Saturday, August 25, 2012

I'm in love...

With Denmark. I honestly couldn't have picked a more perfect place to study. Maybe it's just study abroad jitters, the sugar high from all these danishes, or the pretty darn good weather we've had all week, but I am infatuated. As part of orientation, we went on something called The Amazing Race which wasn't really a race, more of a "Hey let's go casually stroll through downtown Copenhagen and see all these amazing historical sites and beautiful buildings." Every group was assigned to see The Queen's Palace and the Parliament building, but our group also visited the State Department in Christianshavn, Rosenborg Slot (castle), and the Trinity Church that's connected to the Round Tower.

Fun Facts and pictures about each place:

1. The Queen's Palace, or the Royal Palace, wasn't actually built with the purpose of being a castle. It was originally four really rich people's homes and they are all connected. There's a church across the street from the palace and the way everything is lined up was supposed to represent God, King, and eternity because the palace is right on the canal. Now the opera house faces the palace from the other side of the I guess it's God, Queen, music.

2. The Parliament building was supposed to be the palace actually, but the royal family didn't want to move back into the center of the city. It burned down twice because of people lighting fires in the wooden chimneys...not smart

3. The State Department might not sound interesting, and it's not particularly that pretty of a building... but this was one of my favorite stops. The state department in every country deals with international affairs. From the economy of Russia or human rights violations in Syria, this is the governmental area that is involved with these issues, so it was really cool to actually see where Denmark's heads of state fight for the rights of people all over the world! Here's a cool picture of a boat in front of it:

4. The Trinity Church is beautiful. The gold chandeliers are so ornate...I want one in every room of my house. What's cool about this place is that it was built as a students' church. There were classes taught on the floor above, and attached to the church is the Round Tower that was built for astronomy. So the "trinity" here isn't the father, the son, and the holy's actually Religion, Science, and Education :)

5. If you're strolling around Copenhagen and happen to run into a castle it's pretty normal. The Rosenborg Slot is located in the center of present day Copenhagen, but back when Christian IV built it, that area of Copenhagen was considered the country, so he used it as his "summer home" and I thought CPH was small now! Chrisitian IV isn't just known for building almost every recognizable landmark in Copenhagen, but he was also an avid drinker. There is a lion statue right outside the palace that has an open mouth, and apparently C4 (the abbrevation he's getting for the rest of the semester) used to leave his keys in the mouth so he wouldn't lose them on one of many inebriated jaunts to the bars. Gotta get that tourist pic for sure.

I also had my first day of classes on Thursday. Here's a look at my schedule for the semester:

Humanitarian Law and Armed Conflict- This is the course for my Justice and Human Rights program. We will be going on a short study tour Sept. 3-5 to Aarhus in Western Denmark, and then from Sept. 30- Oct. 9 we will be going to Kosovo. I have two professors for this class and they both work in the Ministry of Defense here in CPH. I can't wait to go bowling with them :)

Danish Language and Culture- Danish is probably one of the most difficult languages to try and learn...but I'm going for it. My professor knows seven languages so I think she knows what she's doing. I'm looking forward to our field study to the WWII Resistance Museum and listening to some Aqua

Holocaust and Genocide- I am so excited for this class. A year and a half ago I went to Poland with the SMU Human Rights program and got to see almost all of the concentration camp sites around the country. Genocide studies has become my area of focus regarding human rights issues, and I'm looking forward to seeing the Neuengamme concentration camp in Hamburg in just one soon. On a random note, my professor has heard of Dr. Rick Halperin, my human rights professor at SMU...not surprised at all, the man is amazing.

Hans Christian Anderson and The Danish Golden Age- Basically self explanatory, but I get to read 30 of Anderson's fairy tales and write papers about them and his life...for real. I'm definitely reliving my childhood, and I can't wait to go to Tivoli this Tuesday and see The Tinderbox ballet! Tivoli is the oldest amusement park in the world and it's where HCA and even Disney got inspiration for their fairy tales.

I'm also taking Literary London, but that class doesn't start until September 11th. I'm so excited to start the semester and learn (nerdy yes).

In other news...I got chosen to be an official student blogger for DIS!!! My blog will be placed on the DIS student bloggers website for future students to see in the coming years.

...I can't think of a good way to end this incredibly long post, so here's a funny link from a past student blogger about the Danish look and fashion:

How to Look Like A Dane

Hej hej,

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