shelbyalexandra93 asked:

Hi Kelly! I'm applying to study abroad in Copenhagen next spring, and am considering the Kollegium housing option. I read your answer to someone else who asked about it, and it seems like an incredible opportunity. Do you have any other tips for making the most out of the semester? Thanks! ~ Shelby

Happy to hear that you are considering the kollegium housing option considering that had the biggest impact on my amazing experience in Copenhagen.  Making the most out of your semester is ultimately up to you and your interests.  There were some individuals who were more passionate about traveling every weekend and there were others who were more passionate about getting to know the city they were studying in.  For me, it was definitely the latter decision.  Though I love to travel and experience different cultures and food (of course!), I made the most out of my semester by really immersing myself into Danish culture.  So if you’re interested in that type of experience, keep reading.  If not, keep reading anyways because maybe you will change your mind.  You may not understand these things or places in Copenhagen now, but you will very shortly after your arrival:

1. Volunteer at Studenterhuset! It is a local cafe where you get to be a barista, bartender and get to know local Danes as well as other international students.  You are only required to volunteer 15 hours a month, you get free drink cards for every hour you work, and a free cappuccino during work, so worth it.

2. Explore Nørrebro and Vesterbro.  Both are different parts of Copenhagen that I didn’t even touch foot on until my second semester there. So don’t wait!!! You are going to get comfortable with inner city very quickly, but studying abroad isn’t a time to be comfortable, it’s a time to get out there and get out of your comfort zone!  Nørrebro has a beautiful graveyard to sit in when the weather gets nicer, amazing flea markets, cool and small bars, and so much culture!!!! Vesterbro has the meat packing district for night life, as well as trendy bars and cute boutiques.  

3. Get a bike.  Should have listed this first.  It is the BEST form of transportation, the easiest way to get involved in Danish culture, and the best way to get to know your way around the city.  On top of all that, you get some exercise which can never hurt. 

4. Learn to cook.  Before coming abroad I never tried to cook because I never thought I would be good at it.  Now, take a look at my instagram (literally, kelstar21) and ALL you are going to see are new food concoctions that I have made.  It has given me the independence to feed myself with food I want to eat as well as the confidence to cook for others.  Also, the Dane’s will respect you if they see you cooking food other than pasta (just a little hint :)).

5. This might come off as a strange but STUDY AT THE BLACK DIAMOND LIBRARY, if you don’t have homework, READ AT THE BLACK DIAMOND LIBRARY, and if you don’t want to read, LITERALLY SIT AT THE BLACK DIAMOND LIBRARY.  It is so beautiful and you do get a decent amount of assignments from DIS and that library put me in such a zone.  I made sure that every family member and friend who visited me abroad saw that library, not kidding. 

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Copenhagen.  It changed my life and if you let it, it will change yours too.  Hope this helped!

walkalittlefarther asked:

hi there :) i'll be in copenhagen next year and just had a quick (& kind of trivial) question for ya - what kind of jacket would you recommend? i'm having a hard time deciding if a thigh length rain jacket would be worth buying (as opposed to a shorter one). thanks!

It depends which season you are there for.  Personally I had a light jacket and a heavy jacket.  My heavy jacket is the one I am wearing in my “Until Next Time, Copenhagen” post.  It was heavy but short, which I thought to be especially convenient when biking (which I did for all the seasons :)).  It really is all about personal preference but I hope I helped a bit!  

Until Next Time, Copenhagen


After eight months of being abroad, it is truly incredible how the people I have met along the way have changed my life for the better. From biking around Amsterdam with Australian backpackers to creating a bond in Budapest that will never be forgotten, my experience abroad went so much further than I had ever expected. However, it was also the day-to-day things that made my experience that much more special. So what made my average day so special? My kitchen, my floor, my home. Not a day goes by since arriving back home that I don’t think about the interesting, incredible individuals on my floor that I now call my friends. From the mock Thanksgiving dinners to watching Grease in the kitchen, to straight up talking about our lives, I could not thank each of you living in B100 enough.  You are all amazing!


Something I have learned abroad is that everything in life is temporary. Whether it’s your location that is constantly changing or if it’s you as a person that is changing, time has a way of pushing us forward. So it is up to us, the individuals to use this time wisely. My time in Copenhagen has not just been used through experience, it has also been utilized through observation. The social environment, the culture, and the general mentality that most Danes have has been a true inspiration in my life. Whether it was their humble approach or it was their daily commute by bike, Danish culture has become part of my own. Denmark has changed the way I think, the way I handle situations, the way I go about my day. So no matter where I am in the world, I will implement everything I have learned. Copenhagen, you have changed me, and for that I am forever grateful.

