Chile| Torres del Paine

BY JAZZ BROUGHTON

There is a beautiful national park in the south of Chile where you can find penguins, seals, cormorants, and a wide range of other wildlife. In the beautiful mountains and glaciers of Patagonia there are numerous opportunities to hike, take a boat tour, or fine dine in a seafood restaurant along the sea. The slow but strong impacts of climate change are prevalent as you pass the snow capped mountains and watch the wildlife hunt for food. They are having to adapt to new temperatures and climates, while adjusting to a transforming ecosystem.

I spent the first day taking a boat tour to Isla Magdalena where I spent an hour walking around an island covered in small Magellanic penguins and seagulls. Along the shore were also a flock of South American terns that reminded me of Alameda County’s local Least Tern. The penguins burrowed in little caves that they buried in the ground and I think some may have even had chicks. It was an amazing experience to see the penguins so up close, as I especially appreciated their waddle and interactions with us and each other.

After walking the island, we boarded the boat and took off towards another small island that forbids tourists to walk on it. There we watched elephant seals, seal lions, and other species lounging and climbing on the rocks. They allowed us to climb up to the roof of the boat to sit and watch from a distance. I felt so tiny sitting on this small boat in the middle of a vast ocean. The blue sky was endless and it reminded me that the only limits we have are those we put on ourselves. It is not easy to break comfort zones and put in the actions necessary to experience life for all it has to offer, but through time, patience, and discipline I found myself learning to love trying new things and exploring by myself. Spending so much time by myself has given me a new comfortability in being alone and staying focused on my personal priorities. While, this may seem outside of my trip to the south of Chile, it was through these experiences of traveling that gave me more independence and confidence in myself.

Having the opportunity to tour through the extraordinary lands of Torres del Paine the following morning was also a life changing experience. The mountains were covered in snow and the water of the lakes were a beautiful turquoise blue. We visited a cave that was once inhabited by the indigenous people of Patagonia, the Selk’nam and Aonikenk. After walking over a swinging bridge and through a small valley covered in sand we were met with beautiful glaciers. The sand and small rocks hit us hard as the wind blew strong. Once again I was met with feelings of being so powerful, but so small. I let the wind blow me around as I danced along the water and stared into the cloudless sky. It was during this tour that I saw an armadillo in person for my first time, he was super cute! There was also a beautiful eagle that landed right next to where we were resting. After months of spending time within the city and university, it was great to get away to nature and sit alone with the sounds of wildlife and land practically untouched.

I cannot wait to return to Chile and Argentina in the future to explore more of the beautiful lands and regions. There are so many hidden gems within the North and South of both countries, it is impossible to see everything within such little time, especially while staying on top of school.

Rome | Mr.100 Tiramisu

By Andrea Zachrich

I adore this little place. It’s right in the heart of Rome near the Pantheon and Piazza Navona (see the map below). My friend Chloe and I stumbled on this place one day by accident while we were out scoping some sales for the start of the summer sales in July, and I’m so glad we did because it is such a creative and cozy restaurant. What caught our eye at first is actually a rotating conveyor belt of tiramisu in the window (we’re easily distracted, I know). This place easily had the best tiramisu I had while in Italy (and I was in Italy for close to 6 weeks).

The black marker is where Mr. 100 Tiramisu is!

On a side note: tiramisu is one of my favorite Italian desserts. I love canolis because my great grandma used to make them for holidays, and I love gelato because it’s the better version of icecream, but I’ve eaten more tiramisu that those two deserts because I worked in a fancy, little Italian restaurant in high school as a salad and desert prep chef. My favorite part of the night was whenever we used up 6 slices of tiramisu, because that meant the container where we prepped it was empty and I could scrape out all the leftover pieces with a spoon and eat it (and there were always leftover pieces, tiramisu can be a hard desert to serve). In short, I’ve eaten a lot of tiramisu in my lifetime, and feel that I am a fair judge of how good it is.

