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One week.. on the tips of my toes!

On the very first day of orientation, I walked up the steps toward the Danish Academy of Music, coming to a halt. Taking an anxious-and-excited breath, I scanned my horizon – there stood a rogue wave of about 1200 DIS students standing in and around the building.

Looking upon it at a glance, I could have simply succumbed to a whirlwind of nerves, turning back while the train was still in the station. But no, the journey had been far, and I came to study in Copenhagen for reasons I couldn’t possibly turn my back on.

~

To embrace that feeling of the unknown, to walk into the deep water and come out with new ideas, changed perspectives, and growth – that was the challenge. So I hugged the feeling close – let it heat up inside of me and reveal itself. It flourished and pushed me toward the wave with the wind at my back.

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The Little Mermaid. Photo: Andrew Peacock

And now in reflection, it was each time I fully embraced that feeling when golden memories were made, and discoveries of friendship rang true.

In the first week of DIS, I explored with fellow students the amazing areas of Tivoli and The Little Mermaid, beautiful canals in unexpected places, and met people from all over the globe. Some came from Serbia, some Hawaii, and another from the exact high school I attended in little Missouri!

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Rosenborg Castle. Photo: Andrew Peacock

Each and every relationship I have come across thus far in Copenhagen has brought a new idea or perspective to the table, or has reminded me of the reason why I came here in the first place. I came to be challenged, to face difficulty, to learn how to keep my mind open and to try new things.

If I had forgotten that, I may have missed out on so many opportunities! Walking by Rosenborg Castle, we saw city guards perform a routine with their rifles, we strolled through lusciously green cemeteries with beautiful memorabilia, and were stunted by vibrant buildings lining the river of bikes across every patch of green.

Later on, some of us even got an inside scoop on the University of Copenhagen! A certain homestay mom who worked from within gave us a small tour of a hidden library deep inside…

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Hidden library in downtown Copenhagen…

There have been a few times since entering Denmark that this swelling, overwhelming feeling has floated to the surface. In many orientational activities, a new city and homestay, and a life that is so so different from before, it’s bound to happen. To embrace it and use its energy to propel me and explore the city with open arms, that’s the challenge. But that was also when I discovered the beauty of befriending fear.

~

And to end I just want to give a shout out to my host family’s amazing Labradoodle, named Doodle. Let her name bounce into the heavens, for while she is not allowed to be on the footstool, she has found an alternative!

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Thanksgiving, but Smørrebrød and Tunnbröd (I still can’t pronounce ’em)

Well, the past two weeks have been a jam-packed festival of family and friends and good food, and that means blogging has been a true struggle. But here we are!!

For the DIS-designated late November break, I had three days off, allowing the perfect amount of time for visitors, and right around Thanksgiving time. Utilizing it to perfection, my parents traveled all the way to Copenhagen, my first time seeing them in almost 6 months!

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I began their tour by dragging their jet-lagged bodies all over the city in search of substantial food, which turned into the Danish exquisite smørrebrød. Then we took a fine espresso shot and went on our way (At least with my father, as Mother Peacock crashed).

The next couple of days, I took them up the spiraling Church of Our Savior to view the cityscape, we went to copious Christmas markets, and visited my host family’s home. That following Friday, my girlfriend, Haley, and one of our closest friends, Dana, came and spent the weekend in the city with us.

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It’s hard to express how wonderous it felt to be surrounded with love by family and friends after so long!

That Friday night, we all had dinner with my host family at Vapiano, where everyone I love over here met everyone I love from over there – an exhilarating meal! My host brother, Julius, and my dad blew the fuse on historical conversations as my host mother, Kathrine, and Haley and Dana talked about love for Denmark, France, and also my screw-ups over the semester to which Kathrine called me, Idiot brain!, with a chuckle.

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We went from there into Christmas at Tivoli, a vast Christmas market full of Nisse (Danish gnomes), lights, bright trees, and beautiful waterscapes. We all shared in Irish coffee, Flødeboller, and good times.

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It was a wonderful weekend that ended so quickly, it seemed! Everyone went back by super early flights that following Monday, and classes began with full-throttle into finals. It’s tough to get back into it, but memories like these keep you pushing forward!

Exploring the Cold War Bunkers of Denmark

Think of your most cliche idea of a spy/Cold War fortress. Picture it in your mind. Now let’s take a trip with one of my courses, Enemy Within: Spies and Espionage in the Cold War, to two hidden bunkers from the Cold War era in Denmark. The first of which takes place on the southern coast, in Boesdal.

