Back at Bowdoin, my dance friends and I do this super cheesy reflection exercise sometimes: Rose, Bud, Thorn 🥀 Now some of you might have heard of this, but for those who haven’t it’s really just an opportunity for you to reflect on the good (rose) and bad (thorn) that’s happened to you, as well as share what you’re looking forward to most (bud). Even though this is pretty corny, I have always loved hearing about my friends’ stories, and I have found it an extremely useful exercise to reflect on my experiences. I thought this would be a great way to share about my time at Copenhagen, since we only have a month left here (I know, wow time has flown). Here we go!

~ Rose ~

My Homestay

I can say with complete honestly, that this has been the greatest experience I have had abroad. From the beginning, my host family has welcomed me in with open arms and makes me feel like an important part of their family. They want me to have the best abroad experience possible, and because their own daughter studied abroad near Houston two years ago, they know what it feels like to have a daughter away from home for months.

One of the greatest examples of their hospitality was the first few weeks I was in Copenhagen–I got strep throat and had an allergic reaction to penicillin. They were so caring towards me and helped me out, even though they had only met me a week ago! My mom would bring me melons and black current juice in bed, which just made me feel so loved and at home immediately. They were understanding and knew exactly how to make me feel better 🙂

I can say without a doubt that they have made my abroad experience is 100x more impactful than it would have been staying in a kollegium or other kind of dorm. I have an amazing relationship with EJ (my sister), because she is so close to my age. We often go out in Copenhagen together to either hang out with my friends or hers, so it’s great that I get to experience Denmark from both perspectives. Valdemar (my brother) makes me laugh almost every day by his outbursts of singing “Señorita”, “Old Town Road”, or any other song that pops to his mind. I also love how he always asks signature questions like “what is your favorite animal” when he is unsure how to talk keep the conversation going in English. Valdemar also just got Mario Kart on his Nintendo Switch, so we have been playing quite a lot recently. I don’t wanna brag, BUT I did tie with him once in a game (2-2), which I can say is a huge accomplishment because he is extremely talented in all computer games… My parents are absolutely amazing! My mom always invites me to go salsa, zumba, or any other fun activity with her when I have the time, and it always so exciting when I do! She is always looking out for me and wants me to make the most out of my time here in Denmark. My dad loves to crack ‘dad’ jokes, talk about scary movies, and has an ongoing battle with the moles in our backyard! He is also an amazing cook and knows how much I love bacon 😍 so he tries to make sure we always have it in stock. Even Bertram (our dog) has a special place in my heart, because he is so spunky and cuddly!

They are all so unique and love teaching me about Danish culture, making fun of me because of how I pronounced ‘onsdagssnegl’ on my first try, and getting to me try new foods (which is sometimes hard to do… I have still not given in to their licorice requests!). I feel like I will always have a strong connection to Denmark, besides my time abroad, because I know that I will be always welcome in their home. I will truly miss them when I head back to the US, and I’m gonna make the most out of the month. I know when I leave, it won’t be the last I see of them!

~ Bud ~

Thanksgiving and Christmas

I am so excited for the holidays coming up! Although Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated in Denmark (obviously), I decided it would be fun to host a Thanksgiving dinner at my homestay for my family and friends! I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving in two years, because my college is far from home and we don’t get much time off, so this will be a nice change 🙂 I’ve invited a few of my friends over to my homestay and we’re all going to cook together! We haven’t decided on exactly what we’ll be making, but my host dad assured me we would be able to find a turkey somewhere, and I have texted my grandma for recipes. I know everyone will have a dish they want to make based on their own family dinners. Like me, I absolutely must have olives and although this isn’t a dish, we always have them at my family Thanksgiving. I’m so excited we’re going to be able to celebrate coming together as a ‘family’.

I am also looking forward to Christmas! My host family has planned an early Christmas, so I would be able to experience the holiday with them (I am so happy, because that means I get two Christmases!). We’re planning on having the early holiday the weekend before I head back home, so it’ll be a nice way to end the semester. We’re going to go out into the forest to chop down a tree, come home for food, and maybe run around the house singing Christmas songs (apparently a very Danish thing to do on Christmas Eve, they don’t really celebrate on the 25th, is run around the house holding hands while singing songs). Then the next day we will celebrate with Mormor and morfar!

Look out for posts on both of these holidays!

~ Thorn ~

Transportation

I would say the thing that has irked me the most while being in Copenhagen has been my commute and transportation, you have probably heard me talk about it a few times on this blog. At the beginning of the semester my commute used to be about an hour and twenty minutes due to construction. In addition to having to switch trains in the middle of my commute, the trains would also sporadically decide to not show up or there would be confusing replacement buses. One time I was 45 minutes late to my Danish class, because the commute took 2+ hours one morning! There were many times that I would get so angry because of the problems that would arise when I was trying to get home late at night (and they still continue to annoy me a little bit now, because the trains are very infrequent after 8 pm), but I think I have started to get used to them.

Now it is the end of the semester and my transportation has been cut in half, because the construction is over, which is amazing, and I enjoy it so much more now! I can use the time to watch Netflix or do homework, which is very relaxing. Although the transportation has gotten a lot better with the lack of construction and the new metro being opened, I still get small flashes of PTSD whenever an occasional train gets canceled…

I promise not all commutes are like this, because there are many people who live closer to DIS and have far less complicated commutes. But if you are going to be studying abroad at DIS, don’t be scared, I just think this is something to think about if you do get placed somewhere far away. I think I am one of the only people that lives this far away that goes into Copenhagen so much. A lot of people that are in home stays at around my distance tend to stay at home most of the time, but I always want to explore the city with my friends and EJ! If you get placed this far away you just have to make the most out of it, and I know my wonderful host family definitely makes up for long distance commute!

I know I will be very thankful when I am back at Bowdoin and everything is within walking distance!

~

Well that’s all from me today! I hope this was a better change of pace, instead of a weekly update. Let me know if you would want more of these kind of posts now that the semester is ending!

Hej, hej,

Alicia

2 thoughts on “Rose, Bud, Thorn of My Time in Copenhagen

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