So the only thing they serve here is tiramisu, appetizers, and wine. That’s it. But, they do have 100 different kinds of tiramisu and a fairly large appetizer menu, so you have a lot of options. My personal favorites for tiramisu were the nutella, fig (I love everything with figs though), and classico (the OG tiramisu), but they have a ton of fun flavors. I didn’t try any of the appetizers, but all the cheese plates have great reviews online and look gorgeous. As you can see from the menu, they have tiramisu with nutella, different kinds of candies, fruits, cookies, honey, and even with alcohol! The way the tiramisu works is that the restaurant starts with a base tiramisu (of which they have different kinds depending on what you order) and then they add ingredients while you’re waiting (and watching, which is cool) in order to make it into the tiramisu of your choice.

Sorry, its a bit blurry, but you get the idea.

The atmosphere inside of the restaurant is also very cozy and welcoming. The walls are painted brick and decorated with all the different kinds of wine they serve. The tables are simple, made of wood, and comfortable. The appetizers are served on slabs of wood that add to their charm. The people who worked here were very friendly, and gave us some suggestions when we asked what his favorite kind of tiramisu is.

Chloe with our tiramisu. Here we have caramel and fig, nutella with banana, and cinnamon raisin YUM

The only downside about this place is that it’s almost impossible to try every flavor that’s there because you would have to go everyday for more days that I was in Rome. I can’t remember exactly what it cost, but I do remember thinking it was a little expensive, maybe around 10 euros for three medium slices of tiramisu. But, split with a friend, that’s only 5 euros for a tasty treat (don’t quote me on these prices though). I would go here if you feel like treating yourself, or really have a craving for tiramisu because this is the best I had in Rome and even in Italy.

UK | Brexit Dinner

By Chelly Jin

As a recipient of the Global Blogger Scholarship, I had the kind chance to represent UCLA at an Alumni dinner event with members of the London Parliament to discuss Brexit and eat amazing Indian food. 

But first, before I even get into the event, I would just like to point out that I ended up on Nigel Huddleston’s Twitter… sooooo, I’ve peaked. 

Everyone, this is my college career peak. 

AND BACK TO THE EVENT ! 

ALUMNI NETWORKING 

One of the most impressive things I’ve come away from the event was discovering the massive alumni network UCLA has to back up our students.  I’ve met incredible women who studied at UCLA for undergraduate, moving to UCB for graduate school, making their mark in cities like New York and London in Finance. Women who’ve studied in UCLA for undergraduate years and found themselves coaching important CEOs throughout the globe, traveling the world under the pursuit of careers they are passionate about. Meeting these individuals who came from the very same UCLA roots has given me a hope that  I, too, will one day stand up alongside these powerful women. 

LONDON AFTER UCLA? 

Something I’ve been grappling with recently is this desire to move to London. I’ve genuinely come to adore London and somewhere in my heart I know I want to come back to live here. To really live here, not just ‘study abroad’. However, the reality is, is that most people I know in the US (from friends, family, and shout out to the parents…) express how they fear that by moving to London at any point in my life, I am indubitably throwing away any connection or network that I’ve worked so hard on as an out-of-state (but, now in-state) student.   

After speaking with so many distinguished alumni, I’ve realized that the network that UCLA has to offer is worldwide and not just limited to Los Angeles, or the United States, or maybe even Earth (Mars, I’m coming for you in 2020!) 

BREXIT 

Yikes, the big elephant actually leaving the room.  Despite what you may think, the main event of the night was not the study abroad kids and I getting to meet delightful alum (haha). But, this was a night to discuss the topic of Brexit, both the pros and the cons — inviting Members of Parliament to simply chat in a world that seemed to want a brawl.  

Takeaways  I gathered from the chat was two things: 

1) Pro-Brexit: ”It’s not a question of ‘do we remain, rather it’s we are doing Brexit and it’s just when. The deadline is set and the transition will take place.”   

Essentially, it was argued that Brexit will already take into affect. Change will happen, and much like winter — it is coming. The more valuable way to approach the situation is to acknowledge that Brexit is happening and developing a transition that would become beneficial. 

2) Con-Brexit : “The best thing we have about Britain is no written constitution” 

On the other hand, it was stated that the best thing about Britain is that there isn’t one rule book that all must abide by. The politics of Britain are ever-changing, molding into the newest formations of society, constantly being managed, washing away the things that don’t work in this iterative cycle towards offering the best standard of living for all. Just because Brexit is set in motion does not mean it needs to be implemented.  