The open-air museum, Cold War Museum Stevnsfort, contains 1960’s aerial defenses, missiles, and a huge bunker in the middle of a farmers’ landscape, built into a cliff upon the sea.

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We walked through fields of WWII equipment. Tanks and Nazi defense cannons left barely scathed from the war have been transported here to contribute to the museum, and we even walked inside some of the larger defense bunkers. The area is not so secret anymore (National security is more based around servers and computer tech), so anyone can walk in a see the old surveillance site!

As we continued the tour, however, we came to the end at a large mound of grass just off the shoreline. Alright. Well, I thought, that’s an interestingly short tour for an hour drive all the way out there. But the tour guide rounded us toward the other side of the hill, and there appeared a door. The door opened downward, and my eyes widened as the possibilities were revealed to me.

 

Down below, we descended into a corridor that was built to house hundreds of secret officials or civilians in the case of a mass foreign attack. The corridor was cold, wet, moldy, but everything I would have suspected a secret governmental site to look like (from my experiences watching the Hoth bunker in Star Wars, various James Bond-inspired underground establishments, and Independence Day). There were corridors and halls branching off in various directions as if a tree trunk, all underneath the green fields we had just walked minutes before.

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Entering these branching corridors, we saw computers and Cold War technology: radar systems, radios, microphones and coding documents that would have taken a trained mind to interpret, and a less modern perspective than my own.

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The tech was used for tracking, coding, and defensive/offensive tactics, and there were always people living there. As we moved down the long hallway connecting each room, we entered upon the living the corridors, where the food was kept, and the ammunition.

This bunker now tells the lives of a few dozen people during the Cold War, and the severity of it all. It was a serious threat everywhere; in Denmark, the UK, Russia, the US, Baltic States, everywhere over Europe, with consequences in the farthest reaches of the world.

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Continuing toward the end of the long hallway, we came to a door. The door opened out unto Faxe Bay, the body of water lining Southern Denmark. It fully clung to the image of a cliche secret bunker base I’ve always grasped onto; a door in the base of a cliff, lots of coded documents that mean nothing to my eyes, and computers with radar systems neighboring each other everywhere.

All that this base needed was a pathway next to the door for cars to take an action-packed escape into the sea, instantly transforming midair into a boat. A bit extravagant. Fully awesome.

~

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My espionage class visited one more, less intense bunker hidden beneath the Carlsberg brewery, right inside Copenhagen. The brewery began in 1847 by JC Jacobsen, and was named after his son, Carl. As JC did not have much access to education as a child, he pressured Carl constantly through his life to be a great student and always do his work to the best of his ability. This pressure was put on to an extent to which they both got in multiple fights, and Carl began his own brewery, announced “New Carlsberg”, just down the road from JC’s own “New Carlsberg”.

It is unknown when or why exactly JC placed a secret bunker deep inside Old Carlsberg’s cellars, but it was, and the room was used thoroughly until the year of 2004 to strategize between government leaders and advisors, planning defenses/attacks.

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It is so strange to think that there are these bunkers just lying around Denmark. It makes one think just how many there may be in my own country, and across the world, in great breweries, or simply beneath a mound of random grass.

Whatever and wherever they are, it sure is fascinating to see these things in the present day – and place yourself in the shoes of those who lived day-in and day-out surveying the landscape for signs of the enemy or an imminent attack.

 

 

Tapas, Holy Water, and an Ancient Castle!

In the last week surrounding Halloween, travel week two arrived on the horizon! This gave me the opportunity to travel where ever I pleased. Soo with about nine days of free reign, I traveled to Barcelona, Spain, with my girlfriend, Haley, and then visited the small town where she’s living for the next year, Tarbes.

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I had never been to Barcelona before, and neither had I been to France, so this was a great opportunity to simply soak in what I could and explore. While there, we took the opportunity to see the big sights of Sagrada Familia, Arc de Triomf, Park Guella, and eat much tapas in the downtime. We also went to the Illusion Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Museu de la Xocolata (Museum of Chocolate). So many opportunities, so little time.

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Something I continue realizing I’d like to do more of when I travel is speaking to people. I find that my most memorable moments involve getting to know the people in a place and their story. I find that while it is great to see the sights, it is quite more appealing to physically speak to someone who has experienced or lived through perhaps, independent movements in Catalonia, or witnessed some of the truly most notable events in the place’s history.

