my first field study
On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to go on a “field study” with my Danish Language and Culture course. Along with my professor, my class visited the Nationalmuseet (National Museum of Denmark). At the museum, we were divided into groups and asked to create a brief presentation about a period of Danish history. I was assigned the Middle Ages, so my group mostly observed the elaborate Catholic iconography of the era. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many crucifixes in one place!
Working in a small group to create a presentation, I got to know some of my fellow classmates a bit better. Unlike my other elective classes, most of which are focused on some variation of gender and sexuality studies, the peers in my Danish elective course are studying a wide variety of disciplines. For instance, the students in my group were studying Global Economics and Medical Biotechnology. I enjoyed getting to know my classmates better, and I think that feeling comfortable with each other will make our time in Danish class more productive (since it can feel embarrassing to try to pronounce all the difficult Danish vowels)!
After visiting the museum, our professor took us to a nearby coffee shop and taught us how to order in Danish. He made a deal with the barista that we would only receive a drink if we ordered correctly in Danish–a little intimidating–but I’m very glad that I know how to order my tea in the local language now! At the coffee shop, the various groups also had time to present about our respective historical eras, so we all gained a broader understanding of Danish history.
Following this break, our professor took us to have a personalized tour of the Danish Supreme Court. We had a lively discussion about differences in the American and Danish legal systems, learning from one of the justices of the Danish Supreme Court himself.
The opportunity to go on field studies such as this one with my Danish class is one of the main reasons I chose to study abroad with DIS. Instead of meeting in my regularly scheduled classes on Wednesdays, I will get to spend the day exploring the city and participating in cultural experiences with my professors and classmates. For instance, I will be visiting the Counseling Center for Foreign Women with my Human Trafficking class and attending a play of Virginia Wolf’s Orlando with my literature class. I am really looking forward to these opportunities for hands-on learning–something that I rarely get to experience at home.
Even though this week of classes has been dynamic and exciting, it has been difficult to watch on social media as my friends back at Kenyon move in, start their classes, and take on the beginning of junior year together. Though I feel so lucky to be taking on this adventure in Copenhagen, a part of me deeply misses the college community that has become my home over the past two years. I have experienced a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) despite my enthusiasm about this semester abroad.
In order to combat this FOMO, I have done my best to disengage from social media as much as I can (and hey, it’s probably better to save my cellular data anyway). Though it sounds cliché, I am doing my best to “live in the moment.” I simply have to accept that I’ll be missing out on some fun beginning-of-the-year traditions with my friends in Gambier and embrace all the new possibilities for fun here in Denmark!