This is a post I have been planning to write all semester: a list for future DIS students of what to bring to Copenhagen. Disclaimer- this post will be mostly applicable to females studying at DIS or in Copenhagen for the Spring Semester.
1. A knee-length, black, WARM winter coat.
Shoutout to my mother who tried to make me buy one of these before coming to Copenhagen and I insisted that I didn’t need it. If I have learned one lesson this semester, it is this: dressing like it’s warmer than it actually is does not make it warmer than it actually is- i.e. your outfit choice cannot influence the weather. Suck it up and buy the bulky, knee-length coat before getting here. I can guarantee you that you will not want your butt to be as cold as mine was in a waist-length white coat this semester. Also, my white coat has turned a disgusting tan-ish color from wearing it daily from January until…April. Hence my black color suggestion. Plus you’ll want to blend in with the Danes who wear exclusively black. About half of DIS owns the black, knee-length Northface coat which definitely will keep you warm, but I would not suggest bringing it unless you want drunk people taking your coat home with them by mistake.
2. Water-proof, insulated winter boots.
Another item I neglected to bring to Copenhagen. I couldn’t fit snowboots in my suitcase due to the obscene amount of sundresses and shorts I decided to bring to Scandinavia, most of which haven’t seen daylight since last summer. Skip the 5th sundress you think you’ll need and make room for those ugly waterproof boots. Your toes will thank you during orientation week when you are running around the city completing the “Amazing Race” and you’re the only group member with blood still circulating to your feet.
Snoods are like scarves but they’re snoods. My roommates and I have a snood-borrowing agreement that has lead to a total pool of around 20 snoods of varying colors, thicknesses, and textures at my disposal. When you get to Copenhagen, you will want to go out and buy a million snoods for the same reasons we did-partly for fashion, mostly for warmth. Snoods are also ideal for a short snood nap (“snap”-copyrighting this word) in a boring meeting, class, or airplane ride. If you wish to start your collection prior to arrival in Denmark, bring a snood or two with you. Or five, which is the number I arrived with but learned was still not enough.
4. Black Skinny Jeans
Another Danish fashion item/essential that I did not pack and ended up buying in Copenhagen. The bandeau skirt, boots, and tights that you’d wear in the winter to off campus parties is not going to cut it in Copenhagen whether you’re walking, biking, or waiting for public transportation. Black jeans are accepted as appropriate attire for everything you might do in Copenhagen unless you’re having tea and cake with the Queen.
5. I know this is corny, but remember to bring an open mind with you as well. Your kollegium might be an inconvenient commute away, your roommates might come from completely different backgrounds than you do, or your host family might cook the same meal you dislike every night. Remember that it’s all part of the experience and appreciate the challenge of figuring out how to make yourself happy and at home in a foreign country. Because if you do try, it will happen.