 

I find that I would rather go to a place to not just see the people but meet the people.

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After about three days in Barcelona, we headed just a bit north to Tarbes, Haley’s town, a small but substantial one! She’s spending a year there as an English language assistant, so I got to see her workplace, home, and fellow language assistant friends while in town. As I am an avid cheese lover, and Haley is too, we had an incredible amount of it, so — tangent! I found another tasty cheese that can actually measure up to my all-time fav (which if you know me well, is Vermont Cabot White Cheddar), called Le Pigou Cendré from Sèvre Belle Laterie, it’s made with ash, just let that sink in a lil bit. It was wonderful to see a less touristy part of France, walk the parks, speak some broken French, and see many cool animals walking everywhere! There were peacocks surrounding one park, a cat just hanging on some construction material, and lots of pastoral animals hanging around farms. We also saw a cool ancient castle and drunk holy water.

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So on the topic of holy water, one day we took a train about twenty minutes south to the town of Lourdes, an avid pilgrimage site. It is said that a woman, Bernadette, witnessed the virgin Mary eighteen times in a grotto on the rim of the town, and was told to bathe and drink the water that flowed there. Since then, Bernadette has been proclaimed a saint and a church has been built upon the grotto. Now, many people, sick and healthy, travel here from all over the world to drink this holy water and see the site, which is said to have healing powers.

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Further on in that day, we visited the town’s castle, Château Fort de Lourdes, where there were spectacular panoramic views of the city from above. It functioned as a museum, specifying how rural life in France has changed in the region and illustrating the daily lives of royalty through the buildings and room designs back to the 11th and 12th centuries.

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I also stood in an ancient drawbridge, the smallest one I’ve seen in my life (like I’ve seen many drawbridges..), which was one of the coolest parts!

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Later on in the visit to Tarbes, and our last big event before I departed back to Copenhagen, was a big European beer festival smack dab in the middle of this little southern city. It provided beer from Switzerland, France, Germany, and some brewery named Fred’s Beer which sounds American but really was from Bayonne, France. It was wonderful to meet some of the other language assistants in Haley’s program, drink beer with them, and share good conversation. There was even some kind of beer coloring that could turn the beverage blue!!

In the end, it was a solid week, and thankfully DIS provides decent time for students to do some traveling so they can see new cities, and beloved friends and family!

On St. Petersburg, Russia: Countering Subconscious Perception

It was atop St. Isaac’s Cathedral, as I scanned the gilded cityscape that gleamed in the midday sun rays when I became officially stupefied that I was in Russia. The Admiralty Spire punctured the clouds of the heavens, the Peter and Paul Fortress stretched up over the Neva with ease, and the Summer Gardens glimmered elegantly as the Palace Square and Hermitage glowed greatly in the distance. The city horizon was shining in splendor, and the people were too.

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St. Petersburg Cityscape

I realized at that moment how wrong it all had been, the perceptions and stereotypes of this land and society so far from my home – those that I had taken from home. It was all simply perceived and dug deeply into my ideas and beliefs about this country, this 1/6 of the world’s landmass. But this city, country, and land is complex, just as the world is, and the people in it whom I was fortunate to meet were artistic, they were creative, fun, excitable, and had some of the most interesting stories to share.

 

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The Bronze Horseman Statue

Upon arrival in St. Petersburg with my DIS core course, A Sense of Place in European Literature, we went right into studying the great Russian writers: Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anna Akhmatova, Joseph Brodsky, Alexnder Pushkin, and many others. We were only there for a week, so we walked Nevsky Prospekt, explored the homes and texts of poets, literary critics, and scholars during the imperialist, revolutionary, communist and post-communist eras, visited with local Russian students, and explored as much as we could of the city with the small amount of time we had.

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The Russian students, our program introduced us to, were about our age, and they opened their home up to us. We shared pizza, wine, and conversation as we went deeply into ideas on the false logic behind these stereotypes, on the differences between America and Russia, and even our favorite types of music! 

We listened as two students, Maria and Natasya, showed us some of their favorite hip-hop. Maria is a photographer and artist, so Natasya modeled as Maria photographed, and later Maria displayed some of her original artwork for us to see. At a seminar in the later days of the week, we met with another group of Russian scholars as they taught us about using language in a more poetic, artistic way than we (or at least I) had ever imagined. We IMG_7899talked after the seminar with the scholars about American and Russian discrepancies in educational systems, and they, in fact, knew quite a lot about America. We couldn’t say the same about Russia. Our schools never approached the subject.

