The Pendulum Goes Abroad: Danish life

This semester, The Pendulum will be working with a select group of international correspondents in study abroad programs all around the world to bring you first-hand accounts of the stories you would otherwise only find in major newspapers. From stories investigating culture and hard-news articles to photo stories of life abroad and the correspondents’ thoughts about their experiences, we’ll have you covered. We’ll even bring you the best recipes and travel tips. Once a week until school starts, check back here at the News Blog to see the thoughts of a new correspondent as he or she gets ready to embark on a new adventure.

This week, read the story of Peter Gallagher, who left for Copenhagen, Denmark Aug. 20. Keep up with Peter and our other correspondent in Denmark, Kelly Huston, throughout the semester as they write about life in Copenhagen.

To my own dismay, my Danish experience so far has consisted of the occasional consumption of Entenmann’s Danishes and nothing else. My lack of an understanding for the culture in Denmark is the main drive and force behind my desire to learn and experience Danish culture and society this fall. Until reading the description of the program on Elon’s study abroad website, I had never considered a Scandinavian country as my destination for studying aboard. But after exploring the Danish Institute for Study Abroad website and researching the programs it offered, my mind was set.

As an Environmental Studies and Political Science double major, I feel that Copenhagen, Denmark, has the perfect combination of environmental awareness and governmental involvement for my academic interests. I have enrolled in the “Sustainability in Europe” program, with my core class revolving around sustainable development and exploring environmental, political and social issues. Taking classes relating to the processes and goals of sustainable development while studying in one of the most environmentally advanced cities in the world seems like a combination that can’t be beat. Being enrolled in two political science courses should also be very interesting, as Denmark has a very liberal and socially involved central government.

Along with my courses and academic learning experiences inside and outside the classroom, Copenhagen offers a wide variety of opportunities. I hope to be living with a host family for the semester, and this immersion into all aspects of Danish culture is both unsettling and exciting. Having the chance to truly be a part of a completely different family, thousands of miles away from my own, will hopefully allow me to look at different cultures and lifestyles in a new light. I am also excited to explore the history of Copenhagen.

As a correspondent, my hope is for Elon students to stay up-to-date on international news and to be able to draw parallels with American culture and their own lives in the United States. As Denmark is one of the most peaceful countries in the world, and its people are considered some of the happiest, my time abroad gives me a terrific educational opportunity which I hope to share with others. By the end of the semester, I hope to be knowledgeable and understanding of Danish culture, and I hope that when Elon students hear the word “Danish,” their immediate thoughts are not of stale Entenmann’s but of a remarkable Scandinavian country.


1 Comment

Filed under International, Town of Elon, World News

One response to “The Pendulum Goes Abroad: Danish life

  1. Charlie Gallagher

    Well done, Peter!

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