A Danish Hello

Hej, alle sammen!

My name is Nora Foutty and I’m a student at Barnard College/Columbia University in New York City, studying English and Urban Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Development.

Initially, I didn’t think I would study abroad. I love my home college and wouldn’t want to miss a semester. Besides, I’m English major, and reading great texts is something you can do anywhere. Once I picked up Urban Studies, I still didn’t want to miss any time at Barnard, but I wanted to study a city overseas — something that can’t really be done in a few-day trip. Once I realized that summer study abroad was an option, I quickly determined that I’d go to Copenhagen, a center for sustainable urban design, and study with DIS, which offered courses in my fields of interest.

Me (on the left) and some friends, tired but happy after our study tour in Northern Germany and Berlin


I’m taking two classes in my seven weeks here: Renewable Energy Systems and European Greenspace. Renewable Energy Systems was an amazing class that took me to Glucksburg and Berlin on a study tour. Highlights from the class included climbing up a wind turbine, visiting green roofs, and learning about the Danish and German energy systems.

I climbed this wind turbine! I’m afraid of heights and the view was totally worth it, though I was too scared to bring my phone up with me

While I knew a fair amount of information about renewable energies, my professor and classmates challenged me to think about energy systems more broadly and the consequences renewable energies have, while still letting me explore sustainability from an urban perspective. I’m sad to say goodbye to my RES friends and our engaging discussions (we had some four-hour train rides that passed very quickly this way), but I can’t wait to begin my new class! Just today, I got back from an exciting field study — more on that later.

I am three weeks into my time here at DIS and I’m having trouble remembering why I thought I shouldn’t study abroad. I am so grateful for all I’ve learned in just the past month, and I hope you’ll join me as I continue learning and growing during the next session.

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