I can’t believe I’ve already spent a week here in Copenhagen. Moving to a new place is not easy, and in all honestly these last seven days have been absolutely exhausting. But they’ve also been amazing. It’s really been a roller coaster of all sorts of experiences, including an actual roller coaster. Yes, you read that right. I went on a roller coaster at Tivoli Gardens within my first week abroad. It was amazing. But with the highs come the lows, and there has certainly been a mix of both.
My journey got off to a bit of a rough start when my scheduled train to Copenhagen got canceled one day before I was supposed to arrive. Apparently no trains would be able to travel from Sweden to Copenhagen for two weeks! After an initial panic, I managed to find a flight and get my train ticket refunded. So I arrived like almost everyone else did at the airport. Walking into the room where all the DIS students were waiting for transportation to their housing was so overwhelming, and even intimidating. It almost felt like freshman year again, in that I knew no one in the large crowd of students. But after picking up my welcome packet, I found an empty seat and chatted with the students around me until a bus arrived to take me to my housing.
I live in a kollegium about 25 minutes from DIS, and prior to classes starting I didn’t meet any other students besides those living in my building. Nevertheless, I really like the people I’ve met in my kollegium, especially my flatmates. We’ve gone through the struggles of adjusting to life in a new city together, from Google translating the entire grocery store, to going the wrong direction on the subway. We also have two Danes living with us, and it’s been so nice to have locals welcome us to their country and help us adapt to our new home.
My flatmates were especially helpful when I went through a three hour ordeal of trying to call my bank and figure out my credit card. I got a new credit card for studying abroad with no foreign transaction fees. I felt on top of my game and it was working great until I tried to make a purchase online, and then it required a text verification code. Seems fine right? Except for the fact that I don’t have access to my old US number with a new Danish sim card. I couldn’t make international calls, access my account, or seemingly do anything without this text-only verification code. After quite a long process of calling many different numbers from many different phones, we eventually reached a helpful customer service representative who finally solved the problem. Moral of the story? Even if you think you’re prepared, things still go wrong.
This is an important lesson I have to remember for the whole semester. We often hear of study abroad as the best four months of our lives. But things never go as planned, and moving to a new corner of the world definitely takes adjustment time. While I do believe that these next few months will be some of the best in my life, it’s so important to remember that not everything will be perfect all the time.
Classes started yesterday and they were a definite highlight of this past week. I’m so excited for my core course; I had heard great things about the professor before coming to DIS, and she is already living up to the expectations. Beyond that, it was really nice to be able to meet new students who are interested in similar topics as me. Next week I’ll go to my first class at the University of Copenhagen and I’m excited to meet Danish students as well as fellow DIS peers. Between classes starting and all the things to do on my Copenhagen bucket list I certainly have a lot to look forward to!
One week in and Copenhagen is already starting to feel so much more comfortable and manageable. My flatmates, and especially the Danes, have helped immensely with the adjustment process, and I can already tell that in only a short bit of time, I’ll be calling Copenhagen home.