Denmark is starting to feel like home. I’ve been here for over a week now and I feel oddly comfortable. That may sound weird, but I guess I wasn’t expecting to settle in this quick? I guess I didn’t really know what to expect at all. This past week has blown all expectations out of the water and I am getting more and more excited for the semester ahead. All I can say is good thing my parents and grandma are coming at the end of my semester because i’m going to need to be dragged out of Denmark, I can already tell.
My friend Sarah from college came to Copenhagen with her mom this past week. She is studying in Spain for the semester so it was a quick flight over to Copenhagen for her. Her mom actually studied and lived in Copenhagen for almost 2 years when she was about our age so it was cool to hear about her experience! Her and Sarah were actually going to meet up with her host family from that time, crazy! Sarah’s mom was nice enough to take us out to dinner at a fun Italian restaurant. It was weird but awesome to have someone from home in Copenhagen so soon. I already love it here but it was a little early for me to have suggestions or favorite places. It made me realize I need to explore a little more, which I have already done this week!
Friday was my first full day of my non-core classes. This semester, I am taking Danish Language and Culture, Healthcare for At-Risk Populations, and Pregnancy, Birth, and Infancy in Denmark. First of all, Danish is so so hard. Any Dane will admit that their pronunciations make 0 sense and you have to know word to word what random noise is supposed to come out of your mouth. My Danish has us practice saying a word while both looking at it and not because honestly their so different. If I come out of that class just being able to correctly pronounce my street name and the train stops I get on and off at, I will feel like i’ve conquered the world. We have started to learn about the Danish public healthcare system in my two public health classes, more on how Denmark rocks at public healthcare to come later. I have had conversations with some people from home regarding Denmarks “socialistic” society and how they would never want to pay “so many taxes”. I can already say that 1: Denmark is not socialistic, they are a welfare state and 2: they seem to be pretty darn happy with their system here which the US cannot say… However, these are generalizations and my opinions may change or grow over the semester and I learn more, stay tuned!!
Saturday was a day spent with my host family, who are truly wonderful. I was able to sleep in a little and then after a very yummy brunch made by my host mom we went to a park called Dyrehaven which is just north of my homestay. It translates to “the deer park” in english and is full of free range deer. An old royal hunting “cabin” also sits in the park. It was so nice to have the sun shining and to get outside during the day! The rest of the afternoon was spent running errands in Copenhagen. For dinner, my host family was so kind as to take me out to a restaurant called Sticks and Sushi. The food was amazing and it was fun to celebrate my first week in Denmark!
Surprise! The day started with another yummy brunch made by my host mom. She is such a good cook. Later in the day, my host mom and host siblings and I went to a local sauna! My host mom has a membership at a sauna close by that is right by the ocean. Now this place is not some random sauna. The wall facing the ocean is all glass, providing the most beautiful view. It was a clear day and the weather was wonderful! After sitting in the sauna, you walk out on a small dock and take a quick dip in the ocean. Yes, the ocean that is 35º F. It was awesome! We were there for about and hour and we went in 3 times. For a few hours after I felt so good and my skin felt so clear and refreshed. I would definitely do it again! Later that day, we had an event with my local homestay network for DIS where all of the families got together to chat and just hang out. I got so lucky with my homestay family and it was fun to hear about other students experiences too. After that we went to my host mom’s parents house for our weekly Sunday dinner at their house. Great end to a wonderful week!