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Hej Hej København

I am sitting in the Copenhagen airport as I write this last blog of the semester, reading the boarding gate signs that brought me back to my very first day in Kastrup airport, when I felt like a bird spreading wings and taking flight again after a long rest. And four months later, here I am, taking flight again.

Yesterday I messaged my best friend at home in Beijing that these past few months kind of feel like a dream, which is also the first word that springs to my mind when I’m trying to sum up this semester abroad. One reason might be that it passed by even faster than what former DIS students and student bloggers described, rushing by in what feels like a blur of colors. But when I think back to the small details of the semester, I found my feet back firmly on the ground again, because many of them are so warm and vivid in my mind, it’s like I could reach out my hand and hold them like a little jar with a candle in it (which is also one of the hygge elements I’ve seen around Copenhagen).

Even though studying in the US is already studying abroad for me, the semester here in Copenhagen still feels vastly different from my experience at my home college (for one thing – we are no longer on a campus!). This was a semester that made me feel like an adult, as I struggled with things other than schoolwork and social relationships, and where I lived outside of my “ivory tower”.

Now that the semester has officially ended, here are a few things that I feel I have learned:

  1. When things feel hard, not continuing blaming self – taking accountability is important, but continually beating myself up for things that were outside of my control only led me to feel more negative. Instead, directing my energy to writing down things I can change and crossing them down one at a time.
  2. Ask for help when I feel I need it – whether that’s to DIS staff or faculty members, or friends and family. It could be hard to take everything in by myself sometimes, but there are so many lovely people out there enthusiastic to help solve out problems together.
  3. Seize the opportunities and not sit and wait – life is so precious, especially when time abroad really can be so short.
  4. Hold on to my personal belongings and not take chances (learned it the hard way 😉 )
  5. Be bolder at expressing myself.

Since a flood of tears might hit me, I will not write down a full list of what I will miss from my semester in Copenhagen. But if you are ever there, here are some of the things I recommend doing:

  • Walking randomly around in Copenhagen – one of the wonderful things about Copenhagen is that the city feels so safe that even at night (and it gets dark fast in winter time) I am completely at my ease walking around the city. As my friend Claire said, sometimes there’s no better way to see a new place than walking around it randomly, because we might be able to find some nice surprises
  • Going to Tivoli (especially during Christmas season)!!
  • Take the train/bus and daydream while taking in the pretty views of Copenhagen
  • Look out for fun DIS activities on the “DIS Navigate” app – there are usually several events every week, and I’ve had some of the best times by joining!
  • If you are a foodie, ask the DIS faculty and staff members or local friends and homestay you know for food recommendation, they usually always know where the good stuff is!

Here are also some practical stuff I’ve learned:

  • If you have a commuter card, check the DSB app on your phone before traveling somewhere in Copenhagen to make sure your card covers it. If not, you might need to buy a single ticket (for example, I didn’t realized that I needed to buy single tickets to and from Kastrup Airport before a friend reminded me – the fine would’ve been heavy if I’ve forgotten to buy one!)
  • The public transportation system in Copenhagen is wonderful, but the buses can be delayed sometimes, especially perhaps in neighborhoods outside of the city. If you are in a hurry to go somewhere such as to a meeting or class, walking/biking/taking the train and metro might get you there faster (even if the train sometimes can be delayed as well 😉 )
  • The Students dashboard and “DIS Marketplace” in the DIS Navigate app often has free giveaway and sells discounted stuff
  • Netto is usually the cheapest supermarket to get groceries and snacks (and my personal favorite!)
  • If you like Chinese food or like to buy Asian snacks/ingredients, here’s a list of the good Asian Markets that I’ve found in Copenhagen:
    • KFT Asian shop
    • U-homemarket(有家亚超)
    • UME Asian Supermarket
    • WanLong Asian Market
    • Today Købmand

Included below are some more of the lovely moments spent during my semester abroad!

Somehow, four months spent at Copenhagen is still too short for me. So at the end of this post, instead of saying goodbye (which I have to admit I hate to do), let’s say “Vi ses”!




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