From Tourist to Local in just 3 weeks!


I cannot believe my three weeks in this beautiful city have already come to an end. Copenhagen has been a dream, and I wish I was able to spend even more time exploring this place that has so quickly felt like home.

Welcome home!

I have to admit, I didn’t do much planning before leaving for Denmark. And by that I mean… I did no planning. I knew what course I was taking and the name of my roommate – that was it. For me, just that little bit of information was fine! I kept telling myself I’d figure it out when I got to the city, and I did! But for my parents and that little bit of information…well that’s another story.

I’m usually the type to love planning, organizing, and making sure I’m 100% comfortable with every aspect of everything. But this time, I let myself breathe. I packed my suitcase, made sure I had my passport and started this incredible journey. And honestly, I’ve had such a memorable experience in Copenhagen.

Such a beautiful city to live in!

Just to prove how memorable it truly has been, I’ll share my top two favorite stories from these past three weeks.

  1. Getting yelled at in Danish by the very angry bus driver: This was quite the day, let me tell you. It was my second day in the city, and I had been out exploring a new part of Copenhagen, one that I was obviously very unfamiliar with. I wasn’t exactly sure which transportation route I should use, so Google Maps showed me the way. (Let me just say, Google Maps has become my best friend and I highly recommend using it! Also, the Copenhagen city bus app is equally as amazing!!) Once I was able to find some shade and actually see my phone screen, I was back on track! I headed to the closest bus stop and waited for my route. When the bus arrived, I stepped on, as one would normally do, only to receive a very angry look from the driver. He said something in Danish, to which I responded to with a very confused facial expression. I knew this was the right route, and that my bus pass worked for this bus, so I honestly had no idea what I could have been doing wrong. I tried to move past the situation and took my seat on the bus. Well, clearly my decision to move along with the matter was the absolute wrong choice! At the next bus stop, the driver got out of his seat and came up to me, continuing to speak in Danish. Remember, this is my second day in Denmark. I had never heard a word of Danish spoken before I came to the city. Ever. I was literally shaking with fear. When I finally worked up the courage to say, “Sorry. I only speak English.” Luckily, the women sitting next to me translated and told me the driver was just wanting to see my bus pass, and that I had to make sure to show it each time I used public transportation. It was a pretty terrifying experience, but for those of you thinking about studying abroad in the near future, please don’t let this scare you! It was the perfect opportunity for me to learn a vital part of living in Copenhagen, and ever since then, my trips on public transportation have been perfect! While it was definitely scary in the moment, this story has become one of my favorite memories from this entire study abroad experience.
  2. Getting asked for directions (on more than one occasion!!): I went from new girl in town who doesn’t know how to use the bus, to top-notch tour guide in just a week! I’m telling you, once you get the navigation part down, you are golden. I was riding the bus home from class earlier this week and I noticed an American couple blankly staring at their phones searching desperately for directions. The extrovert I am couldn’t help but ask if they needed some guidance, to which they responded with extreme gratitude. I was able to guide them safely home, recommend a few places to eat and even give directions to the restaurants! It’s only been three weeks, and I’m really starting to feel like a local. Nowadays when I’m walking to and from class, multiple people stop and ask me something in Danish. I really wish I was able to respond, but I’m not that good yet. Maybe one day!
Soaking up the beautiful weather like the local I am!

These are just two stories from a long list of incredible experiences that I’ve had during my three weeks studying with DIS in Copenhagen. I am so thankful for everything I have learned from this opportunity, and can’t wait to see what’s next in Stockholm!


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