As for my feelings: As an expat to this country, there was definitely a sense of self-consciousness in my reasoning to attend such an occasion. I wondered to myself, “shouldn’t true King’s students who live here get this opportunity?” However, with the context of the current American political situation, there were so many elements that aligned. All in all, it occurred to me that we, as in the whole planet, are  kind of in this mess together.  

Brexit will not just affect residents of the UK, as Trump’s presidency will not just affect solely the American people, just as every country’s politics have made tremendous domino effects onto the entire globe. Their pain and fears are much like our own. Their confusion and inability to sort of see one another eye to eye in certain political issues are much akin to us. 

How I see it, we all want the same thing: pursuit of the best life for ourselves and those we love. How we aim to do this is uncertain, may it be accepting the problem and moving forward in a different solution OR utilizing the freeform nature of society and politics to its potential in overturning and igniting change. (And certainly not made any clearer from a twenty-one-year old college student writing a blog to other college students). But, as much as Brexit is divisive just as Trump’s election, it has become more evident than ever that we must be willing to listen, to accept, and to acknowledge all in a means of working together for the one common goal of a better life. 

Special thanks to Fiona Hanson for letting me share some of the beautiful photos she took that night! Another grand thank you to Jodi Anderson, Rhiannon Yee, Monika Kraska, and Violet Del Toro for such a wonderful event and all their  help! 

UK | Finding Community

By Chelly Jin

I remember when I first applied to UCEAP Study Abroad — I remember that the first thing I thought was how I desperately wanted to leave America and leave behind the need to be with anyone. As a fourth year, I wanted to find that place in my life where I could be comfortable in my own skin, independent and carefree. 

As I set my budgets and plans for London, I didn’t anticipate the crushing feeling of suddenly being alone. At first I wanted solitude, but when I arrived, all I wanted was a community, to join a society (which they call a club or organization), to make friends.

This blogpost is about my journey in finding a community in London, both the lows but the ultimate highs 🙂 Unfortunately, I’ve joined societies and met friends who don’t like photos of themselves being taken, so enjoy some beauty shots of King’s Strand Campus! 

The Struggles of Trying to Find your Place  
The search started with dance societies. King’s does this awesome thing at the beginning of the year, which is the Activities Fair. Go to it and sign up for EVERYTHING. Don’t be afraid of signing up for commitment, because no one expects anything from you and all you get are extra opportunities to stay in the loop (top tip: use your King’s email to sign up for all these clubs so you don’t have to deal with it on your personal email!)

I came in with preconceived notions that I would join a dance team. The reality is, as a semester student, a lot of competitive team sports won’t allow you to audition or try out because the first semester is used for training while the second semester is used for competition. Thus, I showed up to dance society auditions only to realize that I wasn’t allowed to join. 

Ukulele Society 
Luckily, I had snagged a flyer from the King’s Ukulele Society booth at the Activities Fair — and although it wasn’t my initial first though when I came to King’s to join the UkeSoc, it ended up being the best!  
I didn’t bring my ukulele from home, but for a £20 deposit, they’ll let you borrow one for as long as you need! On Mondays, they have tutorials to teach you how to play (but for the people who’ve been playing for a while like me, we use it as a socializing time). On Wednesdays, we all go out to a pub called The Albany where they host Ukulele Wednesdays — a night of ukulele jamming with ukulele players all around London. There is absolutely nothing more satisfying than screaming Purple Rain alongside 50 ukulele players, trust me.

Running A Mock 
Another serendipitous occasion was joining the comedy improv society, Running A Mock. And not only joining the society, but actually auditioning to now become one of the 6 improv troupe members. Prior to coming to London, I had never had any formal acting, theatre, nor comedy experience, but these people have been some of the most incredible (and hilarious) individuals I have ever met.  
Joining Running A Mock became the family that I didn’t realize I needed. Every week I look forward to the workshops on Tuesdays and improv rehearsals on Wednesdays, with jokes and silly games that remind me to keep my head high in London — to take everything with a grain of salt and a good chuckle.  

The most important thing I’ve learned through improv is the idea of ‘Yes, And...’ In improv, this is the first and foremost rule. We say ‘yes’ to accept the challenge, the situation, acknowledge our own ideas, respect other’s ideas. Then we say ‘and’ in an act to contribute, to be a part of the solution, to move forward in progress. And this is how I decided to treat my time here in London, to look at every opportunity with a ‘Yes, And...’ — not a ‘no’, nor a begrudging ‘yes’, but a true acknowledgement of the current situation and the willingness to add to its value. 

