Proud Mary Pub in Copenhagen is the best place to be on a Wednesday if you’re missing home. On Wednesdays, Proud Mary hosts “American Night,” where the music is mostly in English and some are in Spanish. My classmates and housemates would go out and feel as if we were stepping back home with the music. The memories of dancing, meeting new people, and bonding with those close to you outside an academic setting are something I will always be able to remember about my time in Denmark.
Reffen is a street food area next to the Baltic Sea and across the sea is the statue of Ariel, the Disney princess. The market features a variety of stalls, live entertainment, and game stations offering global street food. Europe is known for not having Mexican restaurants; however, there are two different stands that sell multiple authentic dishes. Crepes, ice cream, tacos, bao, curry, and more are options for one to buy and sit enjoying the sound of the sea. Take note that the stalls can be expensive! I tried not to go more than once a week or else the money I saved for the trip would be gone before I returned to the states.
Movie Theaters, an Amusement Park, and Cafes:
I spent some nights studying, dancing, relaxing, or going to new places. Going to the movies was a great way to see how inclusive the country is to foreigners. Most of the movies I watched were in English with Danish subtitles and others were vice versa. Movies ranging from kids to horror were available such as the Minions: The Rise of Gru and the Black Phone. Having locals around us and local teenagers wearing suits to the movies just as others in the States were doing during this time was interesting to see. This experience allowed me to feel like a local and as a normal citizen of Denmark. The amusement park, Tivoli, was fun! The food and rides were great and a great way to bond with others in the program. Tivoli had fireworks at night for everyone to watch and have a magical ending to the day. It was also located near one of the DIS buildings and if you were not close, you had the opportunity to take a train or Mercedes-Benz bus to a stop outside of the park. Other ways one could bond with their classmates was to head to a cafe, use their student discount, and enjoy the free wifi to complete your homework. If your housemates wanted to do something in a more relaxed setting at night, you could head over to Bastard Café where board games are available for use and you have the option to buy food/drinks. These experiences allowed me to feel more like a local or a student than just a tourist.
Literally Dancing/Scootering the Night Away:
Sweden is known for being sunny and not having a “usual” nighttime. Their darkness is our dusk. I felt very safe going to any of the clubs or pubs in Sweden as when most of us left, it was daylight. My housemates and I went to an Ice bar where we could interact with locals. These types of places are not always available in the States unless you're from a large city and are older than 21. The overall experience of talking with others about differences between Sweden and all of our different homes in the States. We were able to learn about Swedish culture and connect with others from different areas and universities.
I believe the darkest time of Sweden is at 1 a.m. and before and after are basically daytime. If you are a night owl, you may enjoy scootering around before 1 a.m. and going on one of the multiple bridges that look out on the city. I went scootering and ended up on a bridge at 1am where one could see all the city lights and feel a sense of home or at least what we are used to. I enjoyed going out at night to watch the sunset and rise before coming home and sleeping before class in the morning. The night is short and I believe students should take advantage of exploring during this time.
Going to random restaurants near your housing or aesthetic ones in Old Town Stockholm was a great experience to interact with locals who are expecting tourists to come their way. Food from pizza to the famous Swedish meatballs were available around us. I fell in love with the ice cream stands which were located near my housing. One experience that stood out to me was when my professor took us all out to grab ice cream and bond on personal levels outside the classroom. I believe food is helpful to connect with others and embrace all the cultures around us.
An Amusement Park and the ABBA Museum:
Gröna Lund, the amusement park in Sweden was a blast! When you are not riding rides or eating, you can attend a concert. Some of the concerts are free and sometimes there are larger artists who come to perform. Artists from Taylor Swift to Macklemore to Adele have performed there in the past. The amusement park is near the area where DIS takes you on a boat tour at the beginning of your session. The area is not that far from the Abba museum either. The Abba museum is based on the famous band Abba who has famous songs globally, including Dancing Queen. The museum allows one to sing ABBA Karaoke in the museums and virtually become the fifth member of ABBA by performing on our large stage together with Björn, Benny, Frida and Agnetha.
Questions for Hope about her experiences abroad in DIS Copenhagen and Denmark during Spring/Summer 2022? Contact her at email@example.com.