I can not believe it has already been a little over a week being here! Honestly, I have been so busy that I have not even had time to be homesick yet! Almost immediately arriving in Copenhagen from DC, I noticed some fundamental cultural differences. I was shocked to see so many bikers on every road. The bike lanes seem to be just as big as the car lanes. We were given an option depending on where we are living if we would like a metro commuter card or to rent a bike. I decided on the commuter card since I am one stop away from the DIS classroom locations, but after a week of using the metro, I am highly considering joining the masses and renting a bike! Along with the bikers, I also noticed that Danish people tend to all dress nicely. By nicely I mean I have not seen one person wear sweatpants or t-shirts. Even going grocery shopping, it seems that everyone has a classy, mono-color (usually a neutral) outfit on. Looks like I need to go shopping!
Speaking of shopping, I realized very quickly the conversion rate of USD to DKR (I wish I didn’t!). Basically, everything is more expensive in Copenhagen than in the US. Instead of looking at the negative of this unfortunate reality, I have decided to challenge myself to take full advantage of the $600 food stipend I received from DIS for groceries and have been making myself meals in our flat every day. I have eaten out at a couple restaurants, but I am challenging myself to make that a very special occasion. I recommend creating a budget plan to maximize the money you spend during your time here. I found out I will be making a few less trips to the shopping streets after creating mine!
So far, I have fallen in love with the Copenhagen lifestyle. I was nervous about assimilating into a foreign country with foreign customs, but so far, I’ve been nothing but impressed with the way of life around here. Everyone speaking English also made for a seamless transition (despite the one yoga class I that I went to which was 100% spoken in Danish… lets just say I became visual learner for the day). I found out that people in Denmark can pick up trash on the streets and turn it in for money compensation. You get PAID to pick up litter. Someone needs to instill that concept in New York City ASAP. The cleanliness of the streets, the respect for nature, the active lifestyle, the intentionality in the architecture and design… it seems to me that the US could take some notes.
My friends and I on our first day of classes!