Extended Education and International Programs

Education Abroad

Seryna transitions into adult independence in Denmark

Seryna Bonacorso, Global Studies major

AY 2019-2020, Denmark, University of Southern Denmark


Studying abroad is full of ups and downs. The high points are amazing, and they show you just how adventurous life can be when you're exploring new places on your own. The low points are incredibly stressful and isolating, but I've learned so much from them. Not only did I get to experience Danish culture and lifestyle habits, but I learned a lot about myself during my time abroad. 

Falling in love with the intricacies of hygge, learning about the Scandinavian Welfare State and its history, eating delicious pastries, mispronouncing confusing Danish names at my barista job, and surviving biking through some serious wind and rain on a daily basis are just a few of the things I've experienced while living in Denmark. Some of my experiences dug a lot deeper than cinnamon rolls and rain pants, though. I've always been an independent person, but I'm still only twenty and I'm new to being an "adult". After studying abroad, I now know that I am capable of so much more than I had previously expected.

While in Denmark, I had to sort out so many things all on my own, things that felt very foreign and adult-like to me. The not-so-subtle aspect of being alone in a faraway land definitely added to the intensity of those moments. Being able to get through those things has shown me what I can face on my own, and that even though I sometimes don't feel ready for the next steps in my life, I am ready. I have more lifestyle confidence; I can advocate for myself, and solve grown up tasks (including paying rent, banking, navigating government and residency related confusion, and even sorting out foreign tax payments... all with the help of Google Translate, of course). My time abroad wasn't always what I expected, especially considering that it was cut a bit short due to the pandemic. And sure, there are many things that I would do differently if I could do it all over again. However, studying abroad was an amazing experience, and I don't think I've ever learned so much about life in such a short period of time. I got to transition into adult independence while living in Denmark, and I will never forget that experience. I often find myself missing Odense's sweet fairytale charms, and I can't wait to visit Denmark again some day.