Copenhagen: Pre-departure Blog

Dear Future Self:

My top three goals for my semester abroad are to experience new cultures, to learn about international business and how it differs from American business, and to make friends with students at McIntire who I haven’t interacted with yet, as well as students from other universities.

I hope to learn about Denmark’s role in global business. I have read that Copenhagen is an important destination for real estate investment in Europe, mostly because of its attractive location. I have some interest in real estate but would love to learn more about it. I would also be interested in learning about how Brexit continues to affect business in Europe.

I am not at all fluent in Danish, and I know very few words. While there, I expect to pick up more Danish, however, I doubt I will become proficient in the language as so many people speak English.

I know that bike riding is a major facet of the culture in Copenhagen. I also learned that Copenhagen is one of the greenest cities in the world, which is particularly exciting for me as I would like to learn more about what I can do to help the environment. Because Denmark is a socialist country, they have universal health care and other social safety nets that the US lacks. I think it will be interesting to see how these social programs affect business, because this has been an ongoing debate at home.

I have heard that the Danes are some of the happiest people on Earth, and I would be interested to see if this stereotype holds true. I have also heard that Danes like to eat healthier food than Americans. I was told that if I were to use greetings like “How are you?” in public, people will be confused, because this is a very American saying. Apparently, residents of Copenhagen also don’t smile at one another in public, and value their personal space on public transit.

After this semester, I expect I will be more in touch with cultures that are different from my own and will likely be more understanding of other people. I hope that I have a new perspective on business and will be able to use this perspective to succeed in my future classes at McIntire and in the workforce. Remember to have fun and take lots of pictures!

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