When speaking with my host family this past week, something occurred to me: Danes are so casual about their castles.
Of course, America doesn’t have castles. So to us, castles are stuff of fairytales, grandeur and fancy limited only to far away royals. Here, my host dad mentions a road and says “Yeah, take a right at the castle.”
Little differences like this have peppered my first week in Copenhagen. To be honest, this first week has felt like a month. So much has happened – meeting my host family, orientation, getting my Visa, starting classes, and so on and so on – that once I hit the one week mark, it felt like an entire month had passed.
Some things have taken getting used to: waking up at 6am (yes, even after the introduction of jetlag) because my host family does and my bedroom is right off of the kitchen, navigating the roads to DIS while still avoiding the faster-than-light bikers, rye bread. But ultimately the transition has been much smoother than I anticipated.
My host family has been incredibly welcoming, offering me home cooked meals and a lazy shiba inu to hang with every night. I was so scared that the homestay experience would be isolating and that I would make no friends; while I’ve still felt pangs of jealousy seeing groups of roommates from kollegiums trekking the city together, my little homestay network of students living near me has become a lovely substitute (and a fire Facebook Messenger group chat). Three of us went to visit the Little Mermaid this past weekend!
While classes have just started, I can’t wait for field studies and travel weeks and such to begin. That, I think, is when the reality of living in a new country will feel most exciting and I will really get to see the beauty of Europe. Now that I’m finally caught up on sleep, I’m ready to explore.
Hopefully things will continue to be smooth sailing (other than my front door key breaking while my host parents were briefly out of town) from now on!