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

Long Study Tour to Istanbul

This past week I went on my long study tour with my core course to Istanbul, Turkey! In class we have been discussing the various ethnic, religious, and political groups in Turkey and we got to see these groups firsthand during our trip. As a class we were divided between the following groups to study: Political Islam, Secularism & Kemalism, Non-Muslim Minorities, The Kurdish Question, and The Muslim Alevi. Our final assignment will be writing a new constitution for Turkey that our assigned group would enjoy. My group is the Non-Muslim Minorities, aka the Armenians, Greeks, and Jews. I was very excited to go to Istanbul. Istanbul is very populated and is a predominantly Muslim country. Istanbul is also where [...]

2014-04-10T13:50:51+00:00 March 30th, 2014|Lisa in Denmark|

Travel Break One

It’s been a while since I last wrote; this is because we had our first travel break! I went to London, Paris, and Málaga for the first travel break and had an amazing time! London: I flew to London with my American host sister and some other friends from DIS. They stayed in a hostel while I stayed with my old roommate (and great friend) from SMU at the London School of Economics. I tried to meet up with my American host sister and friends to tour, but none of us had phones that could work without WiFi. I ended up touring London on my own; it was great to be independent! Buckingham Palace An hour before the changing of [...]

2014-04-10T13:42:48+00:00 March 15th, 2014|Lisa in Denmark|

Queens and Castles

Kronborg Slot: Our host father, Michael, took us on a tour of Kronborg slot, the castle famous for being the setting of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Our host father grew up in Helsingør so he was our professional tour guide, showing us the best routes to explore and giving us additional details about the history of the castle. We visited the Casemates, where the soldiers were quartered during times of war, and saw the statue of Holger the Dane, one of Denmark’s legendary heroes. Afterwards, we visited the Chapel. Fredensborg Slot: About a week ago, my host siblings and I got a private tour of Fredensborg slot, the castle where the Queen lives seven months out of the year. Unfortunately she [...]

2014-03-20T11:38:08+00:00 February 24th, 2014|Lisa in Denmark|

One Month!

It’s been a month here in Denmark now and it feels that time has gone by very fast! I have been engaged in all of my classes and I am greatly enjoying studying here. Studying abroad has made me gain a new curiosity for America. Learning about the Danish way of doing things makes me want to revisit and learn more about the American way of doing things. For example, in my core course we have been focusing on immigration policies and perspectives in Denmark. I realize I do not know much about the immigration policies in America even though I’ve been surrounded by many immigrants. I’ve become more interested in American politics and also more of a critical thinker. [...]

2014-02-20T17:00:26+00:00 February 19th, 2014|Lisa in Denmark|


For the end of core course week, we journeyed to Sweden to see how a country similar to Denmark approaches immigration. Highlights from Sweden: -Exploring Malmö   -Visit to Ögardsskolan & Mosque in Malmö. The mosque is also a Muslim school.   -Visit to the Lindingsplan ghetto. Here we learned about one of the integration programs. -The cutest Bread and Breakfast place with the sweetest staff   -Exploring Gothenburg   -Visit with the Sweden Democrats Political Party. This was one of my favorite visits in Sweden. The Sweden Democrats want to limit immigration to Sweden. Our group did not hold back asking the representatives difficult questions. It was a very interesting session. -Visit to the Museum of World Culture. -Watching Yallahrup Færgeby with [...]

2014-02-13T16:55:15+00:00 February 13th, 2014|Lisa in Denmark|

Core Course Week

It is core course week, which means we spend the whole week with our core course in the classroom, on field study tours, and a weekend trip! In my core course, Cultural Diversity and Social Capital, we have been focusing on immigration in Denmark. Denmark is known for being a homogenous country (ethnically, religiously, culturally, etc.), and for its welfare state where Danes pay high taxes but receive many benefits. In recent years, immigration to Denmark has increased, especially from non-Western countries, where the culture is very different. The question we are exploring is whether immigrants and the cultural diversity that they bring threaten the nation and welfare state of Denmark. Why might immigrants threaten the nation state of Denmark? [...]

2014-02-13T16:53:38+00:00 February 5th, 2014|Lisa in Denmark|

Student Network Event

This weekend there was a network event where all of the homestays or students living in the folkehøjskole (A unique Danish learning and living school where students do not receive grades but “education for life”) in the northern area of Greater Copenhagen got together. There were icebreakers, bonding, and best of all, delicious homemade food! The event was a potluck lunch so we made many different types of smørrebrod. We were told there was also going to be a cake contest so my host family and I made a homemade cake, called a summer cake. Everything in the summer cake from the cream to the meringue was homemade! Our hard work payed off and we won the cake contest! [...]

2014-02-13T16:50:08+00:00 February 3rd, 2014|Lisa in Denmark|

A Walk Through Helsingør

Today Ainsley, my host mother, Mette, and I went on a walk through Helsingør. As we walked, Mette told us about different buildings and sites. The Little Mermaid is a famous sculpture in Copenhagen of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale and is a symbol of Denmark. In Helsingør, lies The Little Boy, a sculpture very similar to The Little Mermaid, but of a boy with legs. We had fun taking selfies and pictures through the reflective skin of the sculpture.

2014-02-13T16:48:57+00:00 February 1st, 2014|Lisa in Denmark|

Copenhagen Fashion Week

A winter coat designed by a second year student. A vest designed by a first year student. A winter coat designed by a second year student. One of the free events during Copenhagen Fashion Week: free hairstyling                   It’s fashion week in Copenhagen! One of the many events put on for fashion week was an open house at the Fashion Design Akademiet. The Fashion Design Akademiet is very close to DIS, so my host sister, Ainsley, and I decided to stop by. The Academy is a two-year program for students pursuing fashion design. One Dane kindly introduced us to the school and showed us [...]

2014-02-13T17:03:17+00:00 February 1st, 2014|Lisa in Denmark|
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