It was my second week of studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, and I was suddenly pushing myself way out of my comfort zone. I left, uncomfortable and too sober to remain. But I wanted a beer.
My intense fixation of wanting a refreshing beer compelled me to look past the familiar structures of Nørreport Station while walking to the bus stop. Deciding twenty minutes was too long to wait in the cold, I continued down random streets until I spotted the glowing neon Tuborg sign that indicated a bar.
A haze of smoke knocked me back as I opened the door. I pushed forward. I wanted experiences, to live, to learn. An integral part of studying abroad is being able to experience the culture in a country other than your own. I was here to have those experiences, but I needed a little push -- out of the club, down the street, and through the door to the bar.
A sense of open-mindedness, adventure, and opportunity had gotten me this far, despite the sense that my study abroad program was severely lacking in chances to experience Danish culture. My classes consisted of students from the same program who were, for the most part, fellow Americans. It was similar to attending college back home, except with different people in a different country. Our interactions with the Danes were mostly limited to Tuesday nights when most people went out to that grungy club for a rare ‘interaction’ with fellow Danes who loved nightlife.
This Tuesday night, however, I couldn’t get myself to conform. The cage-swinging, shot-taking norm for my fellow students wasn’t going to cut it.