Improv has been one of the most formative experiences here in London and I couldn’t be more grateful to this community.  

UK | Trip of a Lifetime

By Emma Skinner

I didn’t expected my study abroad experience to go as beautifully as it did. I talk often on how studying abroad at Cambridge had always been a dream of mine but never did I realize how amazing it was to fulfil a lifelong dream. I can honestly say these two months were filled with some of the best moments I’ve ever had. To wrap up my time abroad, I wanted to leave you with some final thoughts: 

The School 

Cambridge is really one of the most beautiful places I have ever been so lucky to visit. The university is divided into 31 different colleges, built over the course of many centuries. This study abroad program– the Pembroke-King’s Program– takes place at those respective colleges. They are simply a short walk down the street from one another and the students are living on either campus or at the variety of flats throughout the city. In my opinion, the school is incredible and I genuinely did not want to leave. 

Professors and Classes 

Going to UCLA, I’ve been used to having classes of over four hundred students. Because of this, the professor-student relationship is quite obsolete. At Cambridge, class sizes were between twenty to thirty students. The respective class seminar–small group discussions– were between ten and fifteen. This meant that the professor (who often ask to be called by the first name here) was much more engaged with the students. Even in the three-week courses, my professors learned every student’s name. I loved the wide variety of class option, one of the main reasons I chose the program in the first place. Not only that, the professors were fantastic at teaching an entire course in such a short amount of time. I enjoyed every minute of it! 

The Environment 

Just the general aura of Cambridge was something special. Perhaps it was my own excitement and joy to be there, but I felt the people I encountered to be extremely friendly– more so than in the United States. The wide variety of shops, restaurants, and cafés meant endless allies to explore in my short time. The nearby parks and green space also provided a nice getaway from the busier city.  

The Activities

The PA’s (program assistants) provided a multitude of activities for us to take part in. From hikes to coffee tours to visiting different cities, I really appreciated all that was offered. At the beginning of the week, a list was sent out of all the events being offered that week. Each one was always full of people wanting to attend–never a dull moment. 

The People

This was definitely the best part of the program. People from all over the world attended PKP, making it a worldly experience like no other. Even though it was short, I definitely made friends for a lifetime (check out my post on the people I met here)   

The Overall Program

All in all, this program was the trip of a lifetime. I’m so grateful to have had this opportunity. If you get the chance, study abroad. You won’t regret it. 

 

Yet now I cannot sing out loud, 

Peace is my farewell music; 

Even crickets are now silent for me, 

For Cambridge this evening is silent.

Quietly I am leaving,

Just as quietly as I came;

Gently waving my sleeve,

 I am not taking away a single cloud. 

Xu Zhi Mo On Leaving Cambridge 

Thanks for the mems Cambridge, see you again soon. 

 

Cheers, 

Em 

Emma Skinner studied in Cambridge, UK in 2018: http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/united_kingdom_england/Pages/default.aspx

UK | Cambridge Formal Hall

By Emma Skinner

Attending Cambridge and curious as what to wear? Simply wondering what goes on at this event? Check out these photos to get some ideas!

WHAT IT IS: Formal Hall? What’s that you may ask? Well, formal hall is a longstanding tradition across the colleges at Cambridge University. Simply, it is a three-course meal served within the beautiful dining halls at each college. But the tradition lies in the special environment that is staged in the process. For King’s (pictured left) in particular, the evening starts off with a reception outside by the River Cam. This is the perfect time for pictures in your formal wear (see below for ideas of what to wear) or chatting with your professors. By inviting both students, professors, and fellows of the university, the event ensures that the practice of treating student and teacher as peers is exemplified.  After the reception, you will make your way to the dining hall where you can sit amongst your colleagues and enjoy the night. Full of toasts, good food, and incredible architecture, formal hall is one of my favorite things about Cambridge.  

WHAT TO WEAR: Before my study abroad program started, people were constantly wondering how “formal” formal hall really was. With two halls now finished, here are some highlights from the spectacular event: 

Avanti is rocking the neutral tones in this dress! She pairs this beautiful short dress with heels, making for the perfect photo by the River. All lengths of dresses are worn at formal hall and this one was definitely a dress to remember! 

