I LOVE a good analogy… especially one that involves fruit! Not sure why… could be because one of my favorite scenes from my favorite movie (GoodWill Hunting) is when Will stands up for himself against a know it all in a bar… Anyways, the DIS Opening Ceremony was today and it was amazing. I had no idea how many students were studying in Copenhagen this semester… the beautiful Royal Danish Academy of Music was completely full; it really put in perspective just how many other minds are coming together at DIS. It made me wonder why each person chose to study abroad, what they are studying, who I would have classes with, who had interests parallel to my own, or perpendicular, what university was everyone from, who knew how to rent a bike.....
I traveled to the ceremony with everyone in my RC. When we got off the metro, it wasn't hard to figure out where to go. There was a mass of English speaking young adults all traveling in the same direction, sort of like a surge of minnows displaced in unfamiliar waters. I got a little separated from my new pals while trying to find a place to sit; I ended up sitting in the top row with two foreign faces on either side of me. I introduced myself to both of them, and what do you know, we found some small world connections!
The ceremony was warm, witty, and welcoming. One particular anecdote that resonated with me was a quote which DIS faculty member and psychologist, Lars Rossen, shared and said he believed was the best verbal manifestation of a semester abroad:
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” Søren Kierkegaard
Kierkegaard. A Danish philosopher. The father of existentialism. I mean common. How fitting is that. The perfect preface for the advent of this 4 month (or longer) journey of learning through living. To me, this quote in the context of my time in Copenhagen, means:
| exercising responsible agency for personal development
| discovering the value of accepting vulnerability
| appreciating involuntary adventure
| making an effort to recognize cultural nuances
| cultivating growth through nourishing conversation - conversing with Danes