University of Delaware Institute for Global Studies
Spring 2018: DIS Copenhagen

Program Dates January 13, 2018 - May 12, 2018
This program is closed.

Program Overview Students interested in the DIS program should make an appointment with the program director to discuss the application process, preferably at least one semester before the application deadline. For comments on the DIS program from past UD participants, download the "What Students Say" sheet at the bottom of this page.

DIS Study Abroad (DIS) is a UD-affiliated study abroad program offered every fall and spring semester (or for a full year) that allows 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. Founded in 1959 and loosely affiliated with the University of Copenhagen, DIS is located in the medieval heart of Denmark's capital, a city of one and half million. It occupies several restored historic buildings 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.

DIS 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 dozens of private and public universities across the United States.

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.

General Program Information

The attraction of DIS as a study abroad opportunity is the wide diversity of programs and courses it offers that span the Sciences to the Humanities. Students begin by selecting a core program from the following list:
Each core program has a required core course. Other courses to round out a student’s academic program can be selected from the approximately 200 courses DIS offers each semester in all the above subject areas.

Because the DIS program has a strongly applied approach, each core program includes a week-long study tour to explore the program topic in another country outside Denmark, as well as a shorter study tour to a regional location.

During the mid-semester break, DIS also organizes a number of optional study tours to such locations as Poland, Germany, Paris, Vienna, Iceland, and Norway. Alternatively, outdoor adventure trips are also offered at an additional cost that include trips such as bike tours on a Danish island, skiing in the French Alps, exploring cuisine in Southern France, rock-climbing in the Czech Republic, and more.

A very well-organized orientation begins each semester, greeting students at the Copenhagen airport, introducing them to their housing of choice, providing a crash course on survival Danish, culture and customs, outlining the nature of the academic program and its opportunities, and offering an "Amazing Race"-style exploration of the city of Copenhagen.

Experiential Learning: Semester-long study abroad programs may offer opportunities for more immersive experiences such as internships or community service engagement. Many such opportunities exist with DIS. To become more acquainted with the Danish people, DIS can provide resources for students to join local athletic leagues or help them get involved in the community as a volunteer.. A visiting family program can connect students through dinners and family excursions with a Danish family. 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).

DIS also offers a 3-credit research opportunity in which students collaborate with DIS faculty on projects in a variety of firleds including public health, gender studies, psychology, justice and human rights, and environmental science. Approval of the research course by UD is not guaranteed and must be approved by the appropriate UD department.

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 mid-August through mid-December. Spring semester goes from mid-January through mid-May. See the DIS web site for exact dates.

Residency Permit and Passports: Both are required. After arrival in Denmark, DIS will arrange for you to receive a Residency Permit that includes universal healthcare enjoyed by Danish citizens. The fee for the permit is $350.

Travel and Transportation: As part of your housing fee, DIS will provide you with a monthly transit pass to use between your housing choice and DIS classes. 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. 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 Copenhagen; airport pick-up at the start of the program is included in the program fee.

Housing and Meals: Students attending DIS have six different housing options and must select three, ranked in order of preference, on their DIS application. Many students 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), a Folkehojskole (a housing and academic community where Danish students spend a year before beginning formal University studies), a Living and Learning Community similar to small theme-focused housing, a DIS Residential Community with other DIS students, or living in an apartment with another DIS student (not recommended except for the second semester of a full-year program).

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 debates - 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.

All meals are covered when living in a homestay, and the Folkehojskole option includes breakfast and dinner during the week and all meals on weekends. For the other housing options, meals are not included in the housing fee. Instead, DIS provides a grocery store card with approximately $600 in credit. For more details regarding housing options, visit the DIS website which contains detailed descriptions and videos of life in each housing opportunity.

To read more about the DIS program from a student's perspective, check out the UDAbroad blog posts from past participants.

ACCESSIBILITY: Participants with disabilities should know that accessibility and accommodation in some program locations may differ from the United States. Transit systems and legacy building construction practices may not meet U.S. accessibility standards, and alternative access to public transportation, buildings, or public sites cannot be guaranteed. But UD students with disabilities are welcome and encouraged to study abroad. Review these questions with the Office of Disability Support Services to determine whether this program can meet your accommodation needs. In addition, see informaton about DIS' diability services on their website.

Courses: All students must enroll in the 0-credit course UNIV 550 (placeholder for this travel study experience) and UNIV 372 (Discovery Learning marker). All DIS courses are taught in English (except for Danish language courses), and offerings can vary from semester to semester. Students must take a minimum of 12 credit hours and courses must be for credit, not pass-fail. As a UD program, all DIS courses completed with a grade of C or better will transfer back to UD and be placed on a student’s UD transcript. The program director maintains a list of how courses previously taken by UD students have transferred. However, you are free to take any of the courses offered at DIS, whether or not they appear on the list. (See the pdf document at the bottom of this web page for the most current list of DIS-UD course equivalencies.). It is the student's responsibility to secure the necessary UD transfer credit permissions prior to departure.

Program Costs:

Contact Information:
Lisa Chieffo
Associate Director
Clayton Hall, 100 David Hollowell Drive, Newark, DE, 19716
Peter Rees
Faculty Director
230 Pearson Hall

Submit Program Application by 5pm on September 10, 2017
Recommendation also due by 5pm on September 10, 2017

Interest Meetings:
04/10/2017, 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM, IGS conference room, 213 Clayton Hall
04/11/2017, 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM, IGS conference room, 213 Clayton Hall

Program information is subject to change at any time. Please check this web site periodically for updates.