Men’s attire ranges from a button down and slacks to full on tuxes. Here, Daniel (left) and Weinan (right) are representing some of the various styles seen at the dinner. Daniel’s lavender shirt adds the perfect pop of color to his attire and Weinan’s navy blue suit added a twist to the classic black and white! 

Patterned versus plain: Unsure whether to go for something more patterned? Ariel (left) is rocking the busy print but Rachel (right) pulls off the classic solid color look too! At formal hall, anything goes. 

Matt pulls off the James Bond vibe here in the best way possible! Wearing an all -black suit with a bowtie completes the 007 look.  

Dresses aren’t the only way to go! Jules (right) looks stylish in her two-piece jump suit. The Emerald green color makes a statement while still looking very classy. 

Just know, you are looking at a fabulous night that you’ll never want to end. 

Emma Skinner studied in Cambridge, England in 2018http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/united_kingdom_england/Pages/default.aspx

England | First Days

By Michelle Lin

After months of anticipation, saving money, and reading all about Meghan Markle, I’m finally here in the beautiful city of London! It’s still hard for me to believe, but I will be spending the next four months here in the UC Center London Arts, Politics, Society & Space program. This program consists entirely of UC students, and is coordinated by the ACCENT London Study Center.  

The first few days were mainly marked by housing, academics, and life in London orientation sessions and exploring the area we live in, Bloomsbury. Although Bloomsbury is quieter and less crowded than other parts of London, its streets are brimming with coffee shops, book stores, restaurants, and clothing stores, which much to explore and see.

I had expected to feel very overwhelmed and out of place in London since I’d never been to Europe before, but the transition and assimilation has been surprisingly easy. Because there are so many American stores and since everything is in English, London isn’t as foreign and intimidating as I thought it’d be. To me, it is the perfect balance between foreign and familiar- new and unfamiliar components such as unrefrigerated eggs in grocery stores and downpours of rain that come out of nowhere, intermixed with recognizable and comforting sights such as Starbucks and Priuses.  

I had expected to feel very overwhelmed and out of place in London since I’d never been to Europe before, but the transition and assimilation has been surprisingly easy. Because there are so many American stores and since everything is in English, London isn’t as foreign and intimidating as I thought it’d be. To me, it is the perfect balance between foreign and familiar- new and unfamiliar components such as unrefrigerated eggs in grocery stores and downpours of rain that come out of nowhere, intermixed with recognizable and comforting sights such as Starbucks and Priuses.  

The fact that I was in London fully hit me when our program went on a 2 hour bus tour of the city. I didn’t realize how big and how diverse London was until I saw all of it with my own eyes on this tour, and loved seeing old historical buildings interwoven with sleek modern high rises. Seeing the House of Parliament, the London Bridge, and Westminster Abbey from the top of a double decker bus that was driving in the left lane while listening to a British tour guide was an ineffable experience.  

This feeling continued throughout the weekend as I explored more of London with my four flatmates. We were lucky enough to be met with a fair and sunny day at the London Eye, getting a clear 360 degree aerial view of the city. 

So far, some of the classic British foods I’ve been able to try are fish and chips, meat pie, and scones with clotted cream. The scones here are closer to American biscuits as opposed to the scones that we’re used to, and are absolutely delicious.

These first few days were marked with battling jetlag, relying on Google Maps, and easing into day-to-day life. Some of my favorite moments so far have come from simply wandering around the streets of Bloomsbury, taking in all of the sights of intricate architecture and the lilting sounds of British accents. The past few days have been a testament to how big and beautiful this world is, and how fortunate I am to be able to see more of it. As I think about what I’d like the next four months to entail, I hope to not only explore and experience as much as I can, but also to make London my home.  

Michelle Lin studied in London, England in 2018: http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/united_kingdom_england/Pages/default.aspx

Denmark | Christmas Markets

By Chloe Zgorzelski 

If you have ever wanted to experience what it feels like to walk around in a snow globe, then you must visit Copenhagen during the Christmas season. Copenhagen is a genuine Christmas city. The festive decorations that adorn every windowsill and the twinkly lights that illuminate the city streets make it nearly impossible not to get into the holiday spirit. I love Christmas time in Copenhagen. It’s like stepping into a Hallmark movie, where hot cocoa sipping, crackling fire, and “hygge” rules all. While Gløgg and Æbleskiver, sporadic snowfalls, sunsets before 3:30 PM, and the time spent with friends and family are some of my favorite memories from this yuletide season, it’s the many Christmas Markets, Lucia i Kajak Event, and Christmas at Tivoli that made my December in Denmark one I’ll always remember.

