3 weeks left? end of semester crisis.

Sitting on my train, it just hit me that I have less than 3 weeks left of study abroad !?!. (I can’t figure out the punctuation to explain my feelings to this realization). It has thrown me into a bit of a crisis. Did I accomplish all that I wanted to? Did I see all that I needed to? What haven’t I done? Do I have enough time to do it? What about visiting other places in Europe? To address these worries, for you (and for me), I have compiled a list of my mid-to-late semester reflections. 

(You Can) Say No to Travel/Visitors Every Weekend

Constant travel is not for me. Constant visitors are also not for me. One trip/one visit knocks me out into my bed full of exhaustion for at least one, if not two whole days. Being a tourist is exhausting and overwhelming. You are constantly taking in new information about a place and becoming adjusted to a whole new city you have never seen before. Self-care! This is one thing I didn’t really grasp before studying abroad because it just seemed so exciting. Travel is exciting! But, you have a whole lifetime to travel, and possibly only one chance to live in Denmark. I lumped “visitors” in with travel on the weekends because entertaining guests is equally tiring. Many times, hosting visitors can feel like you have to be an expert in your city, and while this is flattering, it is important to take time for yourself and have some alone time. This is not to say that independent travel and hosting visitors is not fun! It is so much fun. Everything is a balance, though, and it is important to remember that. (The cover photo of this blog is of my host family with my family when they came to visit Copenhagen!)

Last weekend, I went to Bergen, Norway for personal travel. It was amazing, beautiful, and exciting. Now, I am completely exhausted.

If You Aren’t Constantly Doing Things, You are Still Having a Great Abroad Experience

It is easy to compare yourself to other people in the program. On social media people post about Tivoli, Reffen, hiking, going to museums, or doing all kinds of things that may make you feel insecure for not doing more. You really don’t need to do what everyone else (seems) to be doing. Social media, especially while abroad, is extremely performative. People want to make it look like they are having a great time. For some people, this is truly the case; for others, this may not be the truth. It is okay to stay home! Studying abroad is mentally tiring and you don’t need to constantly explore an area to fulfill your time in a new place! It is equally important to take time for yourself and read a good book or just sit in the sun and relax. You can drink tea and take part in hygge–you will still be experiencing Danish culture!

I met this horse on my class’ private tour of the royal stables.
My friend, Sadie, and I at the Opera House to see La Bohème. She is currently studying abroad in Paris.
This is inside the Christiansborg Palace Church on a class field study. We had a private viewing upstairs!

Go to Class

While it can be exciting while abroad to travel everywhere and tempting to skip class, the DIS professors curate some amazing programming that is probably one of the most unique pedagogical experiences you will have in life. I have visited castles, talked with a Countess, met with a former inmate, walked around Copenhagen and much more–all of which I was in class to attend! If you truly wish to travel so much, don’t schedule classes on Fridays or Mondays so that you can make it to all of your classes.

Get Involved in the Community

Because I am in a homestay, I have a bit of a different experience than those in a kollegium or a residential community. Nonetheless, one of my favorite things about being abroad is becoming immersed in a new community. I have gone to CrossFit with my host mom, visited my host sisters’ school dinners, attended Easter Lunch with their extended family, and met a bunch of their friends during various brunch parties. Some of my friends have had equally engaging and fulfilling experiences in the community through attending Absalon dinners, volunteering for a local cafe, working at an Urban Garden, or even signing up for events through DIS. Joining the Student Blogger Team has also been super rewarding for me, and I have loved all the events we have attended together.

Do Homework Early

There were/are about 2 times during the semester where I had/have a ton of work–midterms and finals. Looking back, I wish I completed some assignments early so that I may have had extra time to explore Copenhagen or travel or visit another part of Denmark. Procrastinating while abroad can definitely put a damper on some fun opportunities. This final season I am–attempting to do–all of my assignments early so that I am free to enjoy my remaining time in Denmark.

As always, let me know if you have any questions.

Xoxo,
Dani

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