How do you pronounce “Tåsingegade”?
- The danes do not jay-walk.
- The 14 bus goes straight to DIS for those especially lazy days.
- Air conditioning is not a thing in Europe.
- Most words sound nothing like how they are spelled.
So far, these are some of the biggest lessons I have learned about living in this beautiful new country and culture. After a week of living in Copenhagen, it feels like the DIS bus ride from Copenhagen airport to my residential community at Tasingegade was an eternity ago. Since piling onto that bus with hundreds of other jet-lagged students embarking un a similar journey, the amount that I have learned and experienced is more than I ever have before in just one week.
From the moment I arrived at Copenhagen airport I have been thankful for DIS for helping making this transition so seamless. From planning how to get my >150 lbs worth of luggage from the U.S. to my fifth floor dorm room, to providing reminders about Visa appointments, to having the most central classroom locations in the entire city, working with DIS makes my life in Copenhagen feel almost like an academics-oriented all-inclusive vacation.
Settling into my new home felt like a daydream. It’s pretty difficult to wrap your mind around living in a completely new country halfway across the globe for the next four months. Once I had unpacked my extensive clothing selection and made my bed with the DIS-provided linens, I took a moment to look out the window and take in my surroundings. As I stared out upon the uniform Scandinavian architecture surrounding me in the pleasant residential neighborhood of Østerbro, I spotted a street sign mounted to the corner of the building. I still had no clue how to pronounce where I lived. This realization reminded me of how much I was about learn and experience in the next few short months.
As the 50 or so students in my residential community gathered in the common room, a murmur of pronunciation filled the space.
“Ta-sing-ga-gaid?” “No no, Ta-sin-ja-god?” “Tah-sin-gay-ded?” “Hmm, definitely not that.”
We listened intently as our SRAs – young, hip, hilariously cool Danes who would be accompanying us for out stay – introduced themselves and our new home.
“Toe-sing-ged?” “Is that what they said?” we whispered amongst ourselves.
Fast forward to Thursday. My first day of classes. I already have learned three new letters and alternate pronunciations of the letters D, Y, R, and G that I hadn’t even known existed.
“Toe-sin-gel” “That’s it! Who would have known…”
As I begin to learn tiny tidbits about the language and culture of Denmark, I feel more and more at home each day. As I write this now, I’m sitting in a new favorite café of mine just a block away from each of my classes. I just finished eating my delicious and shockingly well-priced bagel sandwich from Royal Sandwich down the street, that even has a DIS student discount.
But before finding these go-to spots and learning how to adjust to my academic life, I spent the majority of my first week exploring my own neighborhood, the neighborhood of DIS, and scenic Copenhagen spots like the Kastrup Baths in Amager and the stunningly photogenic harbor in Nyhavn.
Life here is a perfect balance of exploration, discovery, learning, and experiencing – and I’m already feeling right at home, surrounded by hygge in the city.