Danish dødge båll, bikes, and red thongs

Our first big activity with the Danes at the Folkehøjskole: dodge ball. Although the rules were a little different, it was basically the same as we play it here in the states. They only use one dodge ball here…and you can still hit people when your out. Us on “team America” had fun pretending that we had no idea what “dodge ball” was. A foreign film? Anyways…we Americans made it to the finale! Unfortunately we took second place at the end. Either way we had a lot of fun joking around with the Danes and it brought us all closer together. Our red face paint was also obviously extremely intimidating.


Now on to my new mode of transportation. Biking in Denmark isn’t always as quaint and cute as it seems. When Aleah and I first picked up our bikes, we felt so European. We couldn’t wait to explore the city and coast of Denmark more with our new mode of transportation. This morning, however, almost ruined the whole “biking in Europe” experience for us. On our way to the train station, it started to pour down rain. My raincoat wouldn’t stay on my head…so I couldn’t see with all of the rain in my eyes. Mascara was running down my face. All these cars were honking at me and I wasn’t quite sure why until Aleah informed me that my red thong was hanging out for the whole town to see. Once we made it to the train we looked like we had literally just gotten out of the shower…and it took about all day for us to dry off. To top it all off…our butts were SO SORE. Still sore…ouch. This afternoon we got lost on our bikes…but thanks to getting lost we discovered this beautiful hidden part of town. We decided to then forgive our bikes…and give them another chance. However, we are still really, really, sore. Anyways, about to head to the bars with our bikes. This should be interesting!


Not quite the North Carolina State Fair…

I have a feeling everyday here in Denmark is going to be filled with adventures. Alana and I had our first European shopping trip before class and found some amazingly good deals, including a going out dress for only $8. We were pretty proud of ourselves. We also made sure to ask some people working in the stores to help us pick out the up and coming “Danish styles”. Lets just say I ended up with a turquoise leather jacket.

After class I met with my fellow “Grundtvigs” for some afternoon drinks and games (which believe it or not is actually a part of Danish culture). We met at a student hangout that is always filled with a mix of DIS and University of Copenhagen students, which is really cool. This was definitely a fun alternative from hiding from the sudden rain!


Afterwards some of us headed to Tivoli, a beautiful amusement park right in the middle of downtown Copenhagen. We met up with my visiting family, who showed us to our first Danish ballet. Afterwards we rode the swings, which are famous for being about 150 feet tall. It was actually pretty scary! We got to see the sun set over all of Copenhagen so it was totally worth it. So beautiful! Definitely a lot different from the North Carolina state fair (obviously). One weird but major difference….so hard to find public bathrooms. I guess it’s not even fair to compare Tivoli to the NC state fair; it’s more like a miniature version of Disney World. I did miss fried cookie-dough and cheesecake on a stick though. The park gets even more beautiful at night with all of the lights. I can’t wait to see the Christmas market decorations later this year!


Taking it all in

I had a totally surreal moment today while walking through the city to the train station on my way “home”. Yes my small countryside residence in Denmark is starting to feel more and more like home, and it’s comforting to return there. I’m excited to be reunited with all of my new friends where I live, and now I also have about 70 Danish students to meet. It still hasn’t really hit me that I will be living in Europe for the rest of the year. And it’s amazing how much it has changed my perspective on things already. The commute from where I’m staying to the city…as well as many other things…have already made me extremely more independet. I could really get use to living the city life!

The environment here is totally different and really enlightening. Whether it’s in class or back where I live, I’m having the most interesting conversations with friends, other Americans, and Danish students and teachers. Everyone is so open here and so willing to learn…I’m trying to absorb it all in. It’s especially fun in our living situation since we are literally living and hanging out with Danes 24/7 now. It’s so cool to discuss the differences between here and America. Our conversations are actually meaningful…(and fun/hilarious of course). They get paid to go to college (totally not fair). They are always joking about how Danish people are so shy so it really means a lot that they have been hanging out with us loud obnoxious Americans. We are already joking around and I feel like I’ve known them for months! We are having a “dodgeball tournament” between the Americans and Danes Wednesday (I’ll take the role as the photographer…) and then a big party Saturday. We have been told that it’s common Danish culture to not really get to know a Dane until you go to a great party.

I went to visit my “visiting family” for the first time today for dinner. It consists of Mikala and her two children, Silas and Kayla. So much fun! They are two of the cutest Danish children (which is hard because Danish children are ADORABLE). They don’t know English yet but we had fun teaching each other colors and numbers while doing arts and crafts and jumping on the trampoline. It was a nice change to play around like a kid again in a foreign country. They live in a beautiful area of the town I’m staying in that is only just a bike ride away! Also, we are going to Tivoli tomorrow (an amusement park in Copenhagen) as well as have future plans to go to Lego Land! I can’t wait!

First concert in Copenhagen!

I’m officially a DIS blogger! I hope all of my Denmark/Europe adventures will be cool enough to be featured on our study abroad website.

