Notes from Abroad – Copenhagen, Denmark

Written by lin_vict on . Posted in Notes from Abroad

Question: “ What has been the most shocking difference or change you’ve experienced abroad compared to the U.S.?”

By Christopher Jo

“Scandinavian Ice” is a term which describes the cold nature of Scandinavians. This isn’t to say Danes are not friendly or welcoming, but rather, Americans tend to have a more outgoing mindset when it comes to approaching new people. It’s easy to make a trip to the grocery store in Denmark when the only words you will say are “hej” (hi) and “tak” (thanks). But in As the U.S. there is a lot of small talk between strangers.

I have also found it hard to meet local Copenhagen Business School students because exchange students need to put in a lot of effort to meet them.

However, once you befriend a group of Danes, there is an entirely different word. The Danish word “hygge” describes the warm feeling that you get when you are in good company. There is no English translation for hygge, but the closest word is “cozy.” In the winter, sitting around a table of friends enjoying a cup of coffee can be very “hyggelide,” or cozy-like. Or in the summer, it could be throwing a party for a handful of your closest friends to grill and catch up. The idea of hygge is something that I find to be very unique. Once you get close to a Dane, they consider you a friend for life. All you have to do is break the ice.

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