Today is Tuesday, August 14th. I depart the States on Friday, August 17th for four months in Copenhagen. Each time I open up my email inbox the reality hits me once again – this is truly about to happen. The messages piled up look something like this:
Velkommen til HomeMobil (my international phone service has given me a Danish cellphone number).
Welcome to Denmark! (my visiting host family has already begun to contact me!)
DIS Entry Letter and Admission Letter (important documents that I need to show at customs for entry into Denmark).
As these scattered pieces all begin to come together, my excitement is swelling. My excitement for packing my XL suitcases, on the other hand – not so much.
My abroad program, DIS Copenhagen, makes the entire process of moving across the Atlantic ocean for half a year seem like a piece of cake. Also, special shoutout to the country (Kingdom?) of Denmark for not requiring U.S. citizens to go through the grueling process of getting a Visa for entry. DIS has been totally thorough in providing timely information, tips, and reminders for all of the antsy fall semester students.
Last week I received my dorm assignment which included a list of all of the other DIS students who will be living in my building. My dorm is located in a region called Osterbrø, which is about 15 minutes by bus or bike from the city center of Copenhagen, where my classes for DIS will be located. My RAs have already reached out to let me and the others in my dorm know that they hope to see us commuting by bike, in typical Danish fashion.
I chose a dormitory with other DIS students for my housing so that I could easily form bonds with students who were plunging into the same lifestyle as me. But, the prospect of living in a homestay with a host family was something I didn’t want to give up entirely. Thankfully, DIS has a special program called Visiting Hosts, which are essentially host families that students do not live with. Students can choose how frequently they would like to see their hosts – I chose once every week or two – and are assigned to a welcoming Danish family. My host parents Iben and Thomas have already reached out to me with words of welcoming and photographs of their adorable blonde children, Mathilde (16), and Asger (13)! Making this personal connection already has me itching to arrive.
Not only am I suddenly paying attention to all of this Danish email in my inbox, but my summer job and internship have now concluded, giving me time to run errands and organize my life before packing it up into my two giant bags and heading to Europe! Thankfully my internship this summer in the editorial department of Brafton, a content marketing agency, included plenty of travel blogging for a client. This meant that I got to write an article about Copenhagen before even getting there. Researching the best Cope cafés and learning about hygge (short translation: Danish cosiness!) made me so excited to begin to explore in person.
For a year now I have been hoping that this fall semester would bring me to Copenhagen. With just hours standing between me and my flight over the Atlantic, I’m realizing how astounding these next few months are about to be, and I can’t wait to say “velkommen” to this new chapter of my life!