“Why Denmark?”

This is a question I’ve been getting a lot, mostly from the Danes. But it’s a good one!

I decided I wanted to study abroad a year ago. Caltech offers several different programs, and Copenhagen was my first choice for several reasons:

  1. It’s not in the UK, unlike 3 of the other programs. Not that there’s anything wrong with the UK, but I wanted to be as far out of my comfort zone as possible.
  2. Consequently, I would get to learn a foreign language!!
  3. I had the option to come at the beginning of August for an intensive Danish language course, and thus that made the CPH program the longest one — a full five months!
  4. The Danes have a fascinating political system, and Denmark has been called “the happiest country in the world” 🙂

So I will be here for five months – from July 23 to December 23. I am enrolled at Copenhagen University (Københavns Universitet) and also at Danish Technical Institute, which is located outside the city in Lyngby (pronounced sort of like loong-boo ?). I’m taking two classes at each university:

  • Planetary Physics (DTU)
  • Earth System Science (DTU)
  • Søren Kierkegaard and the Challenge of Existence (KU)
  • Danish language (KU)

My Danish class starts on Aug 1, then all the rest start in late August. I only have class on Mondays and Wednesdays, but the classes are very long, usually several hours each. This is because in class (from what I’ve heard), there are lectures, group discussions, and homework problems. So this means there’s not a ton of work outside of class (yesssss!! So different from Caltech). I get Caltech credit for the classes I’m taking, so it fits in nicely with my planetary science major requirements.

KU assigned me a “mentor,” and her name is Sarah. She is a third year European Ethnology major, and she is super awesome! She picked me up from the airport and gives me advice on how to get around Copenhagen and where to buy things, etc. It was so great having a friend right away in CPH.

So that’s a basic summary of “why Denmark” and what I’ll be doing here! Post questions if you have them 🙂


One thought on ““Why Denmark?”

  1. Thank you very much for all of this info. I feel like I am now up to speed!

    As you probably guessed, I am now a big fan of the way they teach classes over there 🙂

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