|The DIS program allows UD students the opportunity to study with a geographically diverse group of students from across North America and other countries, attend a broad spectrum of courses taught in English, and experience continental European life in the clean, picturesque, and very livable city of Copenhagen, Denmark. DIS is located in the medieval heart of Denmark's capital, a city of one and half million. DIS occupies a now modernized and restored building, originally constructed in 1798, that contains administrative offices, a reference and study library, student lounges, computer labs (providing free email and Internet access), an academic advising center, and some classrooms. Other classrooms are held in University of Copenhagen buildings.|
Copenhagen is a vibrant city of thriving pedestrian streets, outdoor cafes, jazz clubs, ethnic restaurants, museums, historic cathedrals and castles. Danes are famous for their sense of design, gourmet combinations of food and drink, and humane politics. Denmark has a foot in many camps: it is part of Scandinavia yet occupies a central position on the mainland of continental Europe; it faces both the Baltic and the North Sea, straddling an East-West cultural axis. A small country of just over 5 million, it makes no pretense to dominate by military or economic means, but rather seeks to lead through the advancement of cultural values of tolerance and empathy for others. Danes have been major supporters of United Nations efforts to bring peace to warring countries and exceeds the United States in overseas development aid on a per capita basis. Lively debates about world affairs can be anticipated in coffee houses and around kitchen tables across the country.
The University: Denmark's International Study Program (www.discopenhagen.org), was founded in 1959, is affiliated with the University of Copenhagen and is financially supported by the Danish Government. Unlike programs in other European institutions, it is organized along the lines of an American university, with course credits, semesters, and instruction in English. Faculty are mostly Danish, but many have spent time at North American universities. In addition, DIS boasts an extensive academic and student life staff to assist participants as needed. Students come from Universities across the United States and Canada, as well as from Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, China and of course, Denmark.
DIS organizes a number of excursions, bike trips, and overnight trips to Oslo and southern Sweden in addition to more formal study trips during the mid-semester break. Through DIS students can be placed with local athletic leagues to engage in a multitude of team sports with Danes, or get involved in the community as a volunteer. The DIS Film Club screens movies on Sunday afternoons, and an American minister meets regularly at DIS with the "Students of Faith" group. Finally, DIS arranges social activities throughout the year, including arrival and farewell parties, a Danish Christmas luncheon, a picnic in the former royal hunting grounds, and a Danish-style Mardi Gras (Fastelavn).
A very well-organized week-long orientation begins each semester, greeting students at the Copenhagen airport, introducing them to host families or the kollegium, providing a crash course on survival Danish, culture and customs, outlining the nature of the academic program and its opportunities, and offering a walking tour of the city of Copenhagen.
Language: English is widely spoken by Danes throughout Copenhagen and you will have no difficulty interacting with people you meet or with your host family, if that is your choice. In addition, all DIS courses are taught in English. You may wish to take a Danish course as part of your program, but it is sometimes hard to practice on Danes because invariably they will reply in English.
Calendar: Fall semester runs from late August through mid-December. Spring semester goes from mid-January through mid-May. See the DIS web site for exact dates.
Visas and Passports: Both are required. As part of the admissions process, you will apply for a Danish residence visa that will allow you access to the Danish government national medical insurance program. Students should budget approximately $250 for visa expenses.
Travel and Transportation: As part of your housing fee, DIS will provide you with a monthly transit pass. Copenhagen, and Denmark as a whole, has a dense and highly efficient network of buses and trains that allow easy movement around the city. In addition, many Danes use bicycles along well-defined bike paths for short urban trips. Inexpensive used bikes can be purchased in Denmark and resold, often at no loss, upon departure. DIS organizes several two-day bike tours to various parts of the country. Copenhagen is also central to many other European destinations that can be reached via ferries and express trains.
Students are responsible for their own roundtrip airfare between the U.S. and Cophenhagen; airport pick-up at the start of the program is included in the program fee.
Housing and Meals: Students attending DIS have a number of housing options. Many stay with host families who often become life-long friends. Alternatively, students may stay in a Kollegium, a student cooperative similar to a residence hall, but with more individual autonomy.
Students who choose a home stay with a Danish family can expect the kind of experience that is at the core of studying abroad. Being part of the daily life of a foreign family, learning its habits, sharing its daily concerns, household chores and festive moments, getting involved in dinner conversations and arguments - in brief, experiencing a foreign culture from the inside instead of observing it from the outside - will give you incomparable personal and intercultural insights and skills. And, it's a two-way street. Families, very carefully chosen by DIS staff, sign-up to be host families because they believe in the kind of intercultural exchange that occurs when having a foreign student living with them.
An alternative to the home stay is the Kollegium, a European-type student residence hall. You will have your own room and bathroom and share a kitchen, along with cleaning responsibilities, with about 15 other students, mostly Danish. Kollegiums do not have dining halls so you have to plan and cook your meals and shop for food, often cooperatively with others in your hall. Unlike the home stay option, the Kollegium fee does not include meals
In either case, most families and Kollegiums are located in the quiet, green suburbs of Copenhagen and you should expect an average 30-60 minute commute to DIS in central Copenhagen. The cost of local transportation is included in the housing fee