Greetings from Copenhagen! As I sit in my sleek white kitchen in my cozy apartment to write this, I have to keep reminding myself that this is all actually happening. The past few days have been a complete whirlwind of activity. DIS has had us running all over the city center as part of orientation and while I can't name--or pronounce--half of the streets, I'm happy to report that I'm successfully getting a handle on the winding alleys and boulevards.
I'm living with three other DIS students and one Danish RA in an apartment in Vestebro; the neighborhood is equivalent to the meat packing district in New York and has been hailed by many as the best place to seek out authentic bars and meet Danes. It's about a 20 minute walk to the classroom buildings but after my summer in DC, walking doesn't phase me one bit. Plus I get to walk past some stunning buildings and Tivoli along the way.
We've been busy with arrival workshops that have covered a whole slew of need-to-know basics for living in Denmark. Buying groceries (bring your own bag), train etiquette (don't talk to anyone), biking rules (stay out of the bike lane if you're walking)...there's a lot to take in. I wish I'd kept a tally of how many times the word "immersion" was said. One of the main points of studying abroad is to be immersed in a new culture but so far, I think I still blatantly stick out as an American despite my efforts to wear dark colors and avoid small talk.
Right now it feels a lot like vacation or summer camp. While there's still the general feeling of clinginess that comes with being thrown in to a new school, I wouldn't say I've felt uncomfortable quite yet. Perhaps it's the honeymoon phase of studying abroad that has me walking on air. I'm sure I'll have moments where I lose my rose-colored glasses as well as my composure. I know that the with the start of classes, study tours and free time I'll be able to explore the city and culture in more depths. I've only been here for 72 hours out of the 120 days of the semester; becoming psuedo-Danish won't happen over night but I'd like to think that I'm off to a good start.