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Student Profiles

Alissa visits the Hammershus medieval ruins on the island of Bornholm, Denmark

Overseas Study Program

Copenhagen,  Denmark

Keep an open mind and try to branch out of your personal comfort zone. Some of the most amazing opportunities can come your way and you will have more fun than you can imagine!”

Alissa Cranor

Major: Psychology

Term abroad: Spring 2014

Why did you choose this program? Although going abroad 2nd semester my senior year of college was a hard decision for me personally, I loved Copenhagen! I chose this particular program due to the flexibility in choosing courses that I personally wanted to take, as well as needed to take to fulfill my graduation requirements. Plus I chose Copenhagen because it is different than your typical study abroad destination and my choice did not disappoint! I also loved the fact that this program was taught in English.

Describe your favorite classes abroad. Some of my favorite aspects of taking classes abroad were the hands on learning opportunities, as well as the small class sizes. My favorite classes abroad were my psychology related classes! Specifically, my positive psychology course which involved traveling to other areas of Denmark, as well as the Czech Republic. The type of academic atmosphere was different than anything I had ever experienced in the states and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

What was the housing like on your study abroad program? I lived in the heart of Copenhagen in Vestergade 24, which is a DRC living facility! I would describe it as a mix between a dorm and an apartment. I lived with 20 other students, both male and female. We were split onto 3 different floors, each one having their own bathroom, kitchen, and living area. I couldn't have asked for a better location to live. Not to mention, I made some of my best friends while living there!

What advice would you like to give to future study abroad students? My advice to students would be to keep an open mind and try to branch out of your personal comfort zone. Some of the most amazing opportunities can come your way and you will have more fun than you can imagine! You will learn so many new things. Make the best of the time you are abroad, because it really is the chance of a lifetime!

What’s your best memory from your time abroad? I had so many amazing memories, it is hard to say which one is the best. Some of the best memories were traveling around Europe with the friends I had made. One in particular trip that was incredible was visiting Krakow, Poland and learning about the history of WWII.

Describe your experience with culture shock or reverse culture shock. I don't think I really experienced culture shock. If I experienced any sort of change, it was reverse culture shock. It wasn't a negative experience, but it is definitely an adjustment when you come back home to the United States.

“If I could do it over, I would…” travel abroad in the fall and try to complete an academic year in Copenhagen instead of just one semester.

What do you wish someone had told you before you left? To keep a journal everywhere I traveled, regardless of how much of an inconvenience it was at the time.

What was your greatest challenge? My greatest challenge was stepping outside of my comfort zone to meet new friends and build relationships with local Danes. My host family was fabulous and really made me feel welcome in the country.

Discuss: “Going abroad vs. staying on campus.” For me personally, going abroad was the hardest but best choice I made. Before going to Denmark, I did not know a single person going, not even from IU! This really forced me to step outside of my comfort zone and make new friends that I wouldn't of if I had stayed on campus. I ended up making some of the best friends I could ask for and gained a much more thorough global perspective in the process.

What fact about your host country do you think people would be surprised to learn? Copenhagen is home to the world's oldest monarchy! Also, Greenland is a really unique part of the history of Denmark.