Hi 🙂 I’m writing this at the end of my sixth week out of ten that I’ll be spending abroad with DIS. Looking back to the start of studying abroad, I think I have learned a lot from the classes I’ve taken and about myself. I also have had a great time so far and am really excited for the last few weeks.
My past courses, “Digital Media in Marketing” and “Food, Taste, and Waste” have both been very informative and I’ve had great professors. My current course is “Sustainable Food: Production and Consumption”. Both my second and third session have been on the topic of food, while my first session course is seemingly unrelated. While Digital Media in Marketing is very different, I can still apply it to topics in my other classes. When we visited a vertical mushroom farm in my last session, I asked whether they did any marketing and was shocked to find out that they did very little. Coming from my business background (Business Administration: Marketing major and Social Work minor), I tend to look at sustainability in food systems from a business model perspective. I like to think about how a business would actually implement sustainable solutions and if they would actually be viable business plans.
I’ve met so many great people during my stay with DIS. I’ve made really good friends among my classmates and from my roommates. My professors have been really good about encouraging connections by putting us in groups for projects and discussions. I’m always busy when I’m here either exploring with friends or exploring on my own. I think my favorite places to go to are Nørreport and Vesterbrø. In Nørreport, there is Torvehallerne KBH (I love the farmers’ market there, especially the strawberries) and Landbageriet (a great vegan bakery). In Vesterbrø, my favorite places are the Røde Kors (Red Cross) shop, Nice Cream (a vegan ice cream place), and Brød Bageriet (a bread bakery).
Things I Miss
The only time I felt homesick was during my “Food, Taste, and Waste” study tour in Barcelona and Palamos, Spain. I think the lack of familiarity and set schedule was what set off my homesickness. When I came back to Copenhagen, the homesickness receded because my apartment has become somewhat of another home to me. Now at the end of my sixth week here, I’m starting to feel like I’ll definitely be ready to go home at the end of this session. I have been keeping a list of things I miss that aren’t the obvious (my family and my dog). Mainly the things on this list are food (no surprise there!) such as bagels or even a crappy hot dog with a crappy soft bun because sometimes I just get a craving for one! I think the main things that have kept me from feeling too homesick are my great roommates, a good routine, and how Copenhagen reminds me of Faneuil Hall and the North End of Boston (in terms of looks).
I think that choosing to study abroad was probably one of the best things I’ve ever done. It has caused me to grow more courageous and try more things. I’ve also noticed that I’m more willing to be a joiner and go along with activities that might not be my interest, but help me connect with more people. I could never imagine how well this is going for me. I think I have also become more independent as time goes on because sometimes my roommates have different schedules or interests than me and can’t go with me to something I want to visit, and I have started exploring more alone. I’ve become really good at managing my own physical and mental health while abroad, I know when to take time for myself and how to manage my eating habits effectively.
This week I started “Sustainable Food: Production and Consumption” and one of my professors is a Slow Food International Councillor, which as a member of the University of New Hampshire’s Slow Food chapter is really exciting! The class has a field study around 4 out of 5 weekdays, and a long field study on Thursdays. Last Thursday, we went to an organic farm in Amager, which is a rural area that has supplied Copenhagen with fresh produce since the 1500s. We also visited Dragør (a nearby fishing village). We have lots of interesting things happening this next week. On Monday, we are going to a honey shop and tasting honey and on Thursday, we are going to Malmø to do a seafood safari and lunch at a fancy restaurant. Our study tour will be in Pietrasanta, Italy, and I’m really looking forward to it!