This week was the First Study Tour
My first two months in Copenhagen have been astounding. I honestly cannot remember the last time I was this happy — surrounded by amazing new friends and fresh faces, in the midst of a culturally-rich, safe, exciting, and aesthetically pleasing European city, spending time studying my most favorite subjects, and learning something new every single day.
This past week came the time to really, truly, escape the Copenhagen bubble. Though I have had a couple weekends of travel — jetting to Amsterdam and Oslo and road tripping through Sweden up to Stockholm — this past week was time for my first study tour with DIS. My core course, Cyberpsychology, was lucky to have the opportunity to spend the entire week in Dublin. And let me tell you, we were off and running by the “top o’ the mornin’” each and every day!
Our class trip to Dublin was a whirlwind of eye-opening academic visits and lectures, cultural activities, class bonding time, and plenty of squishing onto crowded Dublin busses or city sidewalks. Not to mention a good deal of Guinness consumed and plenty of Irish bread.
Each day we went to at least one academic visit in addition to cultural visits. Of the academic visits, my favorite was meeting with Jason O’Callaghan, a psychologist and hypnotherapist. In our hands on visit with Jason I discovered that I am highly susceptible to hypnotism… I took this as a compliment, since Jason claimed this was a result of high creativity, imagination, and intelligence. Hey, I’ll take it.
Our cultural visits were also the perfect way to experience a new country and city as a group, with all 22 of us spending these extra hours together outside of the classroom. I’m not sure if our absurdly classy high tea at The Shelbourne hotel was my favorite, but I must say I’ve never experienced something as stunning as our hike up the Howth Cliff Walk, just 30 minutes outside of the city. It was the most refreshingly beautiful way to end a long but very special week together.
Yet, there was a storm looming in Dublin on Friday, and many of us feared that our Saturday morning return to Copenhagen may be thwarted by the weather. Only upon traveling outside of the city so frequently have I realized how dearly I adore being able to call Cope my home. As wonderful as Dublin was, the group of us simply couldn’t even consider the possibility of spending another day away from our (temporary) home back in Denmark.
Through these external travels, I’ve noticed some really unique and amazing traits about Cope that make it such a perfect home. Firstly is the overwhelming sense of safety and security, enforced by the extensively strong sense of social trust among Danes (78% of Danes claim that they trust other people)! Next is the seamlessness of the city — I know the bus and train routes like the back of my hand, and could walk or bike my way across the city if need be. Also, for such an amazing city, it’s shocking how pleasantly un-touristy the city feels. It’s a home that isn’t disrupted or overpowered by constant influx of outsiders.
Arriving home to my cozy dorm, though a bit further from the city centrum, was an extremely happy reunion. I couldn’t wait to get back to weekday life with the group of 60 students in my residential community, spending evenings cooking together (and slaving over midterm essays) in the common room. I was equally as excited to return to my room, with its walls now decorated by the print outs of my photos from Ways of Seeing photography class — images taken throughout cope and Europe — complimented by small postcards and souvenirs from here and there.
As wonderful as it is to travel, one of my favorite parts of traveling has been realizing how ecstatic I am to return home to home sweet Copenhagen. I wouldn’t want it any other way.