The mere idea of going to Russia was such an aspiration for me, once I knew it was possible. I wanted to see this land I had heard so much about in cinematic struggles between America and Russia. But in reflecting, I can’t say I took from this experience what I thought I was going to take. Was I expecting the exact Russia I’ve seen in Rocky IV or in 20th-century documentaries – with brute men speaking in thick, intimidating accents while drinking vodka? Well, it’s yet another situation in which I realized – I didn’t check myself. My stereotypes of people, my preconceived notions of who people from other regions are supposed to be, were not checked, and without any word of dialogue beforehand, I already had these preconceived notions. This inward dispute did not bring up a conflict of any sort, gladly. Once I realized this was the case, though, that these ingrained ideas were still ingrained, I had to dig them out.

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That is the biggest takeaway I have on returning from Russia; that even in the most heavily stereotyped places, everyone is human, going through life just like I am, and can offer some incredible connection if both give it the chance. I thought I had conquered the false perceptions in my head, but I continue to realize that it takes a constant effort to correct myself and that I should always be on the watch for them when they do.

 

The Street Salesman

It was a completely and unequivocally normal day in Copenhagen. The streets were in bloom, people scurrying along them like blood through veins; they were gladly embroidered with their newest winter apparel, fluffy-interior jean jackets, thick leggings, and scarves surrounding them as blankets. A brisk wind pushed the hanging shop billboards every time they reached a standstill and I walked happily away from my last class of the week toward the nearest coffee shop to do some carefree reading.

On route, I was stopped by a street worker who was attempting to find members for his tourist-industry employer. Usually, I would walk on, lending them a parted smile with a shake of the head, but he asked me an unexpected question, grabbing my attention in the act.

“Hey man, what brings you here?”

So simple, yet so much more than the regular mechanical dialogue between street salesman and random passerby.

Glancing down, I took second notice of the membership cards hanging around his neck and remained convinced that he was reeling me in to eventually ask for a sum of money. I took a breath slightly unsteadily.

“I’m uh, studying English.” My eyes matched his, and he looked plainly happy.

The man, I guessed in his twenties, had dark skin like molasses, wore a fog-grey jacket, khaki pants, and a roughly knit scarf of sky-blue complexion. His palms went to his temples and eyes flew wide open.

“Wow… Do you know how many biology…neuroscience…or physics students I meet every day? Oh my goodness!!”

In his humorous hysteria, I let out a hefty chuckle and slowly gave him my undivided attention, letting go of any concern of his possible intentions for my money. We talked about literature, why it’s much more satisfying than the sciences, and shared our love for words.

Then he went into himself a bit more, “Ya know, I’m out here each day, and many times will not get members at all. Sometimes I just want to connect with somebody!” I was slightly taken aback. There aren’t many people who would go out of their way in a job like this to simply connect with a stranger.

It was a short interaction, but just as I started to go on my way, he yelled back.

“Just remember how this man made you smile today!”

Walking away, I couldn’t help but feel my mouth curve into a smile. Brilliant, I thought, I would love to have more of a heart for that. I may just give people I know and don’t know a bit more of a smile each day.

A Sense of Place in Fanø

In Fanø, time is distorted and place becomes communal.

I took a step forward into the sea, expecting to be immediately consumed by a mud trap, to drop below the cover of the earth into the unknown. But I stuck to the surface – firmly. The carefree water flowed around my ankles with ease. Just inch-high waves brushed into me, and I walked upon them like a giant. Hundreds of meters out and nothing changed, the waves remained their minimal size, and I walked with no obstacles.

Natives of Fanø say that when the clouds descend and the shore is covered, one can become eternally lost on this endless shore, white in all directions, endlessly roaming. It was quite believable. At one point I looked back to the shore only to see slim lines of people, doing exactly as I was, but earlier in their journey, and it was clear as day. 

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This island in Southwest Denmark was the destination of the short study tour for my course, A Sense of Place in European Literature. We went to experience the intricately weaved history and culture of this island as a complex and quite undefinable place, though we tried. It was a special, historical, local, subjective place to each individual who lives and has lived there.

