Tomorrow is the big day. My luggage is packed to the brim with extra stuff that I probably don’t need. I’ve read through the DIS handbook a million times. I’ve even tried to pronounce some of the Danish streets and buildings that I’ll need to know for class——to no avail, of course. The feeling I have at the moment is something akin to what I felt two years ago prior to move-in day at PC: I’m excited for what this semester holds but nervous about leaving home and being on my own (in a foreign country this time). All the while I have to remind myself that a personal goal for this semester remains immersion——stepping outside my comfort zone and experiencing Danish culture, rather than observing it from afar. With that in mind, here are two quick updates on some opportunities for immersion that will present themselves this semester:
1.) Housing——I will be living in an international kollegium (dorm) called Signalhuset, which happens to be 15-20 minutes outside the city center. This was a lucky match because I expected my housing to be about 30-45 minutes away from DIS. Signalhuset is literally across the street from the largest mall in Scandinavia, called Fields. In the dorm, I will be sharing a four-person apartment with three other Danish and/or international students. Unlike PC (and most US colleges), the individual apartments can be co-ed, which should be…interesting. We’ll each have a single room but will share a common room, two bathrooms, and a kitchen. I have no idea who these people are at the moment, so look for a future post with pictures and updates about my kollegium.
2.) Visiting Family——About a week ago, I received an email that I will be spending time with the Jaensch family this semester. Flemming and Sanne, along with their daughters Sara and Nina, live about a 10-minute bike ride from Signalhuset. This was great news because my hope was to see my visiting family often; they live so close that they might as well count as a host family. A fellow Friar, Emily Mitchell ’15, was also matched with this family. I happen to know Emily from my freshman Honors Civ class, and we’ll be coordinating our visits with the Jaensches during the semester. Look out for more posts about my visiting family this semester.
Who knows what the semester will bring? I anticipate that it will be the most memorable of my undergrad years, but how that will play out is really up to me. As Kierkegaard, Denmark’s celebrity philosopher, states in Either/Or, “The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, nor read about, nor seen but, if one will, are to be lived.” (Note: Civ really does stick with you.) Hopefully, the next four months of blog posts will provide you a snapshot of just that.
Stay tuned for a post next week about my first impressions of København!