Abroad Arts and Culture

Abroad Blog: Elizabeth Crowley ’18, Denmark

A boat at Roskilde.

I’ve been living in Copenhagen, Denmark for almost two months now, and I was not expecting it to feel this normal. I haven’t been hit by any homesickness yet, so I’m crossing my fingers that it doesn’t happen at all. This is the first time I’ve been outside of North America, and the first time I’ve ever lived in a city. I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with the public transportation. On one hand, I live less than five minutes from both a bus stop and a train station. On the other, my commute is half an hour on good days, and the bus I take to class is often very crowded and hot. I’ve been spoiled at Wheaton, where at most it took ten minutes to get from dorm to classroom. Still, it’ll be a real struggle going from this back to the comes-by-once-an-hour GATRA, though.

It’s a little bit weird living someplace where the first language is not my own. However, it’s amazing how many people know English. A surprisingly large amount of people living here are casually bilingual, especially the younger generations. It makes me wish I had more serious language classes when I was a kid. So while I may still need to take out google translate for grocery shopping or reading street signs, I can be pretty confident that if I need to ask for directions, it won’t be too hard to find someone who speaks English. I was warned that the Danes wouldn’t be too friendly, but I’m happy to say that’s not what I’ve seen so far. There’s just a larger emphasis on personal space, and I find myself enjoying the polite and casual atmosphere. And when you get to know them, the Danes can be very warm.

Amazingly, the weather has been pretty nice lately- it’s getting colder, but there hasn’t been too much rain yet. People have been saying it won’t last, so I’m trying not to take the sunlight for granted. I went over to the Roskilde Ship Museum and rowed with some of my classmates on a replica Viking ship. It was a lot of fun, especially when we took an impromptu break at a little island when the boat got too close to the shore and we were briefly beached. I also took a trip to Aarhus and Skanderborg, when it was still warm enough to go canoeing and swim in the lake by the hostel.

I’m actually spending this week in Vienna for my clinical psych class, and then the weekend in Budapest, just because we’ll be so close. I’m also looking forward to visiting Iceland later in the semester. The opportunity to travel is abundant in Europe, and I definitely won’t like giving it up when I get back home to the States. But until then, I’ve got another two months to enjoy it as much as I can.