hej fra københavn!
Hello from Copenhagen, where the houses are colorful, the fashion is sleek, and Google translate is my new best friend! It’s only the fifth day of my semester in Denmark, and I have already managed to get lost on just about every form of public transportation, (buses, and metros and S-trains, Oh my!), butcher every Danish word I attempt to read (still learning to swallow my nouns), and acquire my very own bicycle (bell and basket INCLUDED). Although the past few days have been a whirlwind of jetlag, unpacking, and orienting myself to an entirely new neighborhood and culture, I already feel at home among the cozy cobblestone streets and the collective happiness that fills this place with a warm familiarity.
As my flight descended into Denmark, I was greeted by the city’s windmill farm. Situated 3.5 kilometers offshore, the twenty-some windmills serve as Copenhagen’s unofficial welcoming committee as they wave their gigantic white blades at every landing plane. The warm welcomes continued as I found a DIS representative at the baggage claim, who directed me to a hotel across the street to wait for my housing shuttle. After chatting with my soon-to-be neighbors, we all hopped on a school bus and took the thirty-minute drive to our new digs situated in the heart of the hip, multicultural, neighborhood of Nørrebro.
Although there are many housing options offered through DIS, I chose to live in a Kollegium; a housing community for local Danish and international students alike. Each student living in my Kollegium has their own apartment and kitchenette, and we share a common living space and outdoor porch area. After a few trips to the grocery store and a fun Danish store called Flying Tiger (think a mix of Target and a dollar store) my room definitely feels like home. I have already loved cooking in my kitchen, letting the light stream through the big windows in the morning, and burning candles at night. My neighbors and I are hoping to have weekly dinners in the common room and we already have some exciting community events planned, including a hygge night and a trip to Tivoli.
After going on a quick tour of the neighborhood and sharing a meal with the other DIS students in my Kollegium, I went to bed exhausted from the travel and excited for all the new adventures the next morning would bring.
My first few days in Copenhagen have been an exciting collection of firsts. On our inaugural voyage downtown, my new friends and I took the bus to go check out the DIS campus – a collection of adorable buildings in the heart of downtown Copenhagen. Our three-day Orientation was kicked off by an Opening Ceremony at the Royal Danish Academy of Music Concert Hall, a landmark feat of Danish architecture. Afterward, we set off to hit one of the first stops on my Copenhagen bucket list – Torvehallerne. Known as The Glass Market, Torvehallerne is a year-round food market full of picnic tables, fresh produce, and mouth-watering scents floating from each stand. My lunch was incredible and I had the best time walking through the market and admiring the colorful booths offering local favorites, including hot dogs and Smørrebrød. On our second day, we ventured on a walking tour of many classic postcard scenes, including the colorful Nyhavn, The Little Mermaid statue, Amalienborg Palace, and the King’s Rose garden.
One of our final stops was the Studenterhuset, where we exchanged student coupons for a free (and delicious) coffee and croissant. The Studenterhuset is a community center for university students of Copenhagen, ran on a volunteer basis. Just a five-minute walk from my classes, it is full of cozy couches, a bar & coffee shop, and fun places to study. I loved this spot, and I hope to get involved this semester as a volunteer barista…stay tuned!!
Today was our final day of orientation before classes tomorrow and I spent my day getting to know the Psychology program coordinators and meeting my core course classmates and professor. My core course is Positive Psychology, and I couldn’t be more hype for it. I am so excited to study firsthand the almost tangible well-being of the Danish people and travel with my classmates to Prague on our study tour in October.
I simply cannot wait to begin classes, continue exploring my neighborhood, establish a routine, and continue to fall in love with Cope a little more each day.