Thatched roofs, luscious greenery, touches of war bunkers, and smiles characterize the town of Sønderho, where we stayed. In addition to glimpsing local artwork based on the main occupation of fishing and boating in the area, we followed poems and texts that spoke of particular streets, buildings in the area and discussed them, we tried our feet at dancing a traditional Fanø folk dance, and we listened to live performances of traditional folk music (the last surviving community in Denmark to do so) in a local pub later one evening.

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There are very few places where I’ve experienced an essence of locality such as in Fanø. Its very alive folk tradition, literary scholarship, and simply bright outlook on life has functioned as a calm reminder of the most valuable and fundamental aspects of life to me.

Sharing traditions with others is a privilege; tradition can mold strangers into family. By putting effort into learning one’s culture, with an open mind, you present a means to connect with them on a familial level that is unrivaled in other contexts. If you can understand their place, it’s easier to understand them, too.

Not just as an individual, but as a person.

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Travel Writing: Connecting Strangers, The Streets of Copenhagen

For my travel writing class, we were tasked with connecting with someone whom we’ve never met, preferably native to Copenhagen. I scoured the streets, observed, and conversed with many people from various backgrounds. But one man, Kaj, I had a particularly humbling conversation with. See my writing on it below.

 

That Longed-for Beauty

“On the start of my work at the psychiatric hospital, I always knew to be cautious, but never did I expect to become partially paralyzed.”

Leaves spiraled among gusts of wind at the man’s feet. A narrow pathway of the park opened into dogwood and maple, with a bridge extending across a creek bed, and a bench on which Kaj sat, looking out at the families and lunch-breakers on the bright September day. With bluish eyes and a silver bun, he sat pensively as his crutches leaning stiffly against the wooden armrest. On approaching, I observed him cautiously tugging at the brace poised around his neck.

After an introduction, explaining my purpose of connecting with people throughout the city, he conversed about his life asea and in Copenhagen. The breeze blew indefinitely as it funneled through our narrow crevice in the greenery, and he gave me, a fellow stranger of the park, a sliver of his life.

“I went to America in my early twenties, working as a steward upon a freight vessel in the Merchant Navy”, he explained, “I used it as a way to travel around, to see the world. It’s important to do as a young man.” He spoke of times in New York, Boston, Florida, and much of North America’s east coast. As he approached his late twenties, however, he decided that his real life was in Copenhagen, deciding to come home in the early 1970’s.

His eyes held a steady glow as he described the city, asking me to take out a map. Pointing to it, he traced with a pen around the city, “If you look here, you can see where the old town used to be shut away from the rest of the area.” Holding the map away from the wind, I observed the city center, where copious streets all interweaved to form no cohesive pattern, like a strange bundle of machinery. Then tracing outward, the streets became more parallel, organized.

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“If you look closely, you can trace a ring around the old town by following all of the parks.” I followed the pen marks in a ring around the city, where the serene parks have replaced the areas where the wall once stood.  “It is a great difference from what it was before. The wall’s tearing down and reformation into green spaces remind me of the brightness I can find anywhere, even where divides may be, and in a city that I’ve spent my life getting to know. Even if I think I’ve seen all of its beauty, the parks continue to brighten my days. No matter the injury I’ve withheld.”

The idea held my focus for a good while. I looked around at the waving trees, the blue sky, and the canals flowing with elegance. It all seemed to be giving me a kind reassurance and reminder of the beauty in life.

Sitting beside him, I asked him if he would be willing to talk about how he came across his injury. He extended a breath in, looking up toward the blue sky, then down, ruffling his navy vest jacket and placing his elbows on his knees in front, a few fingers hanging limply.

“I had been working at a psychiatric hospital for the past fifteen years, working as a maintenance director. And you know patients at places like these, they’re often unpredictable.” Pausing, he lifted a limp hand up to rub his pocked nose and grazed his scraggly beard.

“Well, one day, I was just moving a few things from one room to the next as part of my job. Then, a patient went berserk and threw a table at me from behind. The table struck me right on the back of my neck, and before I even knew what was happening, I was slightly paralyzed.”  

He looked down at his fingers, where a few dangled senseless in the air, and his feet, where one was a little bit off on the side of his foot, the right unequal with his left. “There’s not much one can do about something like this. So I come here every day to remember the times when I could do what everyone else can.”

Host Family to the Waves

The water splashed all around me as I held on with utmost strength. I swerved, bumped and bounced waves, but could not for the life of me get a grip on the kneeboard.

