Twas the Night Before Classes

Orientation is officially over because classes start tomorrow!

This also means I have reading to do, so I’m going to make a short list of observations and another short list of things I’m excited for.


1.  Cobblestones are equally as hard to walk on in Denmark as in Williamsburg

2. There is a substance the Danes call “mustard” that is actually a billion little fires exploding in your mouth. I am extremely susceptible to spicy foods, but my housemates have confirmed the insane level of spicy that this mustard is.

3. Multiple layers of socks are required when you are not wearing waterproof boots and are running around Copenhagen from the Royal Library to Amalienborg Palace in the snow  in an “Amazing Race” competition with your housemates as an orientation event.

4. Buying the cheapest wine (20 kroner which = $4) in Netto (the cheapest Danish grocery store) is not always the best choice. It tastes remarkably similar to cherry-flavored cough syrup and you’ll end up watering it down to make it bearable enough to taste.

5. Danes are extremely patient and helpful to lost American students.  Every person I have stopped to ask for directions has been more than nice to me…example: one kid even made me friend myself from his facebook on his phone (alright that was pretty creepy but still friendly).  I keep telling the Danes that I have only just arrived in Copenhagen 2 days ago, and although that lie is growing daily, I think I’ll stick to my story for the entire semester.

Things I’m excited for:

1.  The Green House

We had our first real Green house meeting tonight to discuss the projects (both individual and combined) that we will do this semester.  I have lots of ideas for ways to explore sustainability in Copenhagen on a personal level.  I’m excited to narrow down my project options and to hear what all of my housemates decide to do as well!

2. Classes

I am doing what I do at the beginning of every semester; I freak out about how I made the wrong choices when registering for classes and completely re-do my schedule at the last minute.  I will place some of the blame on DIS for having too many interesting classes that I want to take advantage of while I’m here.

3. Traveling

My European Sustainable Development  core class (which 3 of my housemates are in as well, yay!) will be traveling to Western Denmark in February for a short study break and Amsterdam in March for a week.  Additionally, I am registered for a DIS arranged adventure trip to Portugal in late March called “Surf the Atlantic.”   I have never surfed before (trying new things…CHECK) so that will be interesting.

4. Getting to know the city

After only three days, I can confidently walk around the city center without checking to make sure I have a map in my bag.  Slowly but surely the “vacation” feeling is transitioning to a “home” feeling.

5.  Bucket List

My roommates and I decided we’re actually making a bucket list and posting it in our room.  Updates on our progress will be provided.

6. Biking

I am excited but also kinda terrified of biking in Copenhagen.  I am used to biking in my small Jersey hometown, where a bike was my main form of transportation from ages 4-15. I am not used to biking in a city where there are rules and hand signals and large bike lanes with crosswalks and their own traffic lights.  Oh and like very advanced Lance Armstrongy (without the steroids…probably) Danish commuters who manage to be impeccably dressed business people and ruthless athletes at the same time.  My SRA (social and residential advisor) Maria (who is awesome, by the way), has an informal bike rental program where we get an ugly but functional bike for the semester.  My roommate Joanna and I are planning on tricking out  our bikes together.  Gettin’ crafty in Copenhagen.

Here are some pictures I took on my phone during the “Amazing Race”


Changing of the guard at the Palace


Amalienborg Palace



*Re-printed with Tracy’s permission from her blog, CWTOCPH

304470_3739877010678_1908533954_n-e1357715665956Tracy Brinkerhoff ’14 is spending her Spring 2013 semester in Copenhagen, Denmark.  She is an English major and an Economics minor with a strong interest in sustainability.  I enjoy a chai latte, a good novel, and a warm cat.  I can’t imagine what my life would be like without dance.  I’m a member of Orchesis Modern Dance Company and Chi Omega Sorority.

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