Christmas Markets  

The best place to soak up the festive atmosphere is at one of Copenhagen’s Christmas markets. Starting in mid-November, cozy holiday marketplaces begin to pop up throughout the city. My favorite markets, like the Christmas market at Nyhavn harbor, the Visit Carlsberg Christmas Market, and the Christmas Market at Højbro Plads, exude old school Christmas charm. Each boasts a plethora of wooden market stalls decorated for the holiday season, offering a variety of traditional Scandinavian Christmas delicacies and distinctly Danish gifts. If you are looking for a more unconventional holiday fair, the Freetown Christiania Christmas Market features many unique, handcrafted items and is definitely worth a visit! During the first weekend of December, I also had the opportunity to visit the Hans Christian Andersen Christmas Market in the city of Odense, Denmark. Odense, the third largest city in Denmark, is the hometown of fairytale poet Hans Christian Andersen. Every year, the city constructs an old-fashioned Christmas market complete with traditional decorations, a farmer’s market, and lots of local entertainment inspired by the infamous author.  

Lucia i Kajak 

One of the most unique ways the Danes celebrate the holiday season is with their annual Santa Lucia Kayak Parade. Saint Lucy’s Day is a commonly celebrated holiday throughout Scandinavia. It’s all about commemorating and finding a way to bring light to their long, dark winters. While there are many events in Copenhagen that celebrate Saint Lucy, the Lucia i Kajak event is one of the most special. Every year, hundreds of people decorate kayaks and paddleboards with garland, fairy lights, Christmas trees, candles, elves, and reindeer, and travel throughout the canals of Copenhagen singing Christmas carols and spreading holiday cheer. I was able to follow the entire parade from the pier and it was truly one of the most beautiful and spectacular sights I had ever seen

Christmas at Tivoli 

Christmas at Tivoli is absolutely magical. The historic gardens boast their own Christmas Market full of decorated wooden houses, snow-covered trees, festive ornaments, and glittering Christmas lights. Visitors can watch candy makers create old-fashioned lollipops and decorate honningkagehjerter cookies among the Christmas elves or “nissen”. To everyone’s delight there is a large Christmas tree in the center of the park with miniature trains that run around it and through present boxes inspired by the architecture of some of Copenhagen’s most recognizable buildings. There is also a brand-new projection light show on the façade of the iconic Tivoli Concert Hall as well as a Nutcracker themed version of the Tivoli Illuminations water show. I visited the gardens multiple times throughout the holiday season, and I even spent Christmas day in the park with my family! We had a great time riding the rides, looking at all of the different products being sold at the market stalls, and watching the special Christmas fireworks spectacular. The absolute best part about spending Christmas in Copenhagen? Getting to see snow for the first time ever!!

vi ses næste indlæg… xo Chloe 

Chloe Zgorzelski studied in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2018: http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/denmarkk/Pages/univ_of_copenhagen.aspx

Denmark | Academics

By Chloe Zgorzelski 

It’s the most wonderful month of the year – December! I’m so excited to experience all of the wonderful Danish Christmas Markets, experience the magic of Tivoli at Christmas, eat some delicious Æbleskiver, and celebrate the holidays with my family. But for students all around the world, including myself, the holiday season always goes hand in hand with the culmination of another academic semester and, of course, finals. So, in the spirit of finals season, I figured I would give you a quick peek into the world of academia at the University of Copenhagen, by highlighting three unique aspects that make university life in Denmark different than university life at home in California. 

