Smørrebrød and Bikes: My Quest to find my Inner Dane

Hej jeg hedder Nabib Ahmed, og jeg er begejstret for at være i København. 

Hello! My name is Nabib Ahmed and I’m excited to be in Copenhagen! I’m a rising junior from Harvard University studying Economics and Computer Science. I’m currently studying abroad with DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia for Session 2 and Session 3. My Session 2 class is Nordic Culinary Culture and my Session 3 class is Tasting Culture: Nordic and Mediterranean Food, Tradition, and Nutrition.

I decided to study abroad because I love learning and traveling. I chose DIS in particular because of it’s strong focus on expanding the classroom. The academic programming at DIS emphasizes making the city and Europe part of the course experience. Each of my courses involve a Study Tour, where we travel to different parts of Europe, to experience the course content first hand. In Session 2, I’ll be spending one week in the Faroe Islands, and then in Session 3, I’ll be spending two weeks in Athens!

DIS Campus on Vestergade Street

It’s my first time in Europe, so naturally I was apprehensive. However now having spent a week in Copenhagen, Denmark, I have absolutely fallen in love with this city. The architecture is stunning, and paired with the numerous canals and bodies of water, I’m often left breathless. My favorite activity thus far has been biking! I’m currently using Donkey Bike, which is an app-based bike rental service (similar to CitiBike in NYC), which let’s me rent bikes for 12 hours at a time. I often find myself taking the longer route or detours when going back home just so I can spend more time exploring. 

I’m currently living at the Salodin Kollegiet, which is a kollegium or a student residential building. I share the space with local Danish students – many of whom are graduate students who are studying for their finals – and 8 international students in DIS. It’s nerve-wracking meeting new people, but I’ve been taken aback by how welcoming the DIS students in my kollegium are. We’ve already gone out as a group to explore Copenhagen twice so far (to give some perspective, we’ve all meet just three days ago). I look forward to getting to know my housemates more through the summer. 

First Night Out with Kollegium

My goal for the summer is to become accustomed to Danish and Nordic culture. I’m taking two classes that explore Nordic food both in the same city, so my hope is that I’ll become very familiar with Copenhagen. I have already mastered biking and it’s many rules and gestures. I’ve also dabbled in the local cuisine, in particular smørrebrød, and attempted to make some of my own. I have no doubt that by the end of my time at DIS, I’ll become a true Dane!

Homemade Smørrebrød
Left: Rye Bread with Garlic Spread, Bell Pepper, and Spicy Herring
Right: Rye Beard with Mackerel Mayo Spread, Bell Pepper, and Salatost

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