This blog post will be a bit different in that I’m sharing some general thoughts on being abroad:
Upon first arrival I was quite shocked to discover that everything was in Danish. Before I had left I was told that the lingual transition in Denmark was one of the easiest. This of course led me to believe most things would be in English with a touch of Danish, but within the first 5 minutes I realized it was the other way around.
What I’ve come to discover they mean by “easy language transition” is that it’s not so much a plethora of English, but the transition from Danish to English is seamless. This became especially apart when I went to Brussels. In Belgium there were more occurrences in which people apologized for broken English or just straight up didn’t speak it.
Beyond language, the culture shock has been a bit milder than I had anticipated. Part of that might be the fact that the weather is pretty familiar here, but in general I’m surrounded by a lot of people that look like me and will communicate with me if I ask.
There is a considerable amount of smokers here, much more than in the States. I don’t think it’s nearly as much of a taboo here. Young and old alike, there is almost always someone outside common buildings.
Money wise it’s been a bit of a challenge to adjust to the Kroner. It usually requires some quick mental calculation, but even then I don’t feel confident that the price is what I think it is. I don’t really know how much I am spending until I see it on my credit card bill which is kind of a scary thought.
The living situation has been quite interesting. I live in a house that’s a 15 minute bike off of campus and for the first time in my college career I have my own room. Part of me regrets not choosing a dorm. This would have given me the ability to meet people the way my freshman year, but the way I see it though, my current house is closer to what life is going to look like once I’m out of college. Where you have to make plans and be intentional about seeing people as opposed to depending on the casual hallway run-ins. I’ve rationalized this as my “warm up” :).
Originally I had had this vision that I would find a job on campus or something while I was here, but I quickly realized no one is all that willing to hire an American who can’t speak Danish. I’ve also found plenty of other things to fill my time. The core group of those things being school, travel, faith-related activities, and Ultimate.
School: I’ve spoken a bit on my classes before, but I’m actually pretty excited about this semester. I do not plan to approach the school work as a “let’s just pass”, but that’s mainly because I’m actually interested in the subject content I’m learning.
Travel: I think my attitude on travel has already changed since I first got here. I felt this super pressing urgency to go everywhere and see everything while I’m here and I had all these grand plans to travel every weekend. What I’ve come to realize is that travel is actually kind of exhausting. It takes a lot of time to plan a trip, only if it’s just three days. I think I’ve decided that I’m going to enjoy my time here more if I take the time to slow down and appreciate what’s around me as opposed to cramming a new country into every weekend. My tentative plan for the rest of the semester is break week, Sweeden, break week, Latvia/Lithuania, break week, Budapest?, break week, Ireland/UK, Milan/Switzerland, 2 break weeks, Spain for spring break, then maybe one more trip, then Finals, then Germany and Italy with my parents.
Faith-Related Activities: One of my fears coming abroad was that I wasn’t going to have the tools to grow in my faith. Kinda funny though, because God is everywhere. I have been super blessed to have gotten connected to a Hillsong church in Copenhagen as well as a student group at DTU called KFS. A couple of the girls I met are also interested in starting a bible study, so I think that’s going to start up next week! Being abroad has given me the opportunity to asses my faith outside of the expectations that being a Christian in America has put on me.
Ultimate: Wow I am excited about this community. I did not think I would feel so excited about being apart of this sport again, but the fire is back baby! The team at DTU takes Ultimate seriously and wants to provide their students as many opportunities as possible to play. I’ll be attending another tournament this weekend, and next week, the girls team is going to make dinner together after practice. I’m so fired about about playing with these guys and girls and look forward to the season ahead :D.
Hopefully this post didn’t bore you too much, I’ll be sure to post more pictures this weekend! As always, God Bless Yall 🙂
PS: Late Valentine’s day shoutout to this cutie. He’s been really good at making sure we stay connected even on the other side of the world. We even had ourselves a cute little electronic date.