#1 – Courses 

As an exchange student at the University of Copenhagen, you have the ability to enroll in a wide range of courses taught in English that span a variety of different disciplines and subjects. Some of the most popular disciplines at the university are environmental studies, health sciences, economics, and political science. While most of the courses offered are at the upper-division undergraduate level, students do have the ability to enroll in master’s level coursework. The university also offers a selection of Danish Culture Courses, which are classes highlighting various facets of Danish Culture, like Nordic Mythology or Danish Architecture, designed specifically with exchange students in mindClasses at the University of Copenhagen usually meet less times per week, for an extended period of time, rather than multiple times a week in shorter intervals, as is typical of the UC system. My social psychology course, for example, only meets once a week on Mondays from 3-6pm. My professor divides our class time into mini-sections and gives us one or two 10 minute “brain breaks in between, as is typical of most classes at the university. 

 

Courses here also carry an extremely high number of units. Even though I am only enrolled in two classes, I am considered a full-time student at the University of Copenhagen as both of my courses are each worth 15 ECTS points which is the equivalent to 24 UC Units. This has been adjustment for me, but this schedule has allowed me to use the rest of my week to travel, to volunteer at Studenterhuset, and enjoy all that Copenhagen has to offer! FUN FACT: All classes start exactly fifteen minutes after the official course start time, as per Danish tradition. Before cellphones and reliable watches, the Danes relied on the clocktowers around the city to indicate the time of day. Therefore, when the clock chimed at the hour, they understood that it was time for them to start making their way to class and they had about fifteen minutes to get there.  

 

#2 – Campus 

The University of Copenhagen is integrated into the city on four different campuses, each specializing in different disciplines: North Campus – Health & Medical Science, South Campus – Humanities, Law & Theology, City Campus – Social Sciences, and Fredericksburg Campus – Agriculture, Forestry & Veterinary. While I have been able to visit and see all four of the campuses during my time here, I have only had class on two out of the four. My psychology class meets at City Campus and both my Danish Language Course and Architecture courses met on South Campus.  

#3 – Assignments 

Students at the University of Copenhagen do not receive homework assignments, take midterm exams, or even typically complete papers throughout the semester. Rather, they complete a lot of reading throughout the semester, participate in group work, and are expected to spend a considerable amount of time outside of class processing and thinking critically about the class material in preparation for the lengthy final exam requirements. In both of the courses I was enrolled in this semester, I was required to complete an active participation assignment. This assignment is not graded, but is a prerequisite that, upon completion, makes you eligible to complete the final exam. For my Social Psychology class, my active participation consisted of a 20-30-minute group presentation, presented in front of the class, on one of the readings assigned to us. For Danish Architecture, I was required to write a 2-3-page synopsis introducing and outlining my final paper topic. My finals for both of these classes take the form of lengthy analytical papers. For the past couple of weeks, I have been working on a 15-20-page research paper on the relationship between health and architecture for my Danish Architecture Class. Next weekend, I will complete a 72-hour written exam for Social Psychology, which means I will be given a paper topic on Friday and I will have 72 hours to write, edit, and turn in my assignment.  

Looking forward to the successful completion another semester   

vi ses næste indlæg! xo Chloe 

Chloe Zgorzelski studied in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2018: http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/denmark/Pages/univ_of_copenhagen.aspx

Denmark | Copenhagen Adventures

By Chloe Zgorzelski 

It’s hard to believe that as I write I only have a little over a month left in Copenhagen! As soon as I got back from Fall Break a few weeks ago, I knew that time would start to fly extremely quickly – so I sat down and made a little list of all the things I knew I wanted to accomplish before I leave Copenhagen at the end of December. I also made it a personal goal to do (at least) one Copenhagen thing a day – which can mean anything from taking a day to go hunting for “trolls” in the forests in the outskirts of Copenhagen to something as little as taking a study break to eat a Danish hot dog. During my little three-week break from traveling, I really made an effort to stick to this goal. Here are five of my favorite things I have done during the past three weeks…… 

# 1 – Troll Hunting: Looking for the Six Hidden Giants in the forests of Outer Copenhagen 

A few weeks ago, I finally checked off one of my must-do’s while in Copenhagen – troll hunting! Before I arrived in Copenhagen, I saw a video about an artist named Thomas Dambo who had created “six hidden giants” out of scrap wood, that currently live and hide in the forests outskirting Copenhagen. He created them in an effort to bring art out of the museum while simultaneously encouraging local Copenhageners to explore the beautiful and often overlooked nature spots in their own backyard. As soon as I decided I was studying abroad in Copenhagen, I knew I had to find some of these trolls. So, on a sunny, mid-October Wednesday, a few of my friends and I grabbed our bikes and embarked on a treasure hunt to find some of Copenhagen’s most unique and loveable open-air sculptures. To start we took the B line of the S train all the way to Høje Taastrup (the location of Teddy Friendly) and then rode our bikes through the pastures and open fields past fluffy cows, sheep, horses and other wildlife on our way to find the other trolls.  In the span of a few hours, we were able to find four out of the six giants: Teddy Friendly (#6), Thomas on the Mountain (#5) Little Tilde (#4), and Oscar Under the Bridge (#3). So far, this has been my favorite Copenhagen adventure.  

