Denmark: Global Gateway Summer 2022 (Reflections)

Top ten list: Copenhagen by J’khayla J.

Coming Soon. 

Final Reflections by Tamiya S.

The past three weeks have passed by so quickly. It feels like just yesterday when we first arrived and everyone was in awe about being here. Now we are all settling into living here and really getting to know the city. I think it’s funny because before I came here I was nervous about getting around and figuring out my way, however now I am able to get to where I want to get and familiarize myself with buildings and signs. I still get nervous when I venture out by myself just knowing I am not fully comfortable here and am not too familiar with the people living here, but I know for sure if I was to stay here a whole semester this would truly become my home.

Reflecting on my first impression essay, one thing I wish I added was the canal tour. That was for sure the highlight of week one. I am not the biggest fan of being on boats but the tour was absolutely beautiful. Seeing the city and the architecture was breathtaking, and is exactly why I have so many photos in my phone of the city. Another thing I reflected on was how sustainable the country is. In Denmark everyone rides bikes and they have their own lane throughout the city with traffic lights and all. It’s crazy how many times I have found myself almost getting hit by bikes because there are so many bikers and they ride bikes how we drive cars. Even though I decided not to rent a bike, I have been getting so much exercise everyday by walking everywhere and taking lots and lots of stairs. It feels good as my calves are stronger than they have been since beginning college and it’s also motivating to get back in the gym when I get home and to take more walks. Another thing I talked about is productivity. Being here I have been enjoying getting up at reasonable times and having activities to do all day, really taking advantage of my days and being able to do everything I want or need to do. This will be something I will apply in my life right away when I am home. I have been brainstorming how I want my daily routine to look and the changes I will have to make to make it possible.

Horsens Prison

Looking at my second essay I would expand on the other beautiful castles and museums we got to explore and how we gained so much knowledge through tours and stories. To start the Horsens Prison we got to visit last week. Although, ride there and back was absolutely uncomfortable and long, I really enjoyed the tour we went on. My favorite story was the story on how a prisoner dug himself out of prison with a spoon and created a tunnel that eventually led him free from prison. I think the prison was my favorite museum that we went to, but for the future I think it would be better to plan for more time at the prison as we were only there for an hour and we rode for almost four hours there and back. I would have liked to be able to explore the museum and the other floors more in depth.

My two lasting memories that I am forever taking with me are the food tour and our adventure to Sweden. I talked about the food tour in my last essay but that was definitely one of the highlights of the program. Going to Sweden was an adventure, I was excited to go to another country especially since Denmark is the first place I have been internationally. Now I can say I have been to two countries. Being able to hop on a train to travel to a different country is something I love about Europe. Being in the States to leave the country you must fly or get on a boat unless you are traveling to Canada. The countries in Europe remind me of States in the U.S how close they are. I enjoyed my time there as the food was delicious, shopping was fun and way cheaper than Denmark and it was just a cute little place to be at. Overall, I am excited to return home and take all of the insight I have gained from here and apply it to my everyday life as well as reflect on and share the memories I have here.

My program experience in 100 words by Amani A.

It is truly surreal to think that our time in Denmark is already wrapping up and coming to a close. Although it seems like it started just yesterday, three weeks was truly the perfect amount of time to thoroughly explore and learn about life in Denmark. Studying abroad has been an absolute dream of mine and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to fully immerse myself into Danish culture all while learning about the African American experience in Denmark with Professor Whitmire. It has been the most enriching and engaging experience, and it’s most definitely one of my favorite courses I’ve taken here at UW. The combination of classroom-learning, as well as learning through excursions at museums, castles, walking-tours, and interactions with the Danes and culture directly, has created the most ideal learning environment. I can wholeheartedly say that I will walk away from this experience having grown immensely. I could go on and on about my experiences in Denmark, but I will try my best to encompass my life abroad in only a few words. If I were to rewrite this program description based off my own experiences, it would go a little something like this:

Examine the intersectionalities of race, gender, sexual orientation, social class, body politics, and how they play a tremendous role in the day-to-day lives of unexplored, talented African-American artists, poets, and musicians. Walk in the footsteps of Booker T. Washington, Reed Peggram, June Richmond, Marian Andersen, and many more as you explore the city they once thrived in. Meet and learn from notable speakers and authors, and fully immerse yourself into Danish culture; learn about a history that is often overlooked during excursions to castles, museums, and the colorful neighborhoods of Copenhagen. Expand your thinking horizons, branch out of your comfort zone with a brand new group of people, try new foods (like Smørrebrød), and reignite your passion for learning!

Trying to encompass three busy weeks in Denmark in only 100 words seemed rather impossible; there is simply too much I want to say! Sometimes pictures speak louder than words. There are infinite stories that hide beyond the pixels of a photograph, so I’ve decided to attach a few photos and descriptions that can help paint this exciting chapter of my life in Denmark below.

Excursions 

Pictured here is one of the most famous castles in Denmark: Frederiksborg Castle. This is just one of the many excursions that our cohort had the opportunity to participate in! We were led on a walking tour by Anders Larsen, who taught us how to perform the traditional danish square dance in this beautiful, vibrant ballroom. Afterwards, our group enjoyed a stroll around the vast palace gardens.

We took numerous walking-tours and food-tours through many historic neighborhoods, including the vibrant Nyhavn (pictured here), Multicultural Nørrebro, Christianshavn, and more.

 

Food

We were all lucky enough to consume lots of delicious food on this program! Many of us stepped out of our comfort zones and tried dishes we’ve never had before; Smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches), an endless supply of fish (especially cod), and an exquisite vegetable garden with caviar and oyster sauce are just some of many! We dined with the Danes on a rainy Thursday evening, embraced the heat of the kitchen during a cooking class, devoured lots of street food (especially hotdogs!), and filled our bellies with delicious pastries. We especially enjoyed trying different ethnic restaurants to experience other cultural foods within Danish society. Also, on another note, Denmark has some of the best, and sweetest strawberries I’ve ever had!