Lisa in Denmark

Lisa is a junior majoring in markets and culture in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, with a minor in education in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. During spring 2014, she is studying at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad with SMU-in-Copenhagen. The following posts are excerpts from Lisa’s blog at raizesl.tumblr.com

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Week One

Week one complete! My week started with an Arrival Workshop for the first three days and then ended with the start of classes. The professors seem very intelligent and have nice accents. One of the things I like most about the DIS program is that there are field studies – learning that takes place outside of the classroom. For example, in my human trafficking class there is a planned field trip to the Red Light District in Copenhagen. I’m sure I will greatly enjoy my classes except for the papers. The classes I am taking are:

My core course (the course I will spend the most time in and which also has one full week of traveling and studying just for the course):

Cultural Diversity and Social Capital

The other classes I will be taking:

European Storytelling: From Homer to Harry Potter

Gender and Sexuality in Scandinavia

Human Trafficking in a Global Context

I’ve been enjoying my homestay and definitely improving in my communication skills. Sometimes things you can do really well in your normal life become more difficult when you are fitting into someone else’s routine. Something as simple as storing leftover food in a new kitchen can make you rethink how you do it. Do our host parents want us to save the plastic container the meat came in? Should we put the food in Tupperware containers or wrap it in foil? The dishwasher becomes another thought. Would they like me to put the bowl in this way? Does this item get put in the dishwasher or does it get hand washed? At home, storing food and using the dishwasher would be a simple habit, but in a host family you find yourself rethinking things because they might have a different way of doing it (or I just over-analyze everything). The host family must also be comfortable enough to communicate their wants and needs to you. For example, our host family told us that they wanted us to turn off the water when we lather in the shower. This is not something I personally do in the U.S. so it was important that they expressed this to me.

Some funny things that have happened this week:

-My American host sister and I had a problem getting off of the bus. Who has problems getting off of a bus!? We weren’t lost or anything, we literally could not figure out how to get off of the bus! The bus stopped at our stop and some people got on through the front doors, but the middle doors where you exit did not open. The bus then proceeded to continue on its route. It made another stop and some more people got on and the middle doors still did not open. We were stuck waiting at the doors looking confused. Finally at the next stop the middle doors opened as some other people got off. Of course, we quickly followed them off! We later learned that even if the bus stops, the “STOP” button must have been pressed for the middle doors to open. Who would have thought of that!? Anyway, we had a scenic walk home.

-I accidently paid $30 (Yes, U.S. Dollars) for lunch at a sit-down restaurant. Although the smørrebrød was amazingly delicious, that won’t unintentionally happen again.

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