Alumni Spotlight: Taylor Rose

Taylor Rose attended the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in Copenhagen Denmark for the Spring Semester of 2012. She is originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania and studies Biology at Villanova University. She was 20 years old upon entering the program in Denmark and was a Junior in college. She enjoys yoga, cooking, and doing service trips and retreats with Villanova’s Campus Ministry.

Highlights: My favorite part of the DIS program is the dedication of the teachers to our experience and learning. Each of your teachers plans two field studies where they will plan a speaker or outing relevant to what the class is learning. Through these field studies I had a private tour of Amalienborg Palace and also saw places like a school for children with autism or a “sensory house” for people with special needs. Also with your core program you take study trips. I was able to go to cities in Western Denmark, Estonia, and Sweden with my 30 person class where we heard from numerous speakers from our field.

Little Mermaid statue in Denmark

Overall my favorite part of the whole experience was the chance to see completely new cultures. The teachers and the program realized the importance of allowing the time to experience the new setting around us. The work we were given enhanced this experience and we were also given plenty of time to explore on our own. I took the time to not only thoroughly explore Denmark but also 11 or the surrounding countries. Three of these outside countries I saw during very well organized trips through the school. I feel like I really made the most of my time overseas and learned so much about myself and others.

Morning: Every day my classes started at 10:05. I would wake up around 8:00 so I could do some last minute class work, send some emails back to home, and spend some time with my roommate, another student from DIS. We would make breakfast in the kitchenette in our room and pack our bags for the day. Almost everyone in Copenhagen brings a lunch to work or school because of high prices, so we would prepare the common open-faced sandwiches, smørrebrød, with some fruit and crackers to feel like a real Dane. We would set out around 9:30, most times on bike sometimes by train, to head into the city center for class. It was about a 25 minute ride by any kind of transportation.

Afternoon: All my classes were back-to-back so once I got to DIS I would be there for the day. I usually brought a packed lunch and would eat between classes or even in class. Most days I was done in the early afternoon and would hang out for a bit longer in DIS lounges with friends, talking, snacking, trying to do some work. Sometimes if a group of my friends and I had a free night, we would go shopping on Strøget, walk to one of the palaces or museums, or ride my bike to a nearby park. DIS is right in the center of Copenhagen and there were so many interesting historical places to visit and things to see. The city had tons of organized events that the school would inform us about as well. I got to see things like the championship handball team in city hall square, the queen’s birthday celebration, and many festivals.

Taylor and her friends enjoying the views of Denmark

Evening: Once or twice a week I took a yoga class at night. Every Thursday, a group of my friends would have a dinner club, either going out to dinner or making something together. Most other nights would be spent with my friends where they were living or just at “home” with my roommate sitting together to talk and work. Some special nights I was invited to a friend’s host family’s house for dinner, or to an event with DIS. I joined a Buddy Network through DIS which brought together a group of American and Danish students. We planned events like watching a soccer game, a ballet, or having a dinner party. I spent many nights with these new friends as well.