DIS – Study Abroad in Scandinavia
94% Rating
(10 Reviews)

DIS – Study Abroad in Scandinavia

DIS is a non-profit study abroad institution with locations in Copenhagen and Stockholm, offering semester, academic year, and summer programs taught in English. Established in 1959, DIS offers students enrolled in North American universities engaging and challenging coursework enriched by faculty who teach what they do, field studies, hands-on learning opportunities, and study tours across Europe. Cultural engagement opportunities integrate students into the local culture and students gain academic knowledge and intercultural skills to prepare for a globalized world. DIS students are usually undergraduate juniors or seniors from highly selective North American universities.

Most Recent Program Reviews

Ian
Male
24 years old
Huntington Beach, CA
University of California- Berkeley

Definitely worth it

10/10

I studied with DIS in Spring of 2014.

Honestly, I didn't know what to expect. I was scrambling for study abroad choices the previous summer and by word of mouth I heard about this one. I applied because of its focus on environmental studies, and I am so glad I did.

While I was in Copenhagen, I stayed with a host family in Greve (suburb town SW of the city near Ishoj) and I commuted to the city every day via train and bike. I was intimidated by the thought of living with a host family, but DIS matched me well and my family and neighbors were very welcoming to me. I loved the whole living situation and, for someone who doesn't party much, it was perfect. Sure it may have been easier to have been in a kollegium near the city center, but I thoroughly enjoyed everything about my housing, including the commute.

For the semester I was enrolled in the Sustainability in Europe module with a core course of European Sustainable Development (that might have changed by now). What I liked most about DIS academics was that even though my classes weren't taught at Kobenhavns Universitet I was still taught by university professors. The topics were engaging, the professors' teaching methods were stimulating, and I was able to get a specific look into European environmental culture and management such as I hadn't been able to get at Berkeley.

Another reason I really enjoyed DIS was the field trips that were incorporated into the core courses (and some others). With my core course I was able to travel to Sweden and Germany, which I probably wouldn't have been able to do on my own just due to money. During the Easter break, I took part in "Czech Trek," where a group of us toured the "Bohemian Paradise" NE of Prague for a fun-filled couple of days. On my own time I traveled to Norway for half a week with friends from my classes and to Italy to see a relative.

Some advice:
Copenhagen really is a great diving board for the rest of Europe, if your main goal is traveling. Trains leaving from Copenhagen Central Station will take you just about anywhere in Europe. For air travel, RyanAir is your quintessential budget airline, but Norwegian is also a reliable airline and pretty cheap if you check far enough in advance.

I recognize I was pretty lucky to have some money set aside for doing outside travel like I did to Norway, Italy, and the DIS-sponsored Czech Trek. All three of these experiences were a big part of my overall enjoyment of the program, but I know it may have been a bit harder to explore more places if I didn't have the money. Some of my friends were going places like Amsterdam or Tallinn every weekend, but I couldn't do that cost.

The facilities of DIS are really nice, and I absolutely loved being in a city like Copenhagen to study.

If you're coming to Copenhagen for language study, fair warning on that. Most people in Copenhagen and Denmark know how to speak English, and they will gladly show you their skills even if you may want to converse in Danish. Since Danish doesn't have too many dialects (unlike English), it's much harder for them to understand your unperfected pronunciation of the words than it is for you to understand their pretty-good pronunciation of English. Also, when you sign up for a Danish class, DIS automatically places you in one of the basic Danish courses. Personally I'm good with languages, and I realized during the first class or so that it was going to be a slow semester with learning the language. I heard in passing there was a more advanced class generally only for year-long students. I pursued the matter, spoke with the teacher and DIS administration, and I was able to get into the course having no prior Danish experience. By doing that and practicing with my host family I was able to learn a lot more Danish than I would have done with the normal course.

I can't think of other stuff right now, but like everyone else I have tons of stories. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

If you want to read directly about some of my experiences, just check out this link and go back to Jan-May of 2014: http://celastrek.blogspot.com/

How can this program be improved?

I think it would have been nice to have had more social activities with my kommune. We had one in the beginning when we were just settling in, but aside from that there wasn't much. I remembered hearing stories from other kommunes about the get-togethers they had, and I tried to recreate that by visiting other students, but we did not have more officiated events. I recognize part of this is due to the kind of students who were in the kommunes, but perhaps there might be a way for DIS to make this more widespread. Perhaps they have already.

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Matthew
Male
26 years old
Pennsylvania
Bucknell University

Completely Absorbed in Denmark

10/10

It wasn't until 3 am on the night before the last day that I actually processed the past three weeks of my incredible Denmark and DIS experience. At that point in time, I was on a paddleboat in the middle of one of Copenhagen's beautiful man-made canals with 6 of my new best friends, coming back to reality from a state of flow. I realized how completely absorbed I had been in the past three weeks from dancing the nights away in the local bars, studying happiness and positive psych, taking a study-tour to Scotland, flipping a kayak in the North Sea and starting our own flash mob. It truly shattered expectations and sparked my interest for international education and travel.

How can this program be improved?

DIS covered all of their bases. One improvement I would make would be to create more of a cultural experience in connecting directly with the Danish. Having a host family for a couple nights, going to a weekly dinner or traveling with the Danish on the weekend would, I believe, enhance and outstanding program.

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John
Male
24 years old
United States
Johns Hopkins University

DIS

9/10

The Danish Institute for Study Abroad is a very well program. The staff are helpful, organized, the faculty kind and intelligent. Copenhagen is a wonderful city with beautiful people and an amazing infrastructure and fantastic style. I would do the program again in a heartbeat.

How can this program be improved?

There is a housing option in a town called Trekroner...it is too remote and located on a university campus that DIS students dont ever interact with, so its isolating. l would suggest this option be changed and a better alternative is offered.

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Kristin
Female
24 years old
Indiana
Other

GREAT experience at DIS!

10/10

DIS was an extremely organized study abroad program. DIS helped me figure out my classes, housing, cell phones, travels, etc. which made the experience stress free. It was also a great program with a variety of really interesting classes. I loved my core program (Positive Psychology) and getting to go on study tours with my class. I still keep in close contact with my host family, who I know will be my family away from home for a lifetime. They've already been to the US to visit me twice!

How can this program be improved?

I can't think of anything I would change about DIS! It was really well put together and I think there was a perfect amount of exploration/travel time and classroom time.

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Vishal
Male
24 years old
Lima, Peru
DePauw University

One of the best study abroad programs out there

10/10

Whether you want to study abroad for a change of atmosphere, to experience a different culture, to explore and travel around, or to make new friends DIS has it all. Copenhagen is an awesome city, easy to get used too with lots of different places to visit. Academics are a great component with short and long traveling courses where you get to know other places in Denmark or in Europe while visiting field-related business, organizations, and sometimes museums and other fun stuff. While most of DIS students are Americans, dont have this discourage you, it also provides options like Host Families and a Buddy program to get to know other danes. DIS also offers some sweet events like sightseeing or beer/winetasting where youll have a good time and socialize with other DISers. Either way, youll certainly befriend other danes in bars or clubs as the night scene is pretty sweet too. The only thing that sucked was the winter, cold and very dark but youll get used to it. But once spring comes around its a whole different atmosphere, its like the whole city wakes up from hibernation and are out and about in the streets. The staff are super friendly and will help you with anything you need, they really care about every ones wellbeing. I honestly felt really safe there. Loved it, definitely would go back if I win this review contest.

How can this program be improved?

I dont know, it was pretty much awesome.

Program Listings

Denmark

DIS – Study Abroad in Scandinavia
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Sweden

DIS – Study Abroad in Scandinavia
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