One week ago, I trekked across the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in my 20-year life. Not knowing what to expect, I felt nervous, antsy and slightly scared; I still had to sort out my student visa status, was yet to buy my schoolbooks and was being thrown into a snow-clad environment that was opposite to the Southwestern United States where I was raised. Yet, I felt a resounding confidence in what I was doing, having previously been in the situation of moving to an entirely new environment. When I landed, all of my fears dissolved. As I walked out of the airport, I thought to myself, “I am home.”
At Københavns Universitet, I will be taking classes that are taught in English but are open to all KU students. This means that my classmates are from multiple backgrounds, such as the U.K, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia, the U.S and Asia. I’m not part of some special program that goes on guided tours. I don’t live in a dorm that primarily houses Americans. I am basically on my own, unguided journey through Europe – and that is exactly what I want.
Everybody asks me, “So why Copenhagen?” My answer to that question is this: as Americans, we are conditioned from birth to think that the United States of America is the greatest country in the world, and in many aspects, it is. Yet, there are other places in the world where people are equally free, just as happy and live as comfortably as the average American. The Danish social democracy is entirely different to the American system, and many countries see it as a model to look up to. This is what I’m most interested in observing – the every day life of Danes who live in a country that is one of the best in terms of quality of life. How will it compare? I will witness it with my own eyes and hopefully gain some perspective on the world along the way.
For the beginning of my blog, I plan to write a piece for every part of town that is worth seeing – essentially a tour through what I see. I’ll start with the city center and the neighborhoods within it. I promise that my pieces won’t be as long as this one!