I can barely believe that my three weeks in Copenhagen have already passed by and my first session with DIS is over. After the initial settling in, each day passed quicker than the one before.
Even though it felt like a second, there was a whole lot of action packed in these 3 weeks and I would love to share a few of the amazing highlights!
Biking and Transport
First off, biking in Copenhagen! I hadn’t biked in a while and the first day I got my bike from the shop, I felt really intimidated to be on a bike in this foreign city, following different traffic rules and all the hand signals (It took me way too long to learn how to make a left turn)! But with each passing day I got better and by the end of the session, it had become part of my routine. I was very intrigued by all the different kinds of carriages attached to bikes. They would contain jackets, umbrellas, bags, babies, children, and sometimes even adults!
I also really liked the metro system which was surprisingly convenient and easy to use. I felt safe even while traveling late at night, and the fact that the sun would still be out at bedtime hours definitely helped with the feeling of safety!
Engaging with Locals
Another exciting part of my stay was my involvement with a local running club! After some research online, I found a club, with international members, that looked really fun and I decided to give it a shot! I travelled for about 45 mins on the metro to reach the starting point where I was pleasantly greeted by all the run club members. All my nervousness evaporated soon enough as I spoke with and got to know some locals and even other expats from around the world! We ran through a forest trail and the unique part was how the runners had to find the trail with the help of chalked markings set up by one of the members! At the end of the run, everyone gathered in a circle to socialize and have some snacks!
Some of the runners were really funny and I got to know a lot about Copenhagen and Danish culture from them. I felt really welcome and decided to stick with the running club, and I look forward to going back for it when I’m in Copenhagen again for the third session!
Another cool highlight from my first session was attending language cafes. I practiced and learnt the Danish language basics on my own but decided to supplement my learning with actual conversations with locals. There are a surprising amount of resources available if you want to learn Danish. I attended three language cafes in total, one of which was very casual in nature with some friends from my run club! The one I really liked was held at Studenterhuset wherein there were different tables set up for different language speakers- from Chinese, Spanish, etc to even Danish and English. I ended up spending a lot of time on the Danish and the English table and even met some students from around the world who were studying in Copenhagen!
I also really enjoyed a hike through Amager Fælled which was led by local students who were the same age as us! On the hike, I made some new friends and even got the chance to interact with the local students! Everyone played a team game which involved being the first person to grab an object from the middle for your team. It was really fun to see people’s competitive sides come out and it was a good icebreaker. The hike helped me see how much nature there was even in a big city like Copenhagen. After the hike, we grabbed some food with the local students from the nearest grocery store!
Overall, I found Copenhagen to be a really cool city. My favorite spots were areas near water bodies like Islands Brygge and Amager Strandpark. I really enjoyed just listening to music or a podcast or even reading my book in the nice and sunny weather with the water in front of me! I also loved how quiet and peaceful some places were, where life seemed to slow down even though time sped up!