April (she/her), Haverford College, found a community away from home when joining a local soccer team. Read below to learn more about April’s experience and how she found her ‘third place’ in Copenhagen.
A Place to Form Relationships
The urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg describes a third place as somewhere between a first place (home) and a second place (work, or in our case school) where people meet and interact. It’s a place where people can put their worries aside, form relationships, and have a fun time.
Ever since I started kicking a ball at age of six, my ‘third place’ has always been on the soccer field with my teammates. Through soccer, I have met some amazing people, made great memories, and learned valuable life lessons as well. I knew I wanted to continue playing soccer while abroad this semester since it would be a way for me to interact with locals as well as stay in shape.
Finding a Team Abroad
My path to finding a team to play for in Copenhagen was a bit unconventional. I’m pretty sure I just sat down at my computer one night and googled ‘soccer clubs in Copenhagen,’ and just emailed a bunch of them to see if I would be able to join for the semester. Sometimes you have to be a little bold and take initiative to get what you want. Fortunately, I heard back from the soccer club OKF and ended up joining practice the same day.
A Welcoming Environment
I was a bit nervous to attend my first practice and wasn’t sure what to expect, but the coaches and girls on the club made me feel welcomed. It was also comforting to know that there were a couple of other DIS students also on the team. Ever since the first practice, I have enjoyed every minute I’ve spent playing with the club.
My favorite practice so far is definitely when we did a small sided tournament where each play rotated to different teams each round. The competitive energy was high and it was great way to meet more people on the club. Another favorite memory so far was playing in my first game in the club. Even though I had to wake up at 6:30 a.m. and take two buses to get to the field, I wouldn’t have wanted to spend the day any differently. It was so nice being able to play a real match again and a great way to bond with teammates.
Overall, I have enjoyed my time with OKF so far. It gives me a community away from home, allows me to interact with locals, and makes me feel grounded while abroad. It really is my ‘third place’ in Copenhagen.
A Way to Meet the Locals
I encourage future DIS students to find your ‘third place’ while abroad, whether that’s joining a sports team, volunteering at a nonprofit, or joining a dance studio.
Want to get involved while abroad?
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