# 2 – A Visit to Botanisk have 

The University of Copenhagen’s Botanical Garden is only located about a fiveminute walk away from my dorm and it is beautiful – especially in the Fall, when the leaves are turning, and the air is a bit crisper. The garden serves research, educational, and recreational purposes, as it is a part of the Natural History Museum of Denmark and the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Science. During my visit, I got to explore their new exhibit: The Butterfly House, as well as the infamous Palm House. Each of the garden’s glasshouses featured a wide array of exotic plant life and mimicked the various climates in which these plants grow best. My favorite part of my visit was having the opportunity to climb up the staircase in the Palm House to the upper observatory deck, so I could see the plant’s (and an awesome view of Copenhagen) from a different perspective.   

# 3 Cherish Exhibition at the Marble Church 

My favorite church in all of Copenhagen, hands down, is the Marble Church. It is located in the middle of the Frederiksstaden area, complementing both Amalienborg Castle and The Opera. I love that as you walk around the city you can see its copper green dome peeking out from behind various city buildings from almost anywhere you stand. During the month of October and the first few weeks of November, the church featured a special art installation entitled “Cherish”, designed to start a conversation about climate change and the impact it has on our seasons. Over 15,000 paper flowers floated on the inside of the church’s dome and it was truly a spectacular sight to see.  

# 4 – Bike Riding to Two of Copenhagen’s Coolest Parks: Superkilen + Tårnlegepladsen in Fælledparken 

Ever since my architecture professor presented a lecture on landscape architecture and the various parks and green spaces in Copenhagen, I had been dying to go visit two of the parks he discussed: Superkilen and Tårnlegepladsen. Superkilen park is located in the neighborhood of Nørrebro, only about 10 minutes away from my dorm. Nørrebro is one of the most diverse areas of Copenhagen and the park reflects and embraces this diversity. Many of the neighborhood’s inhabitants were consulted during the park’s development regarding what kind of features they would like to see included. Therefore, it is divided into three main areas: The Red Square, The Black Market, and The Green Park. Each of these areas is filled with objects and park equipment that is representative and inspired by the countries around the world that the neighborhood’s inhabitants are from. Among many things found in the park, you can find an octopus slide sculpture from Japan, a fountain from Morocco, and an old doughnut shop sign from the United States. Tarnlegepladsen is perhaps the cutest park I have ever seen. All of the play equipment is modelled after famous Copenhagen Monuments, such as the Round Tower, City Hall, the Marble Church, and the Church of Our Saviour Spiral. I was lucky enough to have a few hours of free time one morning, so I seized the opportunity, grabbed my bike and was lucky enough to grab a couple of photos before all the little kids arrived.  

#5 – Watching the Changing of the Guard at Amelianborg Palace 

Amelianborg is Copenhagen’s Royal Palace. For a portion of the year, Denmark’s royal family actually lives and resides inside. The palace is famous for its Royal Guard, called Den Kongelige Livgarde. Every day you can experience the changing of the guards, as they march from the military barracks on Gothersgade, past Rosenborg Castle, through the streets of Copenhagen to Amalienborg, where the changing of the guard occurs daily at 12:00 noon. Throughout my time in Copenhagen, I had seen the royal guard pass through the streets on multiple occasions, as I am often studying at various café’s and libraries within city center but had never seen the procession all the way through. So, l took a moment to finally go and watch it in its entirety and it was really cool to see! Unlike the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, Denmark’s procession is very immersive. There is no gate blocking your view and there is no giant crowd. You really get to see it happen the way it was intended.   

 

Chloe Zgorzelski studied in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2018: http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/denmark/Pages/univ_of_copenhagen.aspx