As part of an HWS program, several William Smith students have spent the semester in Copenhagen, Denmark. Offered through an affiliation with the Danish Institute for Study Abroad, the program offers more than 100 courses taught in English with an emphasis on immersion and interactive learning.
“The Danish Institute does a great job of ensuring that every student feels comfortable coming to Copenhagen,” says Colleen Moore ’16. The international relations major is enrolled in the Justice and Human Rights program at DIS. “As someone who is interested in social justice and wants to go to law school, the program was perfect for me. The course also takes a study tour to Kosovo to learn about the conflict that occurred there, which is something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Moore and her fellow William Smith students in Copenhagen have already traveled to Aarhus, Ribe, and Fanø in Jutland with their professors, where they embarked on a 30-mile bike ride throughout the island. Students have also attended the local university football (or American soccer) games, and are making plans to travel to nearby destinations such as Venice and Budapest.
Students have the choice to stay with a host family, in a residence with other international students, or in a flat with a Danish roommate (arranged by DIS). Many HWS students have chosen to live with a host family, which encourages integration into the culture. “Despite not knowing the language, Danish, I am really integrated into the culture. I try to dress like a Dane, bike like a Dane and figure out all the hot spots Danes go to in the city,” says Moore.
For Hannah Connolly ’16, taking on the Danish mindset is key. “My favorite opportunity so far in Copenhagen has been experiencing hygge, which is at the heart of Danish culture,” she says. “Hygge is a word that doesn’t directly translate to English, but means creating a warm, cozy atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people around you.”
Considered one of the happiest cities in the world, Copenhagen is also known for the unique juxtaposition of old-world charm and innovation. Cultural staples such as parliament and government offices, world renown history and art museums, and parks are with walking distance from DIS.
“The daily events associated with studying abroad foster independence, cultural understanding and personal growth as you learn from new experiences,” says Ali Tanner ’16, a rehabilitative health major taking medical practice and policy courses abroad. “I hope that by spending the semester studying abroad in Copenhagen, I come back with a broader perspective and more worldly view.”
The photo above features Amanda Walker ’16 and Alison Tanner ’16.