Hej! Welcome to the blog, I’m super glad you’re here. My name is Hailey and I’m from San Diego, California, about a 13 hour plane ride away from Copenhagen. I will be graduating this upcoming year from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where I’m majoring in Graphic Communication and minoring in Studio Art. I would love to be a graphic designer or some form of art director after college; ideally, I want to work with companies on their branding and visual identity. I’m studying with DIS in the Architecture and Design Summer Session, a seven-week long program.
My goal for the summer is to experience as many new things as possible, and to immerse myself into Scandinavian design as I complete the Graphic Design Foundations Studio. Spring 2020 was supposed to be the semester I studied abroad, but instead I studied at home, isolated from the outside world. Fast forward to this past year, and my decision to apply to DIS happened in the spur of the moment; I found what seemed like an ideal program, in an ideal place, at an ideal time in my college career. My professor at Cal Poly had told me that there’s no better place to study design than in Copenhagen, “it’s a mecca for design!” So hearing this, I decided that I would regret it forever if I didn’t apply. And here I am now!
My journey to Copenhagen marks my first time traveling outside of North America, and I’m excited to share my experiences abroad as a first time visitor to Europe. I’m living in a kollegium, or student housing through DIS on the bustling island of Amager. Some things I have been enjoying throughout my time so far are visiting cafes and secondhand shops, learning conversational Danish, my bike commute to class and beyond.
Like riding a bike
I decided to rent a bike for the summer, despite not having much experience biking in my college town of San Luis Obispo (tooo many hills). After about a week of being here, I feel like I’m getting the hang of biking in Copenhagen. I may have been honked at on my first particularly scary left turn (oops), but now I am really focusing on being aware of my surroundings and using the correct hand signals while biking through the city. More than 60% of people in Copenhagen commute to work or school by bike, so it is really an amazing place to take up biking again, even if it’s been a while. At first, I will admit I did feel intimidated, but with each day I hop on my bike it gets easier and I get more comfortable. Just make sure to stay on the right-hand side if you’re a bit slower, like me (though I do feel like my endurance is improving everyday)!
The best part of this first week was definitely my class’s Field Study at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. I’ve never been to a more beautiful museum, both in its location (north of København, right on the shore of the Øresund Sound in Humlebæk) and content (sculpture garden, amazing exhibitions by Diane Arbus and Dorothy Iannone). The excursion got me really excited for more museum visits with my professor and classmates, as well as our upcoming Study Tour to Sweden and Finland.
Meeting new people in my kollegium and classes has been amazing so far, but I have also been really enjoying spending time with just myself, biking around to different corners of the city. Yesterday, I explored the eclectic, autonomous community of Christiana, which reminded me a lot of some areas of Southern California in its “hippieness.” I admired the quirky street art and watched skateboarders for a bit, before buying some jewelry from a street vendor and heading home for dinner.
Another highlight from my first week in Copenhagen has definitely been the secondhand shopping. As a sustainable fashion enthusiast, I have encountered some of the best thrifting ever here in Copenhagen! I’ve been really inspired by Scandinavian street style since I got here, and I’m excited to see how my style evolves with the pieces I pick up here.
Thanks again for checking out my post. and I hope you’ll follow along as I continue to document my experiences here in Scandinavia. 🙂