This past week we had orientation from Monday till Thursday. First, we were welcomed with a wonderful opening ceremony at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. Some of our faculty members gave some supportive, fun speeches (I have quite a dark sense of humor and so do Danes, I think we will be getting along 🙂 ) with two music performances in between. Along with their speeches, the faculty members gave us some information regarding the program. Apparently DIS Copenhagen is hosting around 1200 students this semester, which is quite surprising to me since that is almost the size of my college in the US. Nevertheless, after the lovely ceremony we had an activity called “DIScover Copenhagen”. As you can probably tell from the activity title, it was a short tour of discovering some parts of Copenhagen by foot. We were split into groups of five, were given a number and a location. Once we arrived at the given location, we had to find the DIS representatives and get another location. Moreover, in each location we met up with one of the Danish Language and Culture professors (apparently 142 different sections of only this course are being taught this semester –it is the most popular course in the program and most schools require their students to take it) and they gave us brief historical, political and cultural explanations. Our group went to the City Hall of Copenhagen, the “Church of Our Lady”, Amalienborg (the home of the Danish royal family), and the Christiansborg Palace. One of the most interesting things that I learned was that in Amalienborg, if one of the royal family members is home, the flag on top of her/his façade is out (there are four façades and each one belongs to someone else) and if she/he is gone, the flag is taken down. We were pretty tired after all of that walking, but Francesca (my neighbor) and I wanted to explore for a bit longer so we continued the discovery in the main downtown area.
The next day was the book pick-up day followed by information sessions on transportation. There are basically three ways of public transportation here; bus, metro, and bike. They explained us the rules and gave us tips for each option.
Wednesday was our last day of orientation. The day began with the academic orientations. Almost each DIS student chooses a core course during registration, which stands as her/his main academic focus during the semester. There are large programs with specific focuses. For instance, I am a part of the Architecture and Design (AD) program and my core course is Urban Design Foundations Studio, but there are also students who go for architecture, graphic design or urban design by itself, within the AD program.
The last orientation event I attended was called “Career & Post-Graduate Opportunities in Denmark”. The presentation was mostly about how to adjust your resume to apply to Danish jobs or internships. Since all of us are used to the American way of writing and presenting a resume, I personally thought that seeing differences were very interesting. The presentation made me think about how the way a culture works affects even the smallest details within itself.
Overall, I liked the orientation because we weren’t forced to be at places from morning to evening. The schedule was pretty relaxed but also rich enough to provide us with the most important information and some of the main locations.