Villanova: Study Abroad at Danish Institute for Study Abroad
85% Rating
(4 Reviews)

Villanova: Study Abroad at Danish Institute for Study Abroad

At DIS, each student has the opportunity to choose a specific study program, corresponding to their individual interests. The study program includes a required course and two study tours over the course of the semester. The short study tour takes place in Denmark, and during the long study tour students travel to another European country. In addition, students have the opportunity to participate in many optional study tours, which take place in cities all over Europe.

Possible DIS Programs
- Biomedicine
- Child Diversity and Development
- Communication and Media
- European Humanities
- European Politics
- Global Economics
- International Business
- Justice and Human Rights
- Medical Practice and Policy
- Migration and Conflict
- Psychology
- Public Health
- Sustainability in Europe

Locations
Europe » Denmark » Copenhagen
Europe » Denmark
Degree Level
Bachelors
Bachelors
Bachelors
Timeframe
Fall
Spring
Accommodation
Apartment
Host Family
Hostel
Language
English
Steps
Online Application
Official Transcripts
Starting Price
$0.00
Currency
USD
Other Locations
Copenhagen

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Academics
    80%
  • Support
    90%
  • Fun
    70%
  • Housing
    80%
  • Safety
    98%

Program Reviews (4)

Default avatar
DIS_PHB
Female
24 years old
Villanova, PA
Villanova University

DIS Experience

8/10

I was in the Public Health program at DIS in Spring 2012. Overall, I thought that DIS is a great program for someone who is looking for a ton of guidance and hand-holding. It was easy to get acclimated with the city and the "campus" (which is really just three buildings in the city). They are well-organized and really know what they are doing. They try to provide students with many opportunities to meet other students and Danes as well as options to participate in cultural events, such as visiting historical castles.

In terms of academics, I really learned a lot from my public health classes -- this is probably true because my home university does not offer them. I know that other students in the program who actually are public health majors said that the information was repetitive, but it was interesting to view it from a welfare state system. My favorite parts of the program were the study tours. I really got a chance to bond with my class (about 18 students) while visiting other countries (e.g. Latvia, Finland, Western Denmark).

Housing - I stayed in an International Kollegium with the intention of meeting other international students, but it turns out that this Kollegium was mostly graduate students who were pretty uninterested in meeting undergraduate students. I was also randomly paired with a roommate - which is always just a hit of miss. The room itself is studio setup, with our own kitchenette and bathroom. They gave us a food stipend card, which surprisingly lasted throughout the semester (so long as you don't use the card to buy alcohol).

Transportation in DK is really nice and easy. Everyone also speaks English -- and everyone will say that Danes are cold and keep to themselves, but that is a vast generalization and mostly not true -- unless you are in an obnoxious group. There is an open bottle policy so you will see many people drinking throughout the day, but they don't get outrageously drunk.

Some Cons: The academic work load is actually pretty hefty compared to some other study aboard programs. The weather in Denmark is only nice in the Summer (which begins in June). The cost of living is extremely expensive.

Default avatar
sthomas12
Female
24 years old
Villanova, PA
Villanova University

Jeg elsker DIS! (I love DIS)

9/10

Choosing DIS was probably one of the best decisions I've ever made. The program has been around for over 50 years and during that time they have definitely figured out how to iron out all of the small details to make all 900 students' experiences good ones. While I was listening to my friends in other countries panic about finding an apartment and dealing with setting up wifi in new places and struggling to get around, I was comfortably sitting in my new kollegium where everything, from transportation passes to lists of places with student discounts was provided for me.
Because there are so many Americans in the program, it is usually easy to make friends, especially if you participate in their excursions to places like Hamlet's Castle early in the program (sign up for them early! they fill up fast!) and in classes. It is also possible to take classes at Copenhagen University, where you can also make Danish and other international friends. People especially make close friends in their core classes, because of the 2 trips that are taken with the class.
Overall, DIS provides an excellent balance of making sure everything is very planned and organized without making you feel over-programmed or like you are not deciding on your own what you want to do. They provide many options for planned things (trips during the 2 week break, long weekend excursions, wine tastings, trips to IKEA) but if you are a person who'd rather be more independent then it's easy to find your own things to do as well without going through DIS.
Copenhagen as a city was also extremely welcoming. I always felt safe, even when I was taking the 3am night bus back to my kollegium from the bars downtown. It is an easy city to get around, especially because DIS gives everyone a transportation pass. There are lots of neighborhoods to explore and the city has a lot of interesting history. You can also rent/buy a bike to join the millions of Danes who bike around their city daily. (I highly recommend this! So much fun!) People have a reputation for seeming cold and distanced on the street (Danes generally don't make eye contact or small talk on the street/bus etc) but if you directly approach someone when you need help or directions most people are sweet and helpful. Learning and noting cultural differences was so interesting, and there are many aspects of Danish culture, like prioritizing family relationships, biking, and hygge, that I have brought back into my life in the US.
Some drawbacks that people mentioned when I was there: sometimes people are placed in housing that is a long-ish commute from classes which can be a pain when trying to hang out with friends later. The language is also kind of difficult to learn, but basically all Danes speak English, which is a pro and a con, because I found it hard to try to practice my Danish in restaurants etc because people would rather just speak English than listening to you try Danish, and Copenhagen is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Going into it, I was extremely worried about money and getting used to seeing prices in dkk was very difficult. $1-about 5dkk, so every single price you see is enormous. But, I just got really used to cooking my own food and figuring out who has lunch specials and DIS student discounts. It is definitely possible to manage in Copenhagen without draining your bank account, but it is a challenge.
Overall, I absolutely loved my time in Copenhagen and I would do it again in a heartbeat if I had the chance.

