Abroad

Summer in Copenhagen

Anna Martin

Photo Editor

Copenhagen Photo

This summer, I studied abroad in Scandinavia. While attending the Danish Institute for Study Abroad, I got to experience life in Copenhagen while taking classes and learning about education and multiculturalism in Denmark. I fell in love with the beautiful, charming, and vibrant capital. The first thing that stood out to me was that almost everyone in the city bikes to get around. There are more bikes than people in Copenhagen, and it is one of Europe’s greenest cities. On the first day of the program, all the students were sent out to do a scavenger hunt throughout the city. This activity allowed us to visit some of the main attractions, including Nyhavn, the city’s historic harbor. Most Copenhageners speak fluent English and are very friendly people, so I felt welcome right from the beginning. I took two classes during my time there. My first class was about immigrant and refugee children in Europe. It was really fascinating. We learned about the immigration policies currently in place in Denmark, what it means to have refugee status, how immigrant children are being integrated, what the challenges are, and what can be done to make the process better and help these children. I got to visit a Danish preschool, middle school, and high school. The schools were all in different neighborhoods so it was interesting to see what kinds of people live in each part of the city. It was such a great experience observing typical classes and talking with the children and teachers. The Danish students were also very curious about the way education works in the U.S., so my classmates and I got to explain to them our school system and what it’s like growing up in America. We also got to visit various organizations that work on children’s rights and helping immigrant and refugee children settle in Denmark. My second class was all about multicultural education in Europe. As part of this course, my class went on a one-week study tour to Istanbul, Turkey. We visited Turkish schools there and had a tour guide to visit all the magnificent sites. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. At the end of the course, we had to compare and contrast the educational systems in Denmark and Turkey, as well as draw comparisons between their different ways of raising a child in their societies. I learned so much about Scandinavia during this program, and I took away valuable ideas about aspects of their life and their schooling. With their child-centered education, relaxed lifestyle, free healthcare, biking culture, coziness and simplicity, it is easy to understand why Denmark is considered to be the happiest country in the world. I definitely hope to go back to Copenhagen sometime in the future.

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Categories: Abroad

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