Student Writer: Zoe Smolen

ZoeSmolen_DefaultName: Zoe Smolen
Home University: Portland State University
Summer Courses at DIS: Sustainable Food Systems: Ecology, Economy, and Ethics

My name is Zoe Smolen. I was born and raised in Southern Oregon, which leaves me a long way from home at the moment, but I have very good reasons for choosing to come to Copenhagen – not that you need reasons. My grandfather was an immigrant from Denmark to the United States. Even though he passed away before I was born, I’ve always felt a sense of connection to Denmark and have always wanted to learn more about my cultural heritage. I’m lucky enough to be living with family over here. It’s amazing to me how warm and welcoming they have been despite never having met me before – it speaks a lot to the Danish culture and how friendly they are.

I’ve been in Copenhagen for a week now and it does not disappoint. It’s so hard for me to pinpoint one thing. I love midtown and where DIS is located because there is such a rich history and so many people from around the world. However, I also love living in a smaller community. There are so many things to see and explore, for instance my community is the home of Hans Christian Andersen’s grave! Plus it can be relaxing at the end of the day to get a way from the hustle and bustle of downtown.

There are, however, two parts of the city that I just love. First, though I do have two favorite components to this one, is the food. One: I love that there is avocado everywhere. Avocados are probably my single favorite fruit/vegetable and to be able to just order avocado sandwiches is astounding to me. Two: the hot dogs here are amazing, and I say this as a person who doesn’t generally like hotdogs. The trick though is to get them Dansk style because the combination of toppings is to die for. Secondly, the art here is just amazing. Everything from street art to arts in churches leave such an impact on you – it’s a must see throughout the city, and the best part is you don’t have to pay to see it.Zoe Smolen Hot Dog (3)

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