Top 10 Ways to Document Your Semester Abroad

Kirsten and Linda, current DIS Student Bloggers, are dedicated to photographing the highlights of their time abroad. After three months of living in Copenhagen, they’ve adopted some useful tips and tricks to capturing the best moments of the semester. Read their advice below, and check out Kirsten’s blog and Linda’s blog to see more adventures!  

1. Bring your photography to new heights

During a field study with her Renewable Energy Systems course, Kirsten visited a wind farm on the coast of Copenhagen and snapped this view atop a turbine. If you have a camera bag or strap, bring it along when you know you are exploring somewhere with a view. Moments like these are breathtaking, and often hard to describe, but a picture is worth a thousand words!


2. Appreciate the surrounding architecture

Sketching is a great way to be reflective and present while standing in a place; bring your surroundings and travels home with you by keeping a journal throughout your semester. DIS Student Blogger Ellie sketched during her Week-Long Study Tour to Sweden and Finland – check out her post here.


3. Use candlelight as a hyggeligt filter

From cross-cultural conversations to sharing family meals and traditions, living in a Homestay has its perks. One thing is for sure in Denmark: if there is a group gathered around a table, there will be candles. The soft lighting creates a warm and cozy atmosphere, and captures the Danish concept of hygge of the moment. No filter needed.

Hygge lighting

4. Be your core course’s self-appointed photographer

More often than not, your classmates will love when you take their photos. Who doesn’t want a fun picture to send back home? Goofy group shots are essential to capturing the bonding and fun that happens while on Program Study Tours. During Kirsten’s Week-Long Study Tour to Iceland, even her faculty (far right) posed on the glacier! Brrrrrr.

Core Course photographer

5. Send snaps to friends and family

Snapchat is a great way to instantaneously share your experiences with friends and family. Collect geofilters, which change based on your geographical location, while you travel – then compile them into an album when you return!


6. Coffee Shop Close Ups

Scandinavians love their coffee, and this is evident when you see just how many coffee shops populate both Stockholm and Copenhagen. With darker days creeping in, curling up with a warm drink is the perfect antidote to winter blues. Remember that café you became a regular at by documenting the latte art and coziness of this favorite place – you’ll miss it more than you know when you get back!

Coffee shops

7. Get Street Art Savvy

A city’s street art can tell a lot about its creative culture and art scene. Diversify your photo albums by capturing graffiti or advertisements around the city. Sometimes a flyer for a concert or a bumper sticker can represent a culture even better than a monument!

Street art

8. Strap a Go-Pro on for action shots

If you are planning outdoor adventures throughout your semester, a Go-Pro is a great investment. With this action-ready device, no need to worry about getting your camera wet or dropping it while on a bicycle trip through Samsø. Plus, the fish-eye lens makes viewers will feel like they are right alongside your travels!

GoPro footage
Environmental Science of the Arctic student Nick Mehmel enjoyed snorkeling on the Iceland!

9. Find your natural side… beyond the city limits!

Venture beyond the city limits to see where Sweden and Denmark boast forests, beaches and parks, and spend an afternoon relaxing in nature and capturing the beauty of each season. Check out Anna’s beach pictures when she took one weekend with her Homestay hosts.

Nature in Scandinavia

10. Bring your camera to the classroom.

Were you stirred by a particular guest lecture or presentation in one of your courses? Bring your camera to class to capture the action shots of speakers, questions, and interesting dialogue that happens in class, as Millie did during her Core Course Week. Moments of learning in the classroom are just as memorable and meaningful to your study abroad experience!

Communication Class

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