It is unreal to think I have made it to two weeks in Copenhagen. This is partly because I feel like time is going by so fast and so slowly. At times I feel like I have been in Denmark longer but at the same time question how it has only been two weeks. During the first week, my emotions were everywhere; I was nervous, excited, optimistic, pessimistic, and everywhere in between. Change can be daunting, I use journaling as an outlet to reflect and take time for myself.
I would advise others to do the same when faced with difficulties adjusting while abroad. Since then I have been more optimistic and cannot wait for the experiences that are to come. I have met many people, became accustomed to the new environment, and somewhat developed a routine.
Exploring the city has been a big part of my first few weeks. As I explored, I encountered many cultural differences that have left me stunned and led me to reflect on my upbringing in the US. Most notably, I was shocked about the immense safety in Denmark from walking at night, seeing children alone, and leaving babies unattended, just to name a few. All of this is unimaginable to me and is apparent when I catch myself looking over my shoulder and being vigilant of my surroundings as I do when in America. An opportunity I took advantage of to immerse myself more to Danish culture was the DIS visiting host family program. I was recently paired with a local who will meet with me throughout the semester. I will be able to explore Denmark, exchange cultures, and learn more from my visiting host that I may have not been exposed to otherwise.
Although I have only had classes for a short amount of time, I have learned a lot about Denmark, especially in my Danish & Language course. At the end of each class, we take a few minutes to talk about any new Danish experiences/encounters we have had since our last meeting. I am always so amused to hear and learn from my classmates and gain insight from my professor as to why these encounters may have occurred. Another course I enjoy is my Medical Biotechnology & Drug Development class. This course aligns with my career aspirations of becoming a medicinal chemist. We learn about the drug discovery/development process and why there is an increasing interest in Denmark. I hope to apply more of my interest in healthcare and drug development by finding opportunities in Copenhagen that I can get involved in.