As I wrap up week five here in Denmark, I’m finding it easier to reflect on the things that have made my abroad experience so wonderful – the biggest of which is my culinary LLC! Now I know this is the content many of you future DIS students are here for, so let’s get into it.
While planning for DIS, I scoured every possible resource you can imagine to determine where I wanted to live. I read every blog post, googled every housing option, and extensively pestered my friend at DIS to give me every single insider detail on the housing options (thanks, Mary Kate!) I thought my housing would make or break my abroad experience, and I took it laughably serious.
Thus, I spent hours trying to get the wording on my housing application exactly right (they only give you 150 words max, which threw me for a loop). I explicitly stressed that I’d prefer to be with a smaller group of friends to spend time with, and that a built-in network would make me feel more at home (although looking back, I may have pushed this a bit too hard