My program, DIS Copenhagen, has a few main housing options: Kollegium, Residential Community, and Homestay. In a Kollegium, students live alongside both Danish and other international students, Residential Communities consist of only other DIS students, and a homestay involves living with a Danish family. When considering some of my goals for my study abroad experience: I wanted to learn more about the culture and language, be more independent, and work on creative projects. In a homestay, I knew I would definitely be culturally immersed and have my own room, which is important to me. Since I thought it was a good fit I went ahead and filled out the housing form to place me with a family. It is crucial to be incredibly detailed about yourself, your habits, and what kind of family you are expecting to stay with. I definitely lacked detail and my first homestay wasn’t a perfect fit. I ended up meeting with the DIS housing team and got placed into a new home (I will have another blog post about this).
My current host family consists of a mom, dad, two middle-school-aged daughters, a brother who is also in college, and the sweetest dog. I have gotten really close with all of them. We have dinner together every night (unless I am going out for dinner, which is perfectly fine with them) and brunch every Sunday. We often play card/board games together and as it gets warmer we can spend more time in their beautiful backyard that has a garden, fish ponds, a trampoline. I also have complete autonomy in their house and am treated as a young adult, which I know many prospective students fear that they may lose freedom if they choose a homestay, but I haven’t found that to be the case at all. I feel completely welcomed into their family and have loved spending time with them.
I live in a suburb of Copenhagen that is roughly 30 minutes away from DIS by public transit. I am able to take the S-train into the city and use any of the modes of public transit in my allotted zones with my commuter card. It’s a very easy route and I love being able to explore both the suburban and urban sides of Denmark.
I am so grateful for my experience with my host family. I have been able to learn about Danish culture, be independent, and share my love of arts and crafts with them. I am going to miss them when I leave, but I will definitely keep in contact with them. A homestay is a really special opportunity that is seldom offered later in life so I encourage anyone to try it out.