Indiana University Overseas Study

Emily Featherstone

I honestly can’t believe that I will be in Copenhagen, Denmark in just a few days! I remember being accepted to the program in September – and at that time, January seemed infinitely far away.  Now here I am, receiving emails about syllabi for my classes and checking the weather forecast for my orientation at the beginning of next week.

In the last couple of days, I have gotten so much more information about everything from orientation to classes to where I will be living. After months of waiting and wondering, my semester in Copenhagen is beginning! All the information I’ve been sent is a bit overwhelming since I’m not actually there yet. I can’t visualize where my classes will be held, or even where my home will be. I have a three-day orientation schedule, followed by my first full day of classes next Thursday, and I have no idea how to get from point A to point B. The majority of the classes I will be taking are international business-related, because I am in the Kelley School of Business in Bloomington. At the Danish Institute for Study Abroad, each of the professors was first a professional in his or her field, and I believe that will add an incredibly interesting element to all of my classes. But first, I have to get to Denmark! And that involves packing a suitcase or two.

Packing for four months abroad is a task all on its own. I am a chronic over-packer, no matter where I go or how long I’m gone, so naturally I feel like I need to pack absolutely everything I own. I’ve researched how other people pack to study abroad, and more specifically, what I should pack for Copenhagen. I want to look like I belong there, and from what I’ve read, Copenhageners are quite fashion-forward. Two of the biggest takeaways I have from my readings are: Copenhageners love black and they love scarves. So I’m packing all the black clothing and scarves I own – let’s hope I blend in!

Another issue that I am preparing myself for is the Danish language. While I’ve been told that most people speak very good English (and thus far, this holds true for every Dane I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with), I want to learn as much Danish as I can. I will be taking a Danish Language & Culture course, and I am hoping my host family will be willing to listen to my attempts at speaking! So far, I know how to say, “Hello” (hej), “How are you?” (Hvordan har du det?) and “Excuse me” (Undskyld).  I have a long way to go, and I find Danish pronunciations counterintuitive, but I’m sure it will be fun to learn.

I only have four more days in the United States of America and I still have a long to-do list, but soon it will all be taken care of and I will be on my way!

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