This blog has been created to share the College of Staten Island (CSI) students’ experiences around the world. Dolphins across the Seven Seas provides the opportunity for CSI students, staff, faculty and beyond to gain insight into the study abroad experience. Additionally, Study Abroad Peer Advisors provide reflections upon their experiences as well as advice to potential study abroad participants. CSI is the single senior college of the City University of New York (CUNY), located in the borough of Staten Island.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Michelle Kushnir: 3 weeks in Copenhagen, Denmark!

This summer, I spent 3 weeks in the wonderful city of Copenhagen, Denmark. I never expected to enjoy myself as much as I did. The university I attended while I was in Copenhagen, the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS), made sure everyone felt at home, along with providing a class selection that I found remarkable. From this class selection, I decided to take Danish Greenspace, a class that focused on the landscape of Denmark and how it shapes their society. Not only did I get to experience Denmark to the fullest with this class, but it has also taught me to appreciate nature more. The people of Denmark take advantage of their scenic landscape and are always outside when the weather is nice. Whether they can be found at a park or a graveyard, they really enjoy the outdoors.

The food and atmosphere of Copenhagen was very different from what I experience here in Staten Island. The most popular food in Denmark is known as smørrebrød, which is just a slice of rye bread with fish on top. Most of the time the fish is smoked herring, but other types of fish are used as well. This doesn’t seem like the typical sandwich, but it was definitely worth the try. I even started making my own because I liked it so much. There was also a dessert that I would eat almost every day called flødboller, which is just a much better version of Mallomars. While the food was different from what I’m used to, it was still delicious. The culture itself also took me by surprise. Everyone wears all black and if it isn’t black, it’s another dark color. Red, orange or yellow are rare colors on the streets of Copenhagen. You would think wearing all black would look bland, but it made the Danes look sophisticated and stylish.

One amazing experience I will never forget from Denmark was the weekend biking trip DIS offered where you get to go to a different island of Denmark (the country has four islands), which was Bornholm. On this island, we were able to bike wherever we wanted. My group decided to go to a tiny city called Tejn where I had the best strawberry cake ever, and Svaneke where there were glass blowing, caramel shops, smoked herring and their very own brewery. While these cities were not the biggest, the culture that thrived there was fascinating and made the miles of biking worth it.

The main reason I wanted to go to Copenhagen was for its nickname, “Europe’s most eco-friendly city”. The city is known for its public transportation, where travelling by bus, train, or bike is supported while travelling by car is discouraged. Biking, specifically, is very popular in Copenhagen and wherever you go in the city, there are bicyclists everywhere. They even have huge parking sections for bikes because they are used so much. It gives the city a clean, spacious feel due to the little use of cars. Another way Copenhagen is eco-friendly is the creation of the many parks in the city. I went to so many different parks while in the city, and every time I felt like I was transported somewhere else. The people of Copenhagen really enjoy these parks, which preserve various amounts of nature so the city doesn’t turn into all concrete. This eco-friendly culture was pushed in order to make Copenhagen better, and it was successful, since most Danes are on board with preserving their city’s nature and enjoy the use of biking. Overall, my experience in Denmark was amazing and I cannot wait to go back.

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