While abroad in Copenhagen this semester, Morgan Hamre ’20 is learning how to communicate across language barriers and cultural differences through daily interactions and adventures with her host family. She is also writing a blog about her travels and academic coursework in environmental studies titled, “Living a Life of Consequence.”
Hamre is living in the city of Kastrup, a short distance from the city of Copenhagen, with a host mother Mette and her 10-year-old daughter, Ida. Affiliated with the Danish Institute for Study (DIS) Abroad, Copenhagen is one of the most popular study abroad destinations offered by the HWS Center for Global Education. The homestay has improved Hamre’s Danish language skills and expanded her understanding of Danish customs.
“Over dinner, we share about our day, with Mette translating between English and Danish for Ida and me. Dinner is a great opportunity for Ida to teach me Danish and for me to teach her English,” Hamre writes in her blog. “One of the first phrases she taught me was “tak for mad” (pronounced like tak for mel). It means thank you for the food, and it is used when you are done eating.”
Hamre and her host family have explored Copenhagen together, as well as taken a hiking trip to Stavanger, Norway. “Mette and Ida opened up their house to me and it’s starting to feel like home,” says the computer science major and environmental studies minor.
Because Copenhagen is known for its environmental sustainability, as well as safety and walkability, Hamre has found the city to be the perfect backdrop for studying the relationship between urban development and sustainability. Through DIS, students pursue field study projects every Wednesday. During one excursion, Hamre visited a waste incinerator to evaluate the waste management tactics of the city of Copenhagen.
In additional blogs posts, Hamre has written about a class visit to the Aarhus Art Museum and her experience making flødeboller, a Danish dessert made of marshmallow and chocolate.