Embracing Spontaneity: Q&A with Chichi, Smith College

Having dreamt of living in Scandinavia for quite some time, Chichi, Smith College, has truly been enjoying her time in Copenhagen. Having had her spring semester abroad postponed, Chichi was excited to be able to come for the fall semester and truly immerse herself in Danish life.

We sat down with Chichi to hear more about her time studying abroad with DIS so far, and what she has been enjoying during her time here.

DIS: Why did you choose DIS, and what has your journey leading up to studying abroad with DIS been like? 

C: I chose DIS because the program provided me with a lot of options and flexibility in terms of what I could study, a rigorous academic offering that I am able to transfer back to my home institution, and an emphasis in learning both in and out of class. Plus, I have always wanted to live in Scandinavia! The journey leading up to studying abroad definitely had its challenges due to the COVID pandemic. I originally applied to study in the spring semester, but when that was cancelled by my home university, I knew I still really wanted to study abroad at DIS and so I applied again. I am super thankful that I made that choice and couldn’t be happier to finally be in Copenhagen! 

DIS: What was one thing that was on your bucket list before coming here?

C: One thing I had on my bucket list before coming here is seeing the Northern Lights! I currently have plans to go to Norway in late October and am so excited! A friend of mine also told me about the troll sculptures by Thomas Dambo that are hidden throughout Copenhagen. I was able to find one of them at Christiania and am hoping to find the others! 

DIS: What has been the most surprising thing about Denmark? Has studying in Denmark been different from studying in the US? 

C: Coming from the States, the most surprising thing about living in Denmark has been how we are able to basically live like pre-COVID times because the country has such a high vaccination rate. It is so nice to be able to connect and engage with new people after being quarantined for so long!  

I think my classes with DIS have definitely prioritized immersing the students and providing us with more hands-on learning. For example, in my Danish design class, we take trips every week to go visit different furniture shops and manufacturing companies in Copenhagen. I think this has allowed me to delve deeper into the material and has made the content more engaging. 

DIS: What is your current living situation like? 

C: I am currently living in Stads Kollegium in the Amager neighborhood! I have two roommates, an American student from Bates College and a Danish student who goes to Copenhagen Business School. I love living in a kollegium with Danish students because I am able to experience this city and culture through their perspectives.   

DIS: What Core Course did you choose, and what have been some of the highlights so far on this Core Course? 

C: As an art history major, I chose the Modern Frames: European Art and Cinema class. The highlight of my Core Course so far has been the short Study Tour, in which we visited Aarhus and Odense. I loved visiting the ARoS Museum and seeing in person the artworks we have been discussing in class. Another great experience was talking to two filmmakers about their journeys into the industry and being able to view their works. Ultimately, the trip was so successful because I really feel like we were able to bond as a class! 

DIS: What are the main reflections you’ve had this past month, do any specific experiences or realizations stand out to you about your time in Copenhagen so far? 

C: One reflection I had since coming to Copenhagen is that although there is so much to see and do and it is important to plan, it’s also important to embrace spontaneity. One of my favorite memories is walking by a techno street performance with friends and ditching our plans to just stay and dance.  

DIS: If a future student were to ask you for advice about going abroad to Copenhagen, what would you tell them? 

C: My advice to a future student going abroad to Copenhagen would be that although it may be nostalgic or tempting to go to places that we have in the U.S., it is really important to try new things and fully experience Denmark. Try that Danish food you don’t know how to pronounce or shop at a local clothing store! 

Learn more about DIS:

Take a look at all the semester courses at DIS Copenhagen

Check the @DIS.copenhagen Instagram for more stories like Chichi’s

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