Hi! I’m Lizzie, an Economics major about to begin my Spring semester at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. I can’t believe time has passed this quickly, from eagerly filling out an abroad application in September, to now –nearly one and a half months before my departure! The past months have been a haze of excitement, nerves, research, paperwork, and confusion (obtaining a short-term residence permit in Denmark is shockingly difficult). The more I stare at images of the colorful waterfront buildings of Copenhagen, the more I can’t wait to be in one of their world-renown bakeries, accompanies by friends or my Danish economics textbooks.
Maybe I just tend to live too “in the now” but no matter how much I researched and planned, this trip had seemed like a distant experience that would greet me on the some far-off date. It was hard for me to picture myself in such a setting, most likely since I have never been to Denmark; unlike Paris or London, I have absolutely no face to pair with a name. Yet for some reason, a development in my plans this past break completely transformed and solidified this experience in my mind—on Thanksgiving morning, I officially received my housing arrangement. I’m living in an university residence hall in the exciting neighborhood of Osterbro, just a ten to fifteen-minute bike ride from any section of campus. Shared kitchens and lounge ares on each floor make the building a very social and welcoming community, and it’s located a few blocks away from every cafe I could imagine. Believe me, I’ve spent far too much time on Google Maps since, exploring the local area and its shops and museums. It seems ideal in every way possible.
From then on out, the excitement has been tangible; I can finally fully picture myself both as a student and resident in Copenhagen. It’s a comforting yet familiar feeling; the adventure I”m about to embark on is in more ways than one similar to the “leap” I took going to UW-Madison. As a California resident who grew up in 70-degree winters and had visited the Midwest only once, I wanted nothing more than a total change of scenery in college. The adjustment was overwhelming and difficult, as any college experience is, but will prove nothing but beneficial for the adventure that’s about to come.
The following month will be filled with technicalities and loose ends –packing, phone plans, doctors visits. Yet an emotional round of goodbyes with my campus, hometown, family, and all of their familiarity will follow. Even so far, this experience has been an odd, roller coaster mix of nerves and excitement, but it all just feels right in some way. I truly have faith that everything will fall into place, and that I will enjoy diving head first into this opportunity that I’m so incredibly lucky to have. After all, change is the only way to grow.