Settling In…...................... Kind of
Hi! My name is Kalee Kennedy! I’m currently studying Art & Visual Culture in Copenhagen, Denmark with the DIS program. Here are my thoughts, musings, and photos from my time over there.
“Honestly, I don’t know what I’m doing here and I’m just figuring it out as I go along.”
The girl next to me in the Diverse Identities Social Club culture talk said this as she introduced herself and pretty much shocked the room, but I couldn’t help but feel kin to the feelings she spoke to.
I think before getting here I didn’t think this would be as hard as it is. Adjusting to an unfamiliar culture and an unfamiliar language is just as hard as they told me, but I figured because I had experience living with different cultures that it would be a piece of cake. Boy, was I wrong.
I left January 12th in the evening to make my connection to Munich. To say the least, my mom was more emotional than I was and my sister was practically pushing me to the gate lol.
I had a hard time sleeping on both planes, so I was majorly sleep deprived when I made it into Copenhagen. That being said, every DIS staff member I ran into was more than welcoming and accommodating. I was then driven over to my kollegium and given the keys to my room. Before I could let myself pass out until we had to meet back up at 7 pm to do a quick tour around the neighborhood, I managed to unpack my bags and take stock of what was provided by the program for me.
On the night tour, we found that the neighborhood grocery store was right at the corner and the mall was just a minute walk away. We also had the train and bus stops right near our doors. So, a prime location for sure. We then headed to the grocery store and woah. That was the greatest anxiety-inducing activity I had to complete. Even though I had studied Danish with some apps and a quarter course at school it didn’t prepare me for the fact that all the stuff that I would usually eat is not available in Denmark. Also, without an oven, the meals that I initially thought to make while I was here has changed greatly. I hope by the end of my stay I can say that I learned more stovetop recipes and managed to keep myself fed without utilizing takeaway and restaurant options.
The next day, Sunday, we were sent on a scavenger hunt to familiarize ourselves with the transportation and the offerings of our neighborhood, Nørrebro. My two person group ending up winning a gift card to this fancy dessert place. I can’t wait to use it.
At the start of the week, we went through our arrival orientation events. The opening assembly was in this beautiful space. It reminded me of an old burlesque room from Moulin Rouge. We heard some music from Jada, a Danish singing artist and some welcoming comments from the directors of the program.
Then we were sent on a scavenger hunt of some of the primary historical landmarks of Copenhagen. We found out some great information about King Christian IV and saw the Queen’s guards announce her arrival with a march and music. But, it was extremely cold, so we tried to get it done as fast as possible. Afterwards, we went to Jagger for lunch/dinner. That was a great day of exploring and getting to know new people.
The following days, I went to a couple of my classes and I’m really excited to get into them and learn alot.
Now back to the first quotation:
Although, I’m learning a lot about the country and the people. I still have a lot of fears. I’m hesitant to speak the language or even speak English sometimes because I feel for some reason it’s disrespectful almost. I also don’t know exactly how to navigate places which is a little scary as well. The etiquette is lost on me right now and I’m trying to discern from social clues what exactly is happening. Hopefully, I’ll be able to address my fears and really get involved with the program and the culture. That starts with the Activities Fair and my visitng host family.
To read more from Kalee’s blog, click here.