In one brisk motion, I pulled myself up with the handle so my back stood straight and hips were free to steer. My knees fit right into the slots provided, and my position held firm as I..

*SWIPLASH*

Gushes of salt water filled my nose and lungs as I released grip on the rope and flopped underwater like a pancake. Taking a moment, I was sure to let my spirit reenter my body before moving again.

Contrary to what one might think, once I took a fresh breath I shot my fist into the air in pride at my ten-second venture upon the kneeboard! Every. Single. Time. Before that was simply the water punishing me for even attempting to make it an ally. Luckily I could not be shot down that easily. In six attempts, I finally made it (semi…partially) onto the kneeboard, and that was a success in my eye.

 

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I love water onesies 

~

Last weekend, I spent all of Saturday with my host family, venturing an hour northwest of Copenhagen to the town, Kirke Hyllinge. Upon arrival, I met eight Danish families (friends from my host mother’s workplace) to share coffee, tea, good food and company. Later on, we went out to kneeboard and wakeboard with the speedboat.

Now I was told beforehand that I would have the chance to partake in the sporting activities, but never would I have guessed I’d be fitting myself into a wetsuit as well.. And what a feeling that was! It was like wearing a onesie, but every inch was suctioned to your skin. Oh, and water doesn’t get through as easily.

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‘Don’t let me drop my dinner!!’

After my wrestle with the waves, we returned to land and shared a large Spanish meal, Paella, with everyone surrounding two large tables.

Paella distinguishes itself as a rice dish including fish, snails, sausage, many types of seafood and spices such as saffron. But what is really fun about it is that the cook makes sure to burn the bottom of the rice, so it appears stuck to the pan! Though, my host mother didn’t fancy the mere prospect of her food being dropped…

After dinner, we mostly talked, watched the sunset, and sat by the campfire. Connecting and conversing with everyone and trying all of these new things made it quite the blessed day. I listened to their perspectives on politics, ideas of going out in the water in the dead of winter, and questions on why I came to Denmark to study English anyway (studying it is no problem, they all speak it so well!).

In reflection, it’s experiences like these that remind me why I decided to go abroad back in January. A special thanks to my host family for the great memories, and a skål to the many more I anticipate in the future!

 

 

 

Denmark, here I come.

In the midst of recording an a cappella rehearsal, I received the email. Immediately, lightning bugs flew to my stomach and adrenaline pumped through my veins. I thought to myself in disbelief:

I am going to spend the entire Fall semester in Copenhagen…

Studying abroad seemed like quite the distant dream – even after finding out it would be a reality. After my whole life, twenty years, in my home country, the United States (disregarding three days in Canada), these across-the-sea lands I had learned so much about were finally within reach.

The idea of studying out-of-country was originally brought up to me by a handful of friends who had gone to a variety of study abroad programs. I heard marvels about living in Edinburgh, UK, in Nepal, India, and in New Zealand. These all sounded wondrous – but there was a common spark in the eyes of those friends who enrolled in DIS Copenhagen that I could not see in the others.

These friends went ecstatic every time the topic of DIS arose. Their eyes glowed up, their faces went aflame, and hands went around in a flurry; and while their excitement rung brilliantly, mine followed close behind in anticipation.

I am writing now on my aunt and uncle’s couch in Östersund, Northern Sweden. The aroma of Blueberry soup (yes, blueberry!) floats in from the kitchen. My travel bags are not yet up to par, packing-wise (but they will be!). Excitement envelopes me as the start of my schooling in Copenhagen draws closer.

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Now, I have also had the chance to spend the last summer as an Editorial Intern for The Local in Stockholm, granting me the experience of two abroad trips back-to-back. It is sort of like I’m beginning again – from one program to the next.

In DIS, placing the fascinating course list, thrilling travel opportunities, special option for homestay or community housing, and many other stellar options aside, I greatly anticipate being able to compare two cities that are so close and yet far in character and in culture. I expect to notice differences in cultures I’ve grown to know with those I experience anew, and I think my reflections based on them will tell me much about myself and my role as an international citizen.

IMG_2514Excitement continues to build up around meeting with my host family, studying in a setting I have never known, and traveling to areas of unique significance.

While the thrown-up dust of going overseas may have settled by this point, it thrills me immensely that the journey still goes on, and the semester has yet to begin. There is so much to learn from my classes, host family, and Denmark that I have yet to unveil.

So now, I await beginning a new adventure…