Teamwork when abroad looks differently than what you might imagine. Teamwork may initially be recognizable to be understood in terms of assignments or school work. However, when abroad this looks more realistically. Teamwork is in everyday, you are constantly in situations where you must approach situations with a team or a partner and figure out a solution as a whole. Whether it’s planning a trip with friends to Italy or figuring out where to get dinner. I think in order to be comfortable with this shift you must be confident in your individuality. Copenhagen is a place that is very open to individualism but is kind of dependent on a certain amount of conformity when it comes to socialization or appearance. Due to this, it’s essential that you have a strong sense of who you are and feeling comfortable with showing who you are in different contexts. One thing that has really helped me is finding a group of people, friends, that really make me feel like I belong. No professor at DIS that I have experienced has made me feel like my individual self wasn’t welcome.
I think it is important to know how to work effectively with people in different contexts. You’ll be in situations where there is a social challenge, you may not be understood causing the person to grow frustrated which may result in you having to de-escalate the situation. Forming positive relationships those around you, resolving conflicts, and figuring out common goals are essential abroad skills you may not instinctively or initially recognize.
There is also teamwork within your own home every single day. If you live in a dorm or an apartment you may have roommates or suitemates that you need to work together with everyday regardless of whether or not you get along or agree with eachother. In this housing arrangements you get cleanliness and sustainability checks so it’s essential to work together and navigate uncomfortable and confrontational conversations in order to establish rules or routines around cleanliness and sustainability that allow you to achieve goals and the cleanliness checks.
In a homestay you are a team with the family you are with. I personally lived with a family who had a teenage girl. My sister is six and I’ve never experienced living with a teenager before so this was a very new experience for me, even more foreign than literally being in a foreign country. I had to learn how to speak up, establish my borundries, navigate difficult and confrontational conversations respectfully. I had to learn to feel comfortable bringing up problems to the parents and working as a team to figure out a solution. Trust that your comfort as a student in their home is prioritized and work together to form a solution that works for everyone.