It’s been almost one month since I returned to America after four months of living abroad. To sum it up, I feel weird.
I’m now back in Seattle, ready to start up my winter quarter here at Seattle University and it almost feels like I was never even abroad.
For the last few weeks, I have been so far removed from everything that happened in the last few months: I’ve been only in places that speak English as the first language, I haven’t seen too many of the friends I made abroad and I’m alone in my friend group at SU in the sense that no one else has studied abroad.
Reintegrating into life at a normal American university and into a world where I’m not always on the move is going to be a big learning and growing experience for me, but I can’t say exactly how it’ll go.
Instead, I thought it’d be good for me to reflect on the whirlwind that I would call my study abroad experience and share with you some of my favorite places in Copenhagen.
Studying in Denmark provided me with so many things: an opportunity for unique education, the challenge of living in a new country and the chance to meet people that would be my friends for the rest of my life. Realistically, any study abroad opportunity will provide you with those things, but for Denmark, it was different. The Danish culture is so focused on community and warmth, despite the cold, rainy exterior that it shows the world. Living in Copenhagen gave me an inside look on what it means to be a Dane and helped me to value my time and relationships in a new and refreshing way.
Honestly, writing this post is a little hard, as I don’t want to be reflecting on my experience in Denmark. I want to be going back! I want to hop on a plane for 10 hours and be back in what was normal life for me for four months. I want to be back in Martin’s classroom, learning about counter-terrorism techniques with my best friends. I want to be back in Europe so I have the same opportunity for travel. I want to be back living with my sister, procrastinating assignments so we can make banana pancakes and watch How I Met Your Mother.
Unfortunately, I can’t be, but I think that’s what makes the last semester so special. We all walked into it, knowing that our fun was only going to last four months, yet still fully immersed ourselves in new experiences, places and friendships with no hesitation. We dove in, as though we would be in little Cope forever, finding favorite coffee shops, restaurants and bars and creating friendships that would last far beyond the walls of DIS Copenhagen.
I walked out of Copenhagen with a new understanding of the world, a stronger appreciation for the little things around me, and a greater thirst for more opportunities like this one.
I knew no one going into DIS in August and left in December with amazing friends, who I can’t wait to see soon. I’m excited for trips to Spokane to see Jill, an east coast reunion to hang out with my friends from my core course, and phone calls with Will to keep me grounded. While I gained so many incredible things from going abroad, these relationships are the most important.
I know this whole thing probably sounds dramatic, but it’s hard to keep my emotions fully in check looking back on the amazing time that I had and knowing that it’s over.
To lighten things up, throughout the semester I kept a list of my favorite places in Copenhagen in case you ever decide to go:
- Gorm’s Pizza: PHENOMENAL pizza. I would go between classes (as there’s a Gorm’s close to DIS) and feast on some really tasty, thin crust pizza. HIGHLY recommend.
- Mad og Kaffe: This cute little restaurant offers either 3 or 5 small plates (depending on how hungry you are) for breakfast or brunch! They also have INSANE fresh pressed juices. Super fun to go to with friends on a Saturday morning!
- The Little Yellow Coffeeshop: This was a favorite of mine. El and I would meet up between my classes to grab some coffee and pandekages, enjoying the cozy atmosphere and the close proximity to campus!
- Høst: Alright everyone. This is one you go to when your parents come to visit because it’s a little pricey. Høst offers either three or five course meals that include a wine pairing for each and many surprise dishes all the way through. So worth the money!
- Mikeller: This Danish microbrewery has really tasty beer and a cozy location in Vesterbro. It’s a good place to grab a drink after dinner with a friend or two!
- Stempel: This restaurant in Enghave Plads became a staple for El and I, as it was close to our apartment! They have a wide array of yummy dishes and super friendly staff who remember your order if you go enough (like El and I did).
- Bang & Jensen: a really cool and cozy bar that also serves great smørrebrød and alternative meals! This is where I spent my last night in Copenhagen with some close friends. It’s also a coffeeshop by day!
- Ørstedparken: It doesn’t offer food but it’s a green park right in the middle of the city next to DIS! It has walking paths around a lake and plenty of places to relax and escape from busy city life.
- Lagkagehuset: First things first, ask a local how to pronounce it. Second, order a croissant and a vanilla latte. You won’t be disappointed! They have locations all over town.
- Pizzeria 54: a pizza place in Vesterbro that is super convenient if you don’t feel like cooking! They make super yummy food and it was really close to my apartment.
This post marks the end of Young in Europe so, sadly, it’s time to say goodbye! This blog has been such an important outlet for me and a great place to really consider and reflect on my time abroad! Thank you all for your support and I’ll catch you somewhere new.