10 Reasons Why You Should Study Abroad in Denmark (Through DIS)

copenhagen city hall

TIA HERE with my second to last post on Denmark. If you're thinking of studying abroad (or not), or thinking specifically of studying abroad in Copenhagen (or not), or are even more specifically thinking of studying abroad with DIS in Copenhagen (or not), this post is for you. Here are all of the reasons why I think you should study abroad in Denmark (through the Danish Institute for Study Abroad):

  1. The people are attractive, fashionable, and straightforward. For the most part, the Danes are striking in appearance. They are almost all blond and seem to shop at the same only-black clothing store, where everything is either angular in shape or furry. They will tell you what they think or say nothing at all, as they are very fond of silence to a point that most Americans would consider "awkward." While they have their problems, like any culture does, they are undeniably a breath of fresh air for the American used to being smothered with niceties. The air up there is crisp and cool, and so are the Danes.
  2. The city is beautiful, with the perfect mix of old and new architecture. Copenhagen is strikingly clean, despite the open container laws and strong drinking culture. The viking people are neat and smart about their city, particular about its height for example, but stay both architecturally relevant and conservative at the same time. If you're looking for a safe city that values both the modern and historic, Copenhagen is the place to be.
  3. It is not an enormous culture shift for those who are wary. If you are afraid of studying abroad in a place too different, where the language is a big hurdle and the people's behaviors too mysterious, then Copenhagen may be right for you. There is plenty of opportunity to learn Danish and dive into the Danish culture, as the Danes love their culture, but you also don't have to fear extreme culture shock because everyone speaks English very, very well and will snap to without hesitation.
  4. The weather outside is delightful. Besides sporadic rain, the climate of Copenhagen is very mild. It does not get as cold or as hot as it does where I go to school in upstate New York, but stays wonderfully neutral in temperature. That may not mean a lot to you, but it meant a lot to me, as someone who would see snow one day and watch it all melt away the next!
  5. Free healthcare for you and you and you! Get sick? Going to the doctor is free. That's a pretty sweet deal, especially when you have two roommates in a house of fourteen and it's winter. DIS students get their own personal CPR card, which allows them to head over to the doctor's office free of charge. If you get sick before you get your CPR card (like I did!), no worries because DIS will reimburse you.
  6. It's not a difficult process in terms of visas and other travel complications. Unlike Russia, for example, Denmark is a cinch. No need to stress as long as you have a passport and fill out all of DIS's forms. They handle everything for you.
  7. DIS offers really interesting classes across a range of topics. Whereas some study abroad programs require you to focus on a particular subject, DIS offers a range. While you do pick a core course, it does not define your experience at all, and is much like taking classes at your home university. Pick out the classes you want. They can range across a variety of topics!
  8. Textbooks are free as long as they are returned in good quality. Denmark's education system is much more generous than the U.S.'s (Did you know that Danes get paid to go to university? Why are we doing the opposite?), and this extends to DIS students. Maybe this was covered in the general DIS fee, I'm not sure, but as far as I can tell, textbooks were free as long as I got them back in good shape (and I did!). There's no better bargain than free.
  9. You decide how involved you want to be in the "abroad" part of your experience. While there are plenty of extracurricular opportunities offered by DIS and other local organizations, as well as chances to become more involved in Danish culture through a visiting family/host family/Danish roommate/buddy network, you can also choose not to participate in any of these things. The program is very loosely structured to let you make the study abroad experience what you want. This is especially good if you change your mind about what you want halfway through the semester.
  10. Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world. If you are looking for happiness (who isn't?), maybe you should give Copenhagen a try. Living somewhere safe, beautiful, and clean is a great way to clear your head. The air and water even seem better, and there is something about Copenhagen that feels secure and sure, in a way that no other place I've been seems to quite encompass. Of course, I love unpredictability and stress and panic, so I don't think I'm quite ready to move to a place as calming as Denmark, but I'm glad I saw it when I did. It'll always be a haven in my heart.

Much love,

T.