Phrase: Mixing it up.
Synonyms: Trying something new; doing something exciting.
These are the words that come to mind when I think of how my study abroad experience with DIS in Copenhagen has been so far; doing something exciting and trying something new.
To everyone reading, hallå/hej! My name is Sophia Griffith. I am a Junior majoring in Biology and minoring in English at Georgetown University, and I am very excited to be participating in DIS’ inaugural mix and match summer session at both DIS Copenhagen and DIS Stockholm!
Jeg hedder Sophia – My name is Sophia!
I chose to come abroad with DIS for a multitude of reasons. One is that, as a pre-health science student, the first three years of my curriculum are rigid, so finding time to study abroad during the academic year seemed impossible. However, the DIS Summer Session worked perfectly with my schedule, and on top of that, it allowed me the flexibility to experience both Copenhagen and Stockholm.
Another factor I loved about DIS was how aligned the courses are with my specific interests; as an aspiring healthcare professional, I am passionately interested in the health of women and LGBTQ+ individuals, so being able to take classes on sexuality and gender in Scandinavia, where the policies on these issues are more progressive, is a really unique opportunity.
Specifically, my Psychology of Human Sexuality class has coursework structured around working with patients of a wide variety of sexual orientations and learning how to make one’s medical practice more LGBTQ+ friendly; these are topics I am interested in that are also applicable to my future career path.
I’m also really excited to explore gender and sexuality through a cultural lens in Gender, Equality, and Sexuality in Scandinavia during Session 2 in Stockholm, and comparing this Scandinavian viewpoint to the German viewpoint we will experience first-hand during our study tour in Berlin.
My first impressions of Copenhagen are myriad. It’s a city of harmonious contrasts, with centuries-old castles juxtaposed against contemporary architectural structures. While it is easy at first to get lost in the rush of this pro-pedestrian, cyclist-adorned city (especially if your cellular data is not working, and it is your first day in the city…not like I am speaking from personal experience…), it is also easy to find your way again. Danes are always willing to help (or if you are shy, wi-fi is plentiful) and the public transit here is easy to navigate.
The city also feels safe and welcoming; even though I have only been here a few days, I feel like I really, truly belong, and many of my DIS peers have expressed this same sentiment.
The view from my bus stop on the way back to my Kollegium provides a good example of the contrast between old and new. Also, look how many bicycles are parked on the side of the street!
During my next five weeks in Scandinavia, there are so many new and exciting things I want to see and experience. Some goals of mine for the summer are:
- Try as many kinds of smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches) as I can.
Some beautiful smørrebrød from the Tivoli Food Hall, just a 10-minute walk from where I have classes. The perfect lunch spot!
- Try one food in each city I will go to through DIS – Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Berlin – that is out of my comfort zone.
- Celebrate Midsummer like a local while I am in Stockholm.
- Stroll along colorful Nyhavn in Copenhagen and visit at least one island in the Stockholm Archipelago.
- And, ultimately, not be afraid to mix it up a little when it comes to having new, spontaneous experiences.