When I opened the DIS website for the first time, I was blown away by how much information it contained. Everything was strategically arranged into sub-categories – all bases covered. From information regarding studios and study trips, right up to how to file an insurance claim if anything gets stolen, it was all there.
Soon after I signed up on the DIS webpage, I started receiving emails regarding pre-departure prep. I was mainly communicating with Steven Olson, and he patiently helped me with all the necessary documentation. All of us also received emails with information regarding what adaptors to carry, currency conversion, and a lot of stuff that one doesn’t usually think of, but is important. This made sure that I was very well prepared for my stay. When I landed in Copenhagen, the DIS representatives gave us all some refreshments and dropped us off to our assigned housing. Every procedure was so well organized and I immediately knew I had made a great choice.
Before getting here, I was both shy and nervous. I am an introvert and I take time to open up to people, but I had only 7 weeks in hand, so it was going to be a real task. On the first day of studio, I was both excited and apprehensive. I was worried that I wouldn’t fit in. However, I shouldn’t have. All my classmates are amazing and very helpful and friendly. I think the best part about DIS is that there are people from all over the world, which makes it a fascinating experience. I am generally not someone to volunteer or take the lead, but strangely in my studio here, I did. I think it was the fact that DIS made me feel so reassured that I was able to do so. I spoke up in class a lot more and contributed with ideas.
Soon after, I had a Study Trip, and I can bet nobody can do it better than DIS. It was so enriching, but more importantly, so enjoyable, and did not feel like usual classroom learning. Observation and engagement were stressed upon, and it was only after I came back that I realized how much it influenced my design ideologies and experiences. My studio project was greatly impacted by all that I saw on the study trip, and even in Copenhagen.
I learned to be independent and strong-willed. In the initial weeks, I was not able to manage living by myself. However, as I am coming towards the end, I am able to manage quite well. Not perfect of course, but a huge shift from how I was when I came. To my surprise, I did push myself to talk to people and make friends and was hugely successful. Maybe I was too intimidated earlier, and hence never tried, but I am so glad I did. Part of the reason was that I was here for a short time, and thought well, it’s now or never. I would definitely recommend the DIS experience to everyone I know. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity!
I am also super glad that I took up this opportunity to write blogs. I am thrilled that DIS encourages not only academics but even activities like these. It was a delightful experience, and I know that I shall look back one day at these posts, and reminisce about the lovely days I spent here…
Only two days until I leave. I wish I could stay longer.