It’s been two weeks since I started Session 2 in Copenhagen with DIS. My blog posts so far have highlighted the big events of my time, like settling in to my kollegium, starting my class, and traveling for my study tour. Although these events were very exciting, part of the DIS experience is what happens outside of the classroom and DIS programs. For this blog post, I’ll adopt a clip show format (a clip show refers to an episode of a TV sitcom that combines different stories from past episodes into one) and focus on several moments that have made my time here special.
Part of coming to a new place is doing touristy things! For me, that was visiting the Church of Our Savior in Christianshavn. For some context, the church was originally built in 1617 by King Christian IV; the island that it sits on, Christianshavn, was made for the church. They let visitors into the church for free, and offer admission (40 DKK for students) to climb the famous serpentine spire that was added to the church in 1752. It was enthralling to navigate through a building that had such a long history here on Copenhagen. And the view from up top was well worth it – you could see the entirety of the city, from the ocean on one side to the mountains off at the other side.
Back at my home university, I live on campus with an included meal plan and I never need to cook anything for myself. But here at DIS, I have to make food for myself or eat out. While eating out is fun, it can get rather expensive quickly, especially in Denmark/Scandinavia, where restaurants are pricier than their US counterparts. Thus, learning how to cook has been an integral part of my time here. Fortunately, my fellow DIS students in my kollegium were willing to help! They gave me cooking advice and I learned how to cook chicken and make scrambled eggs. Here’s to hoping that one day, I’ll be able to cook as well as the chefs I learn about in my class.
My last vignette for this blog will be about Sankt Hans Aften, a Scandinavian holiday celebrating the summer solstice. Traditionally it involves setting a witch on fire (to cast away the pagan spirits). In 2019, that translates to setting a giant bonfire at dusk in a public park. I went to Frederiksberg Park where a public choir and orchestra played through the day, leading to main event. The park was packed with people and it was fascinating to engage with the Danish customs. The burning was truly spectacular and the spirit from the crowd was riveting. I loved the welcoming atmosphere, and that even as a visitor, I could participate.
In the short time I’ve been here, Copenhagen has became my home. I recall at the end of my study tour, I was so excited to land in Kastrup Airport and head back to my kollegium. I look forward to spending the rest of my Session 2 days here, making the most of what this city has to offer.