Name: Emmie Arnold
Home University: Vanderbilt University
Summer Courses at DIS: Children with Special Needs, Prostitution and The Sex Trade
As an email about my upcoming flight reminded me this weekend, my time in Copenhagen is rapidly coming to a close. How is it possible that I’m leaving Denmark already? It can’t possibly have been six weeks!
The only way that I can explain how time passed so quickly is that I did, saw, and learned a ton of things while I was here. I looked at a map the other day and realized that I have been up and down the entire coast of Zealand, the island on which Copenhagen lies. WHAT?! Bikes, public transportation, and car rides with my host family have been the best!
The amount of beauty that I have seen, both inside and outside buildings, within and outside the country borders of Denmark, in clouds and in sunshine, has been absolutely astounding. I feel so blessed to have had this time to explore my academic and aesthetic passions in Europe. I’ve seen more castles than I can count in my quest to learn about Danish history and culture
and seen gorgeous places like Luzern, Switzerland that have redefined my standards for cities and set the bar (unrealistically) high.
But Copenhagen has to take the cake – it is the capital of the happiest nation in the world, after all, and it’s picturesque beyond words. It’s been the perfect home base.
There are so many things I’m going to bring home with me from my time at DIS and in Europe, but the most important one for me has been something that can’t be measured or described fully in words: personal growth. The immense personal growth I have undergone has been the most marvelous part of my trip. I stretched myself farther than I thought I could go by doing things that I thought were far out of my comfort zone, but ended up being some of my favorite memories and stories!
I traveled alone to Switzerland. I went paragliding. I explored the highlights of different countries aimlessly for hours upon hours. I made friends with people of all different backgrounds. I took classes that challenged my preconceived notions and taught me applicable, practical knowledge that I never would have otherwise gotten. I spoke with true superstars from the fields of special education and human trafficking prevention. I immersed myself culturally. I learned some words of one of the world’s hardest languages. I discovered a lot about who I am and who I am not. I became a member of another family, one that I will treasure forever, just as I do my own.
I filled every possible nook and cranny of this short semester with activity, excitement, and exploration. When it’s time for me to go back to the States, I know I’ll be ready to sleep in my own bed, spend time with my family, and eat plenty of crappy American food (Kraft Mac & Cheese, I’m coming for you), but this has truly been the trip of a lifetime. I feel like an empowered, confident adult!
I hope you’ve enjoyed following my adventures here in Europe! It’s been a pleasure to share tidbits of advice and wisdom, as well as dissect my own experiences. Feel free to reach out to me if you think I could assist you in any way! Hej hej!
**Post was written at the conclusion of Summer Session 2.