Ohio State Navbar

The Ohio State UniversityOffice of International Affairs

give a donation

Education Abroad Profile - Anna Hurley

IMG 2306Rank: Junior
Major: City and Regional Planning
Education Abroad Program: DIS – Study Abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, spring 2018
Travel Blog: walkingthroughcities.wordpress.com

I'm studying this semester at DIS Copenhagen, a program that emphasizes using Europe as your classroom. I picked the DIS for a few reasons. First, DIS is one of the only programs I found with an urban studies program which is very closely related to my major. Second, Copenhagen is an amazing city. At the Knowlton School of Architecture in our planning coursework, we use Copenhagen as a case study in progressive urban planning for livability and sustainable design, so DIS offers me a unique experience: spending four months living in a city I've studied and experiencing it firsthand. Beyond those reasons, DIS has proven to be far beyond even my highest expectations. Our professors here are practicing professionals with amazing connections to some of the most influential international organizations in their fields. For example, one of my professors serves on the board of the Gehl Institute and works for the International Federation for Housing and Planning, a group that has often worked alongside the U.N. to promote sustainable cities.

One of my favorite things thus far this semester was our class trip to Hamburg, Germany. At DIS, you have the opportunity to travel twice with your core course, and for mine (The European Urban Experience: Why Cities Matter) our first trip was to Hamburg, a city that I don't think I would have thought to travel to if not for DIS. It was amazing to see behind the curtain of some interesting planning projects in Hamburg and to experience a city so vastly different than Copenhagen. It was also a great way to get to know my core course classmates better, a few of whom have become some of my closest friends here in Denmark. As someone who studies cities, I've also really enjoyed traveling to and experiencing different cities and look forward to traveling more as the semester continues.

I'm not even done with my semester in Copenhagen, and I'm already so glad I decided to study abroad. I've always been independent but studying abroad has made me more independent than ever. I've been out of my comfort zone more times in the last two months than in the last two years, and it's incredibly freeing. I'm just enough out of my comfort zone that I can feel it expanding and feel myself learning every day. The best way to learn is through experience, and I can't think of a more genuine way to experience a place than to live there for a period of time. The world is an amazing teacher, and I highly recommend becoming its student.