Just four days after I arrived home from Rwanda, I packed up my bags and started yet another exciting journey to Copenhagen. I have been in the city for about a week and am absolutely loving it. The only downside is that I miss SMU and leaving for another semester wasn’t the easiest decision, but I’m glad I have one more semester to come back to. Now that I got the downside out of the way, let me explain how my time in Copenhagen has been thus far.
So a few introductory remarks about what I am doing here exactly. I am enrolled in the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS), which has a number of neat study programs to choose from. Although all of the programs seemed pretty interesting, the Justice & Human Rights program immediately caught my attention, so I selected it.
The first step of studying at DIS is to choose your program, which comes with a core course and a week-long study tour. My core course is Humanitarian Law and Armed Conflict, and my week-long study tour is to Kosovo. I also am enrolled in three additional courses: Holocaust and Genocide, Humanitarian Law and Armed Conflict, and Human Trafficking in a Global Context. Since I am working toward a human rights major, I intentionally chose human rights courses, but the program does not require that you choose courses specific to your program, aside from the core course.
All of my courses started last Thursday, and they all went well. It seems like my courses will both challenge and interest me, so I am looking forward to soaking up all of the knowledge from my professors and classmates. The courses are structured similar to most of my SMU classes, where professors expect participation and hard work in class.
While I am thrilled about my courses, DIS has a lot more to offer. At DIS, study abroad is not solely about academics, it is also about cross-cultural immersion. The motto DIS uses to illustrate its commitment to inside and outside classroom learning is “Copenhagen as your home, Europe as your classroom.” The program’s commitment to provide students with a globalized education is also one of the reasons we have a mandatory travel week as well as two optional study tour weeks, where no classes are held and students are encouraged to travel and learn outside of the classroom.
Another neat opportunity offered by DIS is the living and learning community, which is a themed residential housing. There are a variety of living and learning communities such as the green house, culinary house, and arts and culture house. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and apply for the culinary house, and I must point out that I am not a cook, so this was a big decision for me. I figured that if I am already out of my comfort zone, might as well go all out. The house is absolutely beautiful, and the best part is, I live only 5-10 minutes away from DIS so I get my daily exercise! I’m hoping to expand my cooking skills and learn to have better appreciation for different kinds of food.
All in all, it seems like I am in for an exciting and adventurous four weeks of study abroad. I am keeping an open mind and ready to take in all that DIS has to offer. I will try my best to maintain a constant blog, though I can’t promise that all of these opportunities won’t pose a distraction.