This weekend has been a lot of fun. Friday some of us went into the city to see Bassnectar perform. Our trip into Copenhagen was obviously filled with adventures…which seems to be a pretty common theme for us now. The city streets were filled with people, and everyone stays out till about 5 in the morning. Danish people are so incredibly friendly. We were a little lost trying to find the concert, and every time we asked for help we met a new friend. Hopefully we are getting sushi with one of them this week! At the concert we were front row the whole time…and it was pretty insane. A huge dance party. Copenhagen was one of his first European stops for his current tour, and I’m pretty positive we made it into the very center of his annual concert picture of the crowd. We’ve been trying to find it but no luck yet. The music scene here in Denmark is amazing. There are a bunch of concerts that we are hopefully planning on going to in the future.


Thanks to Jenna and Jill us “country-side” students had a free floor to stay on. It was nice to not have to worry about the train system since we were getting our Visas early that morning! Also just had my first bagel here in Copenhagen…which was a nice “taste” of home. (For anyone who doesn’t know… I’m obsessed with bagels.)


After getting our Visas we got our first idea of a Copenhagen rainy day, so Aleah and I decided to go home and have an indoor picnic with all of our goodies from the flea market (wine, bread, cheese, nutella, olive spread). I could definitely get use to this!


The rest of our weekend has been spent resting and bonding with everyone here. Each time we hang out…whether it’s playing Kings or sitting on the roof in the middle of the night…everyone I live with just becomes more hilarious. It’s crazy how close we have become in less than a week. We’ve started to discuss our plans for traveling around Europe. I might even go sky diving in Switzerland! Craziness. The Danes arrived today and we are really excited to get to know them! Right now its move in so there are a lot of parents and it’s a little overwhelming.

Dinner here is really nice and cozy. We all meet up and sit together…it’s a very cool community feel. Already met a few Danish friends at dinner. Found out Americans are known for our “red solo cups”. We are all playing in a dodge ball tournament on Wednesday…that should be really interesting.

Tomorrow I’m having dinner with my visiting family. Can’t wait to tell you guys all about them!

A week of firsts

First night out in Copenhagen. First few days of class. It’s already been a total whirlwind and it’s pretty obvious all the excitement isn’t going to end any time soon. I’m totally exhausted…but definitely having the time of my life. Us Americans at the Folkehøjskole have become extremely close. A few nights ago we all decided to go into Copenhagen to enjoy the city nightlife for the first time…which ended up being a hilarious adventure. The nightlife here is amazing. Intense dance parties, great music, awesome lights, bruises from dancing in cages…you get the idea. After a crazy night we had no idea how much crazier it would get. Basically at night the bus we have to take back to our place runs only once an hour…and we missed our bus by one minute (after running around the city trying to figure out where to go…which was fun in heels). Some of us decided to take a quick catnap at the station while we waited…which made for some pretty good pictures. After getting back to our small town, we realized we had missed ANOTHER bus, and before we had to walk 3 miles home, a taxi magically appeared. Although the Copenhagen transportation system basically defeated us, it was actually funny and definitely a night I will never forget. We all learned our lesson and have gotten a better hang of things now! Tonight we are going back into Copenhagen to see Bassnectar for only $13. Can’t wait.

My first day of classes were amazing. I’m so lucky to be apart of such an amazing program here at DIS! All of the teachers are really hands on and build their curriculum around our interests. Our classes use all of Europe as part of their classroom, and we get to travel with each class around Denmark and Europe to get hands on experience with things relating to the class subject. I’m taking European Trends in Communications, Photojournalism, Holocaust and Genocide, and Psychology of Human Sexuality. I’m so excited to go to London for one of my classes, since it’s the main communications hub of Europe. Danish teachers are so awesome and cute. There’s something about them that makes them so unique, but I haven’t been able to figure it out. They are a lot more straight forward than any American teacher I’ve ever had.

Luckily my classes get out early enough for me to have time to explore the city even more. We checked out the Islands Brugge where Danes swim in man made pools right alongside the canal. We also stumbled upon a Danish equivalent to a “gourmet flea market”. So many free samples of European cheeses, wines, breads, meats, and traditional Danish open faced sandwiches. Aleah and I decided to buy some cheese, bread, and olive spread for a picnic at the castle down the street this weekend. To add to our “European fever”, we all got bikes, which is a HUGE thing here in Copenhagen. Everyone rides bikes. It’s a little intimidating but it’s a really great way to fit it and immerse us with the culture here. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes. Speaking of becoming a part of the culture here…someone mistook me for a Dane and asked me for directions today. And I even knew the answer! Major points for me.

København…the big city

Today was my first day actually going into Copenhagen! (The Danish way to say it is “København”.) Although figuring out transportation with all my new Folkehøjskole friends was pretty hilarious…the morning didn’t start off too great. With a mix of being jet lagged and having a cold I was already feeling not too great. Feeling sick when your trying to explore somewhere new and foreign is probably one of the most stressful things ever. I randomly got sick in a Danish bakery bathroom. This would be my luck. (Leaving my mark in Denmark already..?) Kind of sucked but at the same time I felt so much better afterwards, which was in perfect timing for the beginning of our city traveling. I was really proud of myself for powering through, and all my friends in my travel group were perfect for the extra comfort!

