Tips for Future DIS Students


TIA HERE with a quick list of some tips that I think may help future DIS students prepare for arrival in Denmark! There's also some info for those who are thinking of applying but are not sure yet. Hope you make a decision that you are happy with in the end, after considering all of the factors.
  • The rooms come well furnished. All you'll have to buy is your own food! Check out my room tour for some ideas of what is provided for each student and what you may need to bring along.
  • Don't forget that the plugs are different across Europe. Great Britain follows different rules than most of the rest of Europe, for example. Figure out where you want to go during the various travel breaks DIS provides and be sure to bring with you the right kind of money, plugs, and converters (may be necessary for some chargers that can't handle 240V; also three prongs must be changed to two prongs in Europe, etc.) in mind. You can convert money and buy these things abroad as well, but if you have them at home already, just bring them from there. Save your cash for souvenirs!
  • The Danes are very clean. Keep the public spaces of your apartment or home clean—or fear the wrath of your SRA/host family/Danish roommate. Like with all people, there is variation over how much of a clean freak the Danes you meet will be, but holistically, I would argue that they are a part of a more clean-conscious culture than the U.S. So get ready to wash your dishes with regularity and sweep up your crumbs.
  • Recycling is different here. We never recycle paper—only glass and plastic bottles. These are marked with A, B, or C, depending on how much money you get back for them. Save these bottles and go to the grocery to get money back—your SRA may control that if you have one.
  • Bring a good camera! A phone camera will only lead to regret if you're a fan of documenting your life with photos. Don't miss out on capturing all of the amazing sights you run across during your stay in Europe. Also, during orientation, don't forget to bring your camera along for the Amazing Race. You'll pass many of Copenhagen's most important buildings (and they're all pretty lovely).
  • Don't be afraid to go out—or stay in. It seems obvious now, but it's one of the toughest balancing acts of being abroad. Sometimes you'll want time on your own, but end up spending all of it feeling guilty that you're not out, indulging in all Europe has to offer. Don't stress and organize your time wisely so you don't feel as if you're wasting your abroad experience. Taking time off to relax or concentrate on your work is 100% okay and completely necessary.
  • Put in a real effort to make Danish friends. It won't be easy. The Danes are much more closed off compared to Americans when it comes to meeting strangers. The easiest way is to go out to bars and strike up conversations with the Danish-looking people around you. Drunk Danes seem to be the most friendly type of Danes! There is also the option of a buddy network or visiting family, but those seem to work out really nicely only part of the time. It can be hit or miss.
  • Keep in mind that your housing option affects proximity to DIS immensely. Join an LLC for prime location, from being on Vestergade (where DIS is located) to being just a few blocks away. DRCs seem to be mostly pretty close as well, but homestays are by far the farthest and most random. It depends on what experience you're going for, but also if you're willing to struggle with trains and bikes or not.
  • Make sure you're ready to cook. If you're not in a homestay, you will probably be cooking all of your meals. You get a stipend, but learning how to cook is something you must do on your own. It's fun! Don't let it scare you off.
  • Don't come with friends; make new experiences. One of the most altering decisions you can make when studying abroad is deciding if you're going to travel somewhere along with friends you already have. I think that is one of the worst decisions you can make. Having friends while abroad will definitely make the experience fun from the beginning to the end, but going alone means making new friends you never would have met, going on adventures you never would have seen coming, and diving into the foreign culture that a friend from home would have blocked you off from. Having old friends around is great, but they will always be there. Make some new experiences while you're someplace new!
Post in the comments if you have any more questions regarding DIS or the study abroad experience. Good luck, and I hope you have a great semester (or year) in another country!

For more, check out Tia's new blog!

Much love,

T.