Definitely worth it

Ratings
Overall
10
Academics: 9
Support: 10
Fun: 10
Housing: 10
Safety: 10
Review

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/

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed
2014