10: a farewell

You didn’t think I was going to leave you hanging like that did you? I know, I’ll admit that I wasn’t able to post as frequently in my last month or so, however, it would be criminal to not close out my abroad blog with a last post. And I guess, better late than ever.

You’ll have to indulge me, as I simply reaffirm everything anyone has ever told you about abroad and reuse every cliché you have probably ever heard. Going abroad was by the far the best choice I have ever made. It changed my life (I know it sounds a bit pretentious, but it’s the truth).

Before going abroad, I was having a bit of a rough go. I love my college, but I felt myself starting to get into this junior funk. It was post-COVID, promised to be the best and most “normal” semester since pre-pandemic, and while I felt grateful to get back to some semblance of normalcy, I started to feel the full weight of growing pains. Healthy ones, of course, but I started to itch for something else, something bigger than my cute, quaint campus in rural Ohio… at least just for a bit. And spending a semester abroad was the PERFECT way to do just that.

I often get asked why I picked Copenhagen. And I honestly don’t know how to answer. As much as I wish I could go on about how I researched and fell in love with their phenomenal recycling system, or I could describe this elaborate line of ancestry that my family holds there, it truly was random. I remember looking at DIS and thinking: eh, why not? God, am I glad I went with my gut on that one.

Before going, I had NO clue what to expect. I barely knew anything about the city or Denmark as a country. I knew of a few kids from my school who were going, however I didn’t really go into this process having a “person” or group I knew. I went into it with an open mind and my fingers crossed.

And let me say, as someone who traveled to 10 countries and 13 cities while abroad, Copenhagen took the cake. It still stands as my favorite city in the world. Now, this may be a hot take as there doesn’t seem like a crazy amount to do, but a weekend or even a week- long trip doesn’t do it justice. The city is incredibly livable. It is extremely safe and clean, yet has a vibrant night life to it. Copenhagen is easy to navigate too, with a great public transportation system. Walking down the street, I could never tell what day it was, which I know sounds a bit bizarre, but the energy of the people was simply that fantastic. Everyone treated every day as if it were Friday! There was no dread or looming energy that can come with a Monday. People were always out and about, having a cup of coffee with a friend or enjoying a cigarette or going shopping. With it not being a crazy popular tourist destination, I got to go about my day surrounded by locals. I got to observe how they buy groceries and their outfits, and their language. Coming from the USA, it was just refreshing to be around a completely different type of culture, one I knew so little about but grew to love so quickly.

Even as I traveled to all of these other countries (which were all amazing in their own way), every time I came back to Cope it was like a breath of fresh air. It was the perfect home base.

A huge part of why I had such an incredible experience was most definitely because of my program, DIS. DIS is the perfect abroad program for someone who is potentially traveling or living outside of the country for the first time. They are incredibly organized, consistently sending out newsletters throughout the semester, from prior to departure to post departure. Everything from a student visa to health care, they made extremely easy and accessible. Plus, they have a student hub in the heart of the city with areas to study and staff available to answer questions throughout the week. If you don’t feel like popping into the student hub, you can use the DIS app, which offers a slew of resources, everything from restaurant recommendations to a list of mental health professionals to chat with while abroad. (This post is not sponsored, I seriously just loved this program).

I would recommend DIS Copenhagen hundred times over if I could. However, regardless of where you go, a semester abroad is an incredible experience. I feel so incredibly fortunate to have had this experience, and been able to travel, especially after the year we’ve had. While I will miss it terribly, if anything, this semester made me more appreciative of home.

I’m not very good at goodbyes, so this won’t be that. This won’t be the last Copenhagen sees of me, I’m sure of it. Thanks for tuning in. xo. mby

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