In Expat Feedback

Expat feedback – Alex from Cyprus

Hej!

I am very pleased to be able to share again a new expat feedback on the blog! If you have not read the expat feedback yet, have a look here at the “Expat Feedback” page.

This week, Alex from Cyprus is sharing her feedback. I have been studying Danish in Module 4.1 with her. She is very determined to learn and speak Danish!

I sincerely hope that you will enjoy reading this post, where she shares her personal experience of learning Danish.

Thank you Alex!


About you
Hej! My name is Alex. I have been living in Denmark for a year now.
I have completed my first year as a Masters student at the University of Copenhagen.

Your school
I am learning Danish at Studieskolen.

What is your feedback on the modules that you attended?
Module 1 begins with the basics, namely the numbers, alphabet, pronouns as well as other information that is the cornerstone of Danish small talk. For example, the weather, jobs and where you live, as well as ordering at restaurants.

Get ready to build on your conversational skills in Module 2.
It introduces you to topics such as traveling, music, education, as well as other important grammar exercises, such as comparative and superlative adjectives. By the end of this module, you will be expected to be able to write an informal, page long email to a friend.

In Module 3 we worked on food, life experiences, pleasantries, hobbies, job interviews and even child rearing. Expect to be able to hold a longer and more interesting, off-script conversation by this module. Speaking becomes more spontaneous and more entertaining as your vocabulary increases! The book material in this Module was my favorite by far; it was called “Og så videre”.

In Module 4.1, we returned to topics we had previously covered, but with a richer vocabulary. We were also introduced to animals.We also were encouraged to read a lot of books provided to us by Studieskolen’s library and write page long reports on them.

Content may differ compared to what books are used by the teachers, but I assume the modules follow some basic common topics. You may even feel as if you repeat the same topics again in the different modules, which might be frustrating, but I think the point of this is to enrich your vocabulary slowly.

All the teachers I have had have tried to give us a taste of Denmark’s culture. My personal favorite is when they play some (sometimes wonderfully weird) Danish songs.

Expect to meet very interesting classmates from all over the world. Even if you get tired of the classes sometimes, for example after a long day at work, good relations with your classmates will make time go by in a more entertaining way. Attending Studieskolen is a good way to meet new friends and to strengthen your social circle in Copenhagen.

That’s as far as I have got until now, and I am looking forward to whatever remains!

Day classes vs evening classes?
In regards to the day/evening classes dilemma, I would undoubtedly suggest day classes, if one has the time. Day classes mean more time to practice and classmates who are more advanced in Danish. This is due to the fact that they of course spend more time practicing and also because many of them have Danish partners. Students in the evening classes usually work during the day and are sometimes tired by the time they come to school.

Tips/Suggestions
Do you have any tips about how to improve your Danish while studying and being in Denmark

Speak as much Danish as possible, by surrounding yourself with Danes. However, expect to be spoken to in English, as Danes are very good at English. That means that you usually have to break the cycle and try to answer in Danish even if they speak to you in English. Slowly they will also turn to Danish.
Friends who speak fluent Danish may be hard to make. Therefore, if you have spare time on your hands, you may want to volunteer. I would recommend places such as WeFood or join sports clubs, for example KSI, which is a student organization but is also open to people outside the university, at an extra fee.

Watching television in Danish is very helpful. You can start off with Danish movies with English subtitles, then move on to simple Danish TV shows with Danish subtitles. An example is “Kære Dagbog”, where Danes read out loud from their, sometimes embarrassing and usually funny, teenage diaries.

Finally, I have found it interesting to read books in Danish that I already know the story of quite well from childhood, such as the Harry Potter series. This means I can focus on the language, as I already know the plot. But that may be for more advanced stages.

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