a tour of Copenhagen with DIS faculty at different spots to tell us about the area. I really enjoyed this because though exploring on your own is fine, actually hearing about the significance of the area is very helpful and interesting. After this my group went to Paper Island which borders the harbor and has a ton of different food options. I LOVE this place and definitley plan to return as much as possible because they will be closing it down very soon. To end my day I went to a little coffee shop by my apartment and people watched a bit just for some alone time and ~reflection~ of sorts!
The core course I am taking at DIS is called Strategic Communications and today we had our Academic Orientation where we met with our class to get an introduction to it! This was really great because it gave me a chance to see who was in my class so when I get lost going to class Thursday I know who to follow!
In a new country where you wouldn’t ever expect to just run into people, I definitley find myself doing that a lot. As I was walking down the street by DIS I saw two of my fellow classmates from SJU so we went to get some coffee and chat. Afterwards we did A LOT of walking and saw the City Hall and Parliament buildings in hopes to climb to the top, but unfortunately we missed the hours, but will definitley be back to get the great (and free) view! Next we headed to the Royal Danish Playhouse and walked around by the water and found an area with large steps where everyone was just sitting, chatting, and enjoying the beautiful weather, which we decided to take advantage of as well! Later, I went on a DIS facilities tour, because though I can confidently say I have mastered the metro, the winding streets where DIS is located still puts me in circles. Then to end the day I went to a workshop about career opportunities in Denmark, and also ate some really good chocolate, which I think is very important to add!
My first day of school! Quite an exciting day because since my roommate leaves earlier than I do I was to take the metro and find my class solo, and I am happy to report that I made it on time (big shoutout to google maps)! So far I have found that everything about this experience has really reminded me of my freshman year in college since I am meeting new people all the time. I have learned that you definitley have to put yourself out there, so it is kind of cool that I get a ‘second round’ of sorts here! I think what I like most about DIS is that everybody is in the same boat, as in most don’t know a whole ton of people, or anyone at all for that matter, so reaching out and talking to people is as good for you as it is for others.
Since my classes don’t start until 11:40 (as someone who always has an 8AM this was weird) I took my first morning by myself to sit outside and do my readings for class before heading on the metro. After school was over my roommate and I made some dinner (we are still very confused by how to work our stove so if anyone has suggestions please comment below), and also ordered our bikes! Before coming here I was all about getting a bike, but then when I almost got run over when I accidentally stepped into the bike lane I thought I was way out of my league, but then I thought again and decided that it is a part of the culture and just very important, so tomorrow will definitley be dedicated to navigating the area on my bike!
I am really excited about my schedule because I have no classes on Fridays! So, to take advantage of this free day I took the metro into Kongens Nytorv with two other girls in my RC and we picked up our bikes! We packed our lunch and ate it by the water before cycling around town and back to our neighborhood. Pleased to say I did not crash, but definitley got yelled at in Danish for going in to the fast lane when I was going much to slow for it. Very excited and nervous to get back on again (ps it has a basket & bell!). To end the day I did another grocery trip, and this time got more than bread and peanut butter-it took me awhile (especially trying to find butter) but I’d call it a success!
Thus wraps up my first week in Copenhagen!! It is crazy to think that I have been in an entirely different country by myself for this long. It’s really starting to feel real that this isn’t just a quick vacation, but instead a part of my life- I am actually LIVING in Copenhagen. Sometimes I feel super overwhelmed when I think about everything there is to see and do, how I am going to balance schoolwork, travel, and meeting new people. BUT, I am really really really trying to not overwhelm myself, instead actually doing that thing where I take it ‘day by day’. To do this I am not planning too much about every day, just meeting with new people, or being by myself, and just walking down streets stopping in wherever I want to go. I have already found that by doing this I definitley enjoy each moment of my days, instead of just ‘getting through them’. So each time I get lost down the winding streets in Nørreport, stumble in the metro, or almost step into the bicycle lane without looking I am FULLY aware and taking in these moments, same as I would when I get to have great conversations with new people, successfully navigate a new area, or take a lovely bike ride by the water!
I am super excited for this next week because my best friend and roomie from school is studying abroad in Florence this semester and before she goes there she has a layover in Copenhagen!! I also have a visiting host family and will be meeting them for the first time, so more to come about this experience very soon!
I definitley still have a lot of worries and am unsure about a lot of things, but I think what has kept me grounded the most is the mornings here. I love waking up and opening up all the windows in my room to my BEAUTIFUL view. I really don’t think this will ever get old–another brand new start to adventure in this place I feel I can officially call my home.
Here is a quick snapshot of my first week in Copenhagen!