The #1 question I am asked is, “Why did you choose to study in Denmark?” It is a valid question. I could’ve gone to Australia or Spain, rather I chose to endure my first true Nordic winter and saw snow fall for the first time. Although Denmark may not be the sexiest country to study abroad in, I’ve fallen deeply in love with my small, cozy city of Aarhus and all the people I’ve met.
A lot of my life has changed here which is to be expected. As hard as I try, I cannot pronounce most Danish words, but the Danes have the English language down. To stop the rumors that I heard prior to coming here, Danish accents are actually really cute and they do not sound like they have potatoes in their mouth when they speak. I no longer know the comfort of my 2001 Toyota Camry which I’ve had to swap out for a bike, because everyone from students to politicians ride bikes to commute. My study abroad experience is a bit different than others because I’m attending a school specifically for journalism which has a large international program. Not only have I made friends with the Danes, but also people from the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Australia.
One major difference in student life here is the Friday bar. Every Friday at 2PM, the on campus bar opens and everyone can go there to drink after classes are over. It’s the best way to let loose and meet other students before going out later at night. Although the Danes know how to party, the course load is very heavy here. I’ve done more work this semester than any semester back home, but it’s been great to see what I’m capable of creating.
It’s quite interesting to be a journalism major while studying here. Since I’m surrounded by so many diverse people and perspectives, my mind is opening up to the world around me. Although I’ve loved the classes I’ve taken at CSULB, I feel as though I was only seeing one side to the stories we would analyze and create in class. I felt like I was reporting from within a bubble. Now that I’m halfway across the world, I’m more aware of certain issues and get to hear how other countries see the United States. It’s definitely been a culture shock, but in the most enriching and rewarding way!
Raychel Ruiz is a Journalism major and a Music minor at CSULB who is abroad at the Danish School of Media and Journalism this spring 2017 semester. If you are a student or alum that has studied abroad and would like to write for our blog don’t hesitate to contact us!