Default avatar
Taylor
Female
24 years old
Villanova, Pennsylvania
Villanova University

Where even is Denmark?

9/10

Coming into the preparations for study abroad I would have never thought I would have ended up in Denmark. Most people were very confused when I told them that is where I chose to study. When asked why, it was always because of the amazing and specific program I found there, Child Diversity and Development, that fit my desire to work in pediatric occupational therapy so well. Each Thursday we would work as teachers aids in a typical Danish classroom or after school program. It was such an enjoyable experience and a great way to learn about the Danish school system and disability policies. I learned even more about the American system as well because of all the discussion and critical thinking we did in comparing the two.

I really liked the discussion based approach that most of the classes took, and overall was very pleased with what I learned and the work load given. My teachers were very interesting and helpful. Most are professionals in the field they are teaching and had a lot of great insight. I felt that I was actually learning things but had enough freedom that I had time to explore Copenhagen and many other countries as well. With your core class you take a short and long study trip both which are planned extremely well and are really engaging and informative. Also the additional trips DIS offers during breaks are incredible and really well priced.

Copenhagen is a very clean and safe city. I loved exploring and finding some cute cafes, enjoying a danish and coffee, or bouncing on the trampolines on the canal (highly recommended)! You definitely feel the sense of 'hygge' that is so part of Danish culture. The weather was very cold and the city was quite pricey sometimes but overall I completely loved my study abroad experience and wouldn't change anything about it.

Default avatar
Carl
Male
24 years old
Villanova, Pennsylvania
Villanova University

Positives and Negatives of DIS and studying abroad in Denmark

8/10

A few of the highlights include some really interesting and insightful professors and classes, field studies which take you to places around Copenhagen you would never normally get to see (such as a debate in Parliament, the ballet or the former working class district of the city) and the long study tours, which give you and your classmates the chance to spend a week in an awesome European city or cities to see the sights and at the same time learning about your class' topic (my international law class went to Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina and had an unforgettable experience meeting local people including members of the EU,NATO, professors, leaders of the local religious communities and survivors of the war, which would have never been able to do otherwise).

DIS is there for you to use as much as you'd like - you can get their help everyday or never once talk to them, up to you.

Housing can vary, I talked to people who had good and bad experiences with host families, in kollegiums and in DIS housing so it all depends. My home stay was excellent, and although it limited me socially (especially for going out on weekend nights) since I lived so far outside of the city, their good cooking, the great dinner conversations, insight into the culture and having a family and a house to come home to every night was the highlight of my time in Denmark.

Some negatives: Denmark is one of the most expensive countries in Europe. I'm talking $8-$10 a beer expensive. You will spend less with a host family since they provide most of your food, if money's a big concern, I'd be hesitant to spend a whole semester here. Also, Copenhagen is an expensive and limited place to fly into and out of, and since DIS's off-day is on Wednesday and you therefore have classes on Friday, the policy is to discourage weekend traveling. So if you were planning to visit a different country every weekend, I'd look at other bigger travel hubs (like Milan). Also, DIS is comprised of 800 students, and I've heard they are planning to accept even more students next semester, and I definitely felt overwhelmed by the number of fellow American students. It takes away from a more personal experience meeting people and in classes, and it also made it very easy to get comfortable with American students and friends rather than venturing out on your own, meeting Danes, immersing yourself in the culture and becoming more independent and self-reliant.

Overall, the home stay, the long study tour to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the profs, field studies and classes all outweighed the negatives and made this a great semester for me and showed that DIS is a really great program if you navigate it the right way.

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The Office of International Studies works with students to help them find the program and location best suited to their academic interests and level of preparation for overseas living. While there is no set list of "approved programs", your study abroad advisor will work with

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