It’s been a while since i’ve posted, but I’ve barely had the time to sit down and catch my breath! It’s now been about 3 weeks since i’ve been in Copenhagen and i’m still mesmerized by the city and sometimes still can’t believe that i’m waking up in Europe. I want to write about my trip to Western Denmark in a separate post, so i’ll take this time to just write a bit about my Orientation experience.
My journey to Copenhagen was…well, long! I had been in Seoul, Korea since early May and my journey to Europe began with my flight back to Los Angeles. After a hard goodbye with my dad and a 12 hour flight (if anyone needs to go to Seoul from LAX, I would suggest trying Thai Air for an affordable yet very well-serviced flight!) I was home in Beverly Hills. I needed to pack up all the clothes that I would need for JYA, as well as drop off some of the clothes I had brought from my Seoul home for the Spring. After that, i tried to spend a couple of last bittersweet hours with my mom, sister and brother before I was off again – this time from LAX to JFK in New York. Why New York? I had left all of my winter clothes in my uncle’s apartment and of course, since I was going to be in Scandinavia for the next 4 months, I needed my fuzzy sweaters and thick winter coats. I got in around 12 AM and got packing…again. I can honestly say that I am an expert at packing, being a third-culture kid with homes in Seoul, LA and NYC. Doesn’t mean I don’t hate it. After a sad goodbye to my uncle and grandmother, it was finally time to really start my journey to Copenhagen…
It was the first time I took a European Airline. Air Berlin was… absolutely blew away all of my expectations. I thought I had been spoiled all these years by riding Korean Air and Asiana, but Air Berlin was very pleasant! We received tiny care packets, with toothbrush, sleeping masks and cute little slippers. The in-flight entertainment was above par and I can honestly say that the 8 hour flight didn’t feel like one. We arrived at Dusseldorf, Germany and I will forever remember the feeling of landing in Europe for the first time! Dusseldorf will forever be the first European city for me. After an 1 1/2 hour layover, I along with a couple other students in the same program set off in a tiny airjet for Copenhagen. Before we knew it, we were in Denmark!
The DIS representatives were there waiting for us when we arrived. We shuffled into the Hilton Hotel after claiming our bags and I was soon put on a bus headed for my Living and Learning Community residence, Tåsingegade. I met my roommate who arrived a day earlier and I am pleased to say that we get along well. I have found a good group of people in my hall, and I am more than pleased about where I am living. Everything is from IKEA and I love it. It’s hard to supress my desire to decorate, but I know it’ll all have to be left behind or thrown out at the end of the semester (sadface).
Orientation was such a blur. Every single minute we had something planned for us – which was good and bad. I was still a bit jetlagged which made it hard to be fully engaged, but It also made it so that I got over the jetlag. We had a welcoming ceremony where the Minister of Culture came and welcomed us to Copenhagen. There was also an “Amazing Race” where we went around Copenhagen in search of Icons of Copenhagen, such as the palace, the Black Diamond Library and the Parliament Building. All in all, it was a great chance to meet people from the program that I would otherwise not have, and also it was a great chance to be thrown out into the city.
Classes…have been absolutely great so far. It’s completely different than Bryn Mawr – which is a small campus and less-than-5-minute walk to any given class. Here at DIS, I have to take a bus (1A!) which takes about 20-30 minutes. I’ve thought about biking, but still haven’t mustered up the courage to…yet! The classes are all on a street called Vestergade and it’s right in the centre of Copenhagen. I am taking 5 classes this semester: Danish Language and Culture, 20th Century European History, Advertising in an International Context, Nordic Mythology and Strategic Communications, which is my core course (more about that in my post about Western Denmark). It’s absolutely amazing to be studying in a city, where there are cafes, restaurants and bakeries at every corner. The only problem or complaint I would have would be that being in a city…CREATES THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOP SHOP SHOP. Ugh, and for a shopaholic like myself, my wallet is literally bleeding money. That’s one thing I have to work on – especially since things are a bit pricey here in Copenhagen…
Overall, I’m excited for the upcoming events. I can’t believe it’s already been 3 weeks – It feels like yesterday I was getting on the plane in New York. I know things are going to just go by even faster, especially when I start to travel on my own. Everyday is an opportunity, and I’m going to embrace and take advantage of every single moment I have here in Copenhagen and Europe!
Until Next Time!