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Jeanna: Velkommen til Danmark!

May 20, 2010

I survived my flights and landed in Denmark! Since I arrived late (slightly after 2:00 pm), I was really worried that my program, the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS), was not going to be at the airport. After finding my luggage and meeting up with a few other people in DIS, we went through customs. This consisted of walking through a gate… not even a passport stamp or border patrol! We luckily found a DIS representative and were able to catch the bus to get to Copenhagen. Everyone else was basically already there, so we signed in, got cell phones to use, had a short orientation, and transferred our bags to our apartments.

I chose the shared housing option, so I live with other DIS students and a Danish Social and Residential Adviser (SRA), Mikkel. Our place is tucked between 2 different shops, and the buildings here all seem to be connected to each other. I live on the third floor, which is actually the fourth floor by American definition. In Denmark, the ground level is “stuen,” and the next level is “førstesal,” or first floor. Climbing up to “tredjesal” with two suitcases pushing the airline weight limits was challenging, but walking into my apartment for the first time made the effort worth it.

After talking to other students and seeing a few different housing options, I know I was definitely one of the lucky ones. I share a bedroom with Stephanie, and 7 other girls live on our floor. Our rooms all open up into a huge common area, and we share 2 bathrooms. Everything is modern, from our washer and dryer to our heated bathroom floors! The furnishings look like they come straight out of the IKEA catalog, which I guess is fitting considering our proximity to Sweden. I absolutely love the inside of my apartment, and it is only five minutes from my classes. There is a little square across the street with cafes, bars, and other things to explore.

Mikkel gave us a few minutes to get situated and then brought us to the grocery store, Netto. This Danish chain is the most popular discount grocery store, which will definitely be helpful considering the high cost of living in Denmark. I bought some basic things at the store, including milk, which comes in cartons no larger than a quart, and Special K, which was one of about five cereal options. The Danes are very conscious of the environment, so it is expected that you will bring your own grocery bags, which I was luckily aware of before heading to the grocery store.

We walked back to our apartment and left for a buffet dinner at a small Turkish restaurant with the rest of the DIS students and SRAs living in Skindergade 14. The food was good (and the beer even better), but I was exhausted by the time I got back to my apartment. The seven-hour time difference caused me to be awake for about 30 hours straight, so my bed was definitely welcoming that night!

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