DIS sent us in groups on an “amazing race” around Copenhagen. Our group definitely added our own spin with some extra leisure time and ADD adventures, but it was a really great way to see a glimpse of the city. I hope I can fit everything in before I leave! It’s also so hot here; yesterday broke a record for the hottest day in Denmark. It was a whopping 80 degrees, a little different from the south, eh?

We’ve been taking advantage of the unusual warm weather with canal tours, picnics, and we have plans to swim in the canal and kayak sometime this week. The heat almost got too much…we had to cool off in every fountain we passed during our long walks today. It took a lot not to jump in.

Denmark is the perfect place to continuously feed my castle obsession. It’s the oldest monarch ever, and has the most castles in Europe. We saw where the current Danish Royal Family lives today. So breathtaking. Denmark is known for their architecture. The city is mixed with buildings dating back to the 1600s built by King Christian the IV and then modern buildings known for their environmental sustainability. Since it’s my first time in Europe, I’ve never been around such history that dates back that far. I absolutely love it.

The more I learn about Denmark, the more interesting the country becomes to me. They are extremely liberal…just found out today that they were the first place to legalize pornography and same-sex marriage. Also crossing the street is extremely dangerous…they don’t warn you by a “count down” that we find in America before the sign says don’t walk. Hopefully I can get the hang of that? Don’t step in the bike lane or you will LITERALLY get run over. And I was kind of surprised but there is hardly any English, if any, on signs or menus. Ordering food is definitely interesting.

After a long day defeating my sickness and exploring Copenhagen, some of us decided to continue to enjoy the nice weather in the city by ordering some drinks and appetizers at a cute outside cafe.

It’s a little quiet back at the Folkehøjskole since the Danes haven’t moved in yet, but we have been having so much fun getting to know our small group of Americans better! I still have no voice from my cold…so my roommate Aleah has been calling me “Vivian” until my “sexy” raspy voice disappears.

Hej Denmark!

I had a weird reflection while people watching in the airport today. Airports are such an interesting place…filled with so many different emotions. I saw so many tears as people parted from their loved ones. Extreme happiness when people reunited. Airports are what brings you home to see old friends and family, and for me the airport today was my gateway towards an exciting new adventure that I can’t even begin to understand or explain. I only got a taste of it today, but I already know that Denmark will offer me something that will forever change my life.. and give me experiences that I’ll never forget.

Landing in London for my connecting flight was pretty surreal. It was my first time ever being in Europe. Luckily I met one of my new DIS (Danish Institute of Study) friends Deep while waiting for my Copenhagen flight. Even though it was about seven in the morning we decided to start off our European experience right and share some “breakfast beers”. I’ll always remember my first drink in Europe at the London Airport! (Carling logger…very delicious)

Once I arrived to Copenhagen…a Ms. Alana Romans attacked me. It was so nice to see a familiar face…but honestly I wasn’t as nervous or anxious as I thought I would be. Just really excited!

We finally made it to Hillerød, the small town suburb we are staying in right outside of Copenhagen. I’m excited to get the chance to experience both a big city and small town feel.


We made it to where we are staying and I met my roommate Aleah who is great. Alana, Aleah, and I really hit it off! All three of us will be staying with around 10 other DIS students at “Grundtvigs Folkehøjskole”. It’s absolutely breathtaking. It’s basically designed like a greenhouse…so there is so much natural light. Perfect for those future cold days where we can still enjoy the sun without sitting outside.

A Folkehøjskole is basically a place where Danes can live and take all different classes without receiving any grades. This alows them to try different things and figure out what their interests are and what they want to major in. So basically, where I’m living has facilities for classes such as art, music, film, dance, photography, philosophy, and more. 60 Danes will be moving in with us in one week. We have our own personal chef, as well as a student bar and “discotech”. We will be able to eat meals and have celebrations with the Danes during our time here in Denmark. Many themed parties, get togethers, and cocktails/formals take place as well!

We took advantage of the beautiful weather and had dinner in the garden with Kim, a philosophy teacher at the Folkehøjskole. He warned us that Danes like to party hard, which is ok with us!

My favorite part of the night, and probably one of the most memorable things I’ll see here, is when we walked to Frederiksborg Slot Castle. I’ve always had a weird obsession with castles and royal history (probably because I obviously secretly want to be a princess). But this castle was probably one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. It’s the largest Renaissance castle in Scandinavia. And the best part about it is that it’s basically our next-door neighbor. Just a short walk and we can enjoy the castle and it’s extravagant gardens whenever we want. We are planning to do a wine and cheese picnic there sometime this week!

Can’t wait to see what else Denmark has in store for me!