(Author’s note: I wrote this during my first term of graduate studies in Denmark.)
Sunday, November 6th, 2005
After all that’s been said and done, I am finally in Denmark! It was a tough pre-departure experience for me. Nevertheless, I managed to get through. It’s been a month now since I got here and I can say that I have done pretty well with acculturation and acclimatization. Of course it is not easy but I am really getting by.
I am in Århus, Denmark. It is 3 hours away from Copenhagen, the capital. Århus is just a small city but I have grown to like its charms. There is so much going on around here so I always find something to do, to explore and well, there is school, the reason why I am here.
I am a student of Århus university, Denmark’s second largest. It is huge, with its campuses scaterred around the city. I am fortunate to have been granted a scholarship to pursue a masters degree in media and communication studies through the EU’s Erasmus Mundus program.
Back home, my workload was just too much that I always find myself stressed out and really tired. But here, it’s like I’m on vacation! I remember a colleague who told me that I should consider this as a break from work. It didn’t make sense at first, but now I agree with her. Although my studies is top priority here, I have more time to do more.
Yet, I miss home. Who wouldn’t? There are times when I just cry out of homesickness. Well, I let the tears flow then i shake it off. I have to or else I will go crazy! There are better things to do, too. Like going to “strøget” (the walking street) and do some window shopping and watching out for “tilbud” and “salg” (sale) signs among the shops; or explore the city’s museums that abound; or better yet, immerse myself with a good book. Of late, a chat with my dorm mates have been really helpful. As what a former student said, loneliness is not an issue here, lonesomeness is.
It is winter here now and the chill is really something to contend with. So i am keeping myself warm. I think that I will get used to it. For now, I look forward to seeing snow, for the second time. I wonder how it is like to see white everywhere.
It is not so bad to be here, far from everything familiar and away from my comfort zones. I take it as an opportunity to grow and to just BE.
I consider it a blessing, so I do my best to be worthy. And when I go home, I hope to bring back with me Denmark’s lessons, even Europe’s.