Daniel Grove is shown in front of the canals in Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark. Grove says it is "a must-see spot ... Hyggelig has no direct English definition (perhaps cozy), but you know exactly what it means after spending some time in Copenhagen," he notes.

Experiencing Denmark

Students receive intercultural award from Danish Institute for Study Abroad

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8:50 a.m., April 9, 2012--Each year, the University of Delaware Institute for Global Studies (IGS) coordinates more than 80 study abroad programs, enabling students to expand their global outlook as they study in different countries for academic credit. One of these programs is at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS).

Founded in 1959, DIS, which is affiliated with the University of Copenhagen, has been promoting and helping students become global citizens with an immersion in Danish society and culture. 

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DIS offers more than 120 academic courses — in 14 different programs — all taught in English. Each semester, 700 students from all over the U.S. are admitted to the program. 

In the opinion of Peter Rees, associate professor of geography who has been the director and coordinator of the program at UD since 1985, “DIS is one of the best semester abroad programs all around.” 

“It is a widely recognized program, strong academically and one that provides a rich introduction to European culture,” Rees says. Each semester, UD juniors and seniors with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 may be admitted to the program. 

During the past semester, UD’s Daniel Grove and Hannah Shearer won the DIS Intercultural Leadership Award, which recognizes success in “stepping out of the box” and building personal leadership through engagement in a cross-section of cultural immersion activities. 

Finalists are chosen based on their immersion in Danish society and culture through academics and different housing options, as well as the quality and content of an essay about their experience.

Grove, a senior biological sciences major and Honors Program student from Smithtown, N.Y., says that studying abroad in Denmark was one of the best decisions he ever made. 

“If I had never stepped outside my comfort zone and not traveled to Bredebovej, I would have never met many of my Danish friends or experienced important pieces of Danish culture,” he says.

Grove had the opportunity to meet countless people from all over the world and developed invaluable empathy and leadership skills in preparation for medical school. 

“My medical related courses had real-world applications. Courses in city hospitals allowed for patient contacts/examinations, which are unheard of for American undergraduates,” he notes. 

“As I move forward, I will continually reflect on my study abroad experiences and utilize the skills I have honed in order to be a successful global citizen.”  

Fellow award winner Hannah Shearer, a senior Honors Program student from Blue Bell, Pa., majoring in art conservation and art history, studied German memory and identity during her fall semester at DIS.

“Dedicated staff and faculty made my time in Copenhagen an exceptional experience,” Shearer says. “The best part of the program was the regular opportunity for classes to meet outside of the classroom.” 

Shearer also has this recommendation for her fellow students: “I highly encourage UD students to take advantage of the many study abroad opportunities, especially with DIS, which has the added advantage of excellent facilities with more than a hundred courses taught in English. Although it is exciting to travel every free weekend, I also recommend getting to know the people of your host country.”

For more information about the University of Delaware and DIS, visit this website.

Article by Fariba Amini

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