2019 Spring Denmark DIS External Programs Giovanny Zapata

Checkmarks for Denmark!

Hey! Or, should I say start saying Hej?! (I hope these last 2 months of rigorously trying to learn some Danish on Duolingo pays off).  I am only a few hours away from embarking on a journey of a lifetime, and I am so excited that you are here to experience it with me! Just to quickly introduce myself, my name is Giovanny Zapata. I am a senior health professions major, double minoring in public health and biology on the pre-med track. As someone who always wanted to study abroad, but always had a difficult time making that first step, I am here to show you that you CAN study abroad and that it will be worth it!

As someone who looooves creating to-do lists, I started compiling the various items I am going to need when abroad. To-do lists are great, but when you’re also an over-packer like me, it can get a little overwhelming–shout out to my mom for making sure I am only packing the necessitates! I highly recommend having someone doublecheck your lists because staring at piles of clothes and scattered items everywhere can really tire you out.

Besides packing to-do lists, I also started compiling a checklist of things to do within my first few weeks in Copenhagen. I really want to make sure I acquaint myself sooner rather than later. Check the list out below:

  • Navigate the public transportation system
  • Rent a bike for the semester and ride it around downtown Copenhagen
  • Introduce myself to my floormates and plan a get-to-know-each-other dinner
  • Learn the currency of Denmark and go grocery shopping (aka try and learn how to budget early)
  • Check out a local gym and get a membership (new year new me…am I right?)
  • Look into the hot spot coffee shots in the surrounding area (I have an 8:30am, I’m going to NEED this!)

Right now, I’m feeling ecstatic, anxious, nervous, but most importantly, grateful.

I’m grateful to be given the opportunity to live in a new environment for a couple of months while also exploring a different type of education. As a son of two immigrants, graduating high school was a big enough achievement for my parents. Studying abroad exceeds this by hundreds of miles. I am blessed to have a family that supports my endeavors and I am even more blessed to be able to have them live this journey through me.

As my family members always remind my parents, I am the one who made it out. And I’m going to go out far.

Copenhagen, Denmark. I am ready for you and all that you have to offer! Stay tuned for my next blog of how move-in and orientation goes and to see if I actually completed all the things on my check list (hold me accountable y’all)!

See ya! Adios! Farvel!

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