Astrud in Copenhagen

Astrud, a junior majoring in biology and minoring international studies, is participating in SMU-in-Copenhagen during Fall 2008.

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The oldest monarchy is now home for me

n18813039_33508838_3289.jpgThe idea that I am in Copenhagen, Denmark, hasn’t really hit me yet, though that fact is hard to miss. No, really, it is.

Yesterday morning, I was pretty sure that a pedestrian saved my life from a man I thought was training to be the next Lance Armstrong. However, judging from his blue tie and the fact that he was sipping coffee with one hand and biking with the other, I soon realized that this man was, in fact, not just a man – he was a real Dane. Their ability to multitask while pedaling a bicycle to me is amazing. I’m sure that one of these days I will see someone crocheting a scarf as they pedal on. When that happens, I’ll make sure to take a photo and then blog about it. Back to Copenhagen.

Dorm life – sort of
I love my Kollegium – DIK! What exactly is it? Well, it’s similar to dorm living except that you don’t really have RAs and there are no choices for meal plans either. There are two kitchens in my block, and I share a mini fridge with another Kollegium resident. I’ve realized that they really do stress more of an independent style of living here in Copenhagen. We’ll see how strong my theory is later on in the semester.

But as for now, I am enjoying the joys of having my own restroom and efficient public transportation! The trains here are amazing. Danes are known for their punctuality, and if anything, you see that with the trains. I’m sure this applies to every form of public transportation but I can only speak for the trains at the moment.

n18813039_33508831_877.jpgEnchanting
Yesterday, we got a chance to see some sites of the city – The Little Mermaid, Parliament, The Queen’s Residence, etc after a tremendous opening ceremony at the Black Diamond. I know that I’m probably spitting some random jargon right now, but I can’t help it. It’s the adventurer in me.

n18813039_33504913_1424.jpgEverything here is exquisite, in my opinion. The history and culture in this place are enchanting considering the context of its history. I won’t bore you with that but know that if you ever come to visit, you’ll probably get what I mean. The language has its own natural charm as well. Today was the first part of our Survival Danish course. I can say a few things now like “My name is___,” “How are you?,” “I’m from Dallas,” “Thank you” and a few other phrases. Hopefully, I’ll be able to pick up some more in my stay here. And yes, the language is not Dutch. It’s Danish. Please inform your friends.

Ready or not …
I still think it’s insane that not only was I on a different continent three days ago, but that I’ll be spending close to four months here. It’s exciting yet at the same time a bit daunting. Trying to find your place in an unfamiliar setting is never really 100 percent easy. I still remember my first day in Kindergarten. But then, finding your place was a bit easier. If you could run around and share your food with another person, it was a done deal that you two could be nap buddies. Here, it’s a tad bit trickier.

But when I think about this tiny hurdle, I realize that I came here not only to study (which is obviously still a priority) but also to gain experience that I cannot find by reading a textbook. I applied for this program and chose to live away from home to test myself and see how far I can push considering that I am out of my comfort zone. I didn’t come here because it was familiar. I came here because of all the opportunities of growth that I can gain.

So, Copenhagen, here I am! I hope that you’re ready!

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