Nothing left to say except until next time, Copenhagen.


starspangledbelle asked:

Hi Kelly! I'm interested in the Kollegium housing option. I was wondering if you could tell me a bit about it and your first experiences with it. Did you meet any good friends or travel with anyone from it? Thanks!


Choosing to live in a Kollegium was by far the single most thing that made my year abroad in Copenhagen absolutely incredible.  Every Kollegium is different but my specific living situation was that I had my own bedroom but I shared a bathroom with another DIS American.  We then shared a floor and a kitchen with 10 other university students that were Danish or international.  It was the BEST decision I have ever made.  We had kitchen dinners a bunch of time, watched Grease one night in the kitchen, but above all there was amazing conversation.  It was so cool to be around people my age from all over the world.  We were able to compare and contrast our lives while laughing about it.  Aside from the cultural experience, DIS has SRA’s in each of the Kollegiums.  (They basically play the role as a much more chill RA)   These SRA’s are very good at organizing events and activities for the other Americans living on in your building.  This makes it much easier for you to get to know the other Americans.  As for traveling, most of it was done with friends I made through DIS. Some lived in my building, others were from class, and sometimes it was a combination of both.  Everyone in DIS is looking for a travel buddy (and there is a Facebook page for it where people post about travel ideas all the time).  

All in all, I definitely recommend living in a Kollegium- It may sound cheesy, but the positive impact it has had on my life is indescribable. 

Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

My Own Euro-Vision

Being an American, I thought I would know all the hit events that happen all over the world.  To my surprise, I was wrong.  Every year, there is a big event somewhere in Europe called Eurovision.  Because Denmark won last year, it was their turn to host the event.  Signs were everywhere promoting the event and people were giving out free stuff.  Regardless of the rather grey weather, the city was more alive than ever before.  I must say it was one of the most interesting song competitions I have ever seen. However, the true highlight of watching the event on television was not just about what I was watching but who I was watching it with.  I had some American friends come over to cook dinner and we spent the evening with a bunch of my Danish and international floor mates.  It was the best group of people and it was so much fun. 

Groovin’ In Copenhagen

This past Tuesday night was none other than Copenhagen Groove’s Unplugged event 2.0.  Copenhagen Groove is an online outlet for individuals in the surrounding area of Copenhagen who crave new music. So it is up to our class (Digital Media in Marketing) to not only find artists, it is up to us to promote and host events.  A few months ago we had our first unplugged event and it was extremely successful.  There were students from our class, other students from DIS, and general supporters of the website who attended the event.  With constructive criticism from the first event, we were optimistic about the second event and luckily everything went as planned.  

There were returning artists as well as new artists who attended the event.    It was a huge success!  In addition, there was a nice surprise at the end where all the artists who performed went up to the stage together and performed together.  There were some who knew each other before the event and some whom have never met, yet the second they all got up to the stage a bond was formed. It was a great sight to see and it was an even better sound to listen to.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to planning an event like this.  It requires budgeting, getting in touch with the artists, creating flyers, promoting flyers, set up, and clean up.  It requires communication between the class and it requires dedication and determination as well.  It is up to the individual to do beyond what is assigned to them to make these events run as smoothly as they have been.  This class and Copenhagen Groove has provided insight on what is like to work in a company like this one on a day-to-day basis.  That being said, as a class we have learned from our mistakes and our successes and hopefully will be having another Copenhagen Groove unplugged event before the end of May.

So in the meantime, stay tuned and visit

Sunshine And Tan Lines

For my third travel break, I spent four days in Southern Italy and four days in Southern France.  With the weather at the perfect temperature and with the company of great friends, I knew this week was going to be fantastic.  

For the trip to the Amalfi Coast, three friends and I signed up for a trip organized by Bus2Alps, and let me tell you, that was the best decision any of us could have made.  They organize accommodation, transportation to the main destinations, but let us spend the day as we choose.  It was enough independence that we could do our own thing but without the hassle of having to plan everything.  We spent a day in Capri, a day in Positano, and a day in Pompeii.  It was an amazing few days.

I spent the remainder of my trip in Cannes, France sitting by the beach, soaking up the sun while reading a book.  Something that my friend and I did that was quite the money saver was cooking for ourselves.  We booked an Airbnb apartment that came with a kitchen.  It was so nice to make breakfast, pack lunch, and end the day with a relaxing dinner.  

Being abroad for the year, I have done quite a lot of traveling.  This trip however, was by far the most relaxing and I could not have asked for a better eight days.

Some Water And A Whole Lot Of Chalk

When planning my third travel break, I made the decision to come back to Copenhagen early from my travels so that I could do some further exploring of Denmark.  As important as it is to me to see other parts of Europe, I think it is even more important to really explore the country I am living in.  So, that is exactly what I did.

Three friends and I explored the chalk mountains of Denmark, also known as, Møns Klint.  It was a gorgeous day outside so it was perfect for hike and for climbing a few stairs..or 500. We rented a car and drove there, stopped at a grocery store, ate along the coast.  It was SO great let alone incredible that a place like this even exists! In addition, I got to spend the day with great company..and a diverse group of people at that! Two Americans, one German, and one Danish person! Talk about cultural immersion :)

Italians Can Be Tardy Too..

Although the semester seems to be winding down.. the workload, the traveling, the last minute things on my bucket list have delayed this much necessary blog post!

I have now experienced my second and final study tour with DIS.

Destination: Milan

Having this be my second time traveling to Italy this year, I had some predisposed expectations of this trip.  However, Milan was unlike any other Italian city I had visited before.  It is hands down fashion capital, and that says a lot coming from a New Yorker herself.  From the Duomo to skyscrapers, history and modernization beautifully intertwined.  

What was especially nice about the study tour to Milan was the balance of academic visits and free time.  So it is only fair to give you a major highlight of both.

Academic Visit:

One of my favorite highlights of the trip was this visit to the famous painting, The Last Supper.  Google image is nothing compared to seeing the painting in real form.  It was so nice of DIS to provide such accommodation, given how hard it is to book a reservation.  Standing in that room, I could really feel the history surround me.  It was an incredible sight. 

Another highlight, was learning about the impact Dog Therapy has with cognitive functioning.  This type of practice is commonly used with patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and in one of the research studies done on this practice, it was unexpectedly discovered that this type of therapy enhancing learning.  This type of discovery in my eyes promoted the future of Positive Psychology.  Since Positive Psychology is still a new field, there is a lot of research still needed.  So being able to learn about new impacts and new discoveries not only restored faith in the field of Positive Discovery, but it made me want to learn more. 

My favorite academic lesson had to be the random act of kindness activity we were all assigned to do.  DIS provided each group of about four or five with 10 euro and were assigned to do whatever random of act of kindness to whomever.  The second we got outside, a girl in my group instantly said: I have an idea. We didn’t ask questions and simply followed her to the destination.  We ended up giving the full 10 euro to a man on the street who carves beautiful things out of carrots for a living.  We had all passed by him a bunch of times and really appreciated his art.  However, when we got back to our class and each went around to discuss what we did with our money it turned out that almost every group gave him the money. I guess it was his lucky day! 

Free Time

One of the days in Milan, we had the entire afternoon free so a few of us decided to take a day trip to Lake Como.  Although the weather was a bit cloudy, it was still a beautiful and fun day!  I definitely enjoyed the nature.

Milan was a great week spent with great friends.  My core-course really came together and really made an effort to know one another.  I wouldn’t trade that week for the world.

girl--from-the--north-country asked:

Hey there! Im going to be at DIS for the whole year next year! im planning on living in a kollegium (want to meet a danish boyfriend you know, haha). I can't wait, but the only thing im apprehensive about is how expensive copenhagen is and traveling costs. I want to travel as much as possible and will probably stay in europe over winter break to. How much to you recommend saving up before? Like about how much ish a month did you spend, how much did the stipend help? answer privately if yah want

Hey! hmm, spending and saving is a tricky one because it really depends. I will be very honest and say that my second semester here was much trickier than my first semester because i could feel how much money I had spent (if that makes any sense).  Stipend helps a bunch if you budget it wisely, will take some time to figure things out but once you get the hang of how to spend it it will be very helpful!  Grocery shopping isn’t expensive in Denmark, it is clothing, the makeup, the eating out for lunch/dinner that costs money so you just need to pay close attention to the prices.  Honestly, spending varied from month to month but I guess my main tip when traveling is: know what you NEED and do not focus on what you want.  I have had travel breaks where I have spent close to 1000$ and then this past week I only spent 300$… budgeting while traveling is possible you just need to know how to limit yourself! 

I would honestly, save up as much as possible because I am pretty sure you will use it in one way or another!

Let me know if you have any other questions.  I hope you are excited because you are about to have the most incredible year of your life.