My Study Abroad Story: Ingrid Hjerpe '20 in Copenhagen
I wanted to go to Denmark because my family is Swedish and I have always wanted to study abroad in Scandinavia. I was so excited to be accepted to DIS with the help of many staff at Endicott. While there, I studied child development with a focus on children in a multicultural context. I worked hands-on every Thursday in Danish classrooms with students aged three to 18 years. One of my favorite experiences was spending the day at a forest kindergarten, a special preschool that is completely outside, even in the freezing Danish weather. I worked with three and four-year-old children out in the woods—we even cooked lunch in the woods! It was wonderful to see such young students show independence and ownership over themselves and their learning.
I also had the opportunity to live with an amazing host family in Denmark, who were absolutely wonderful and gave me a cultural view on the Danish lifestyle. We spent long nights together laughing, playing games, and we even found all six of the forgotten giants in the outskirts of Copenhagen. Before I traveled back to America, we had a Christmas lunch together, where we ate some traditional Danish foods like herring, rye bread, and rice pudding.
While abroad, I traveled to 10 countries, including Greece, England, Ireland, Iceland, and Sweden.
Some of my favorite memories include rappelling down a rock face in Sweden, riding some of the famous rides in Tivoli—the theme park that inspired Walt Disney—captaining a boat through the Danish canals, reuniting with some of my Endicott friends in Paris and Dublin, working closely with Danish students, taking a class about the Danish royal family and touring four Danish castles, visiting many royal historic landmarks, eating herring, and hiking on a glacier with my family in Iceland.
DIS is a really unique abroad program. Although it is a more rigorous abroad program, it is worth it. We had every Wednesday off for field studies and experiential learning and we even had two-week long trips included. I visited Aarhus, Denmark, and London, England with my child development class. There, we toured schools and learned about multiculturalism and got to talk with students about issues such as gun violence, bullying, and discrimination in both Danish/English schools compared to America. It was an eye-opening experience for me to work with students of many different backgrounds.
This winter, practice the Danish tradition of "hygge." Get some close friends or family together, light some candles, cook some good food, and be cozy together. The Danes are the best at living in the moment and enjoying each other and their friends and family. It’s why they’re some of the happiest people on earth!
To learn more about the many study abroad opportunities at Endicott, visit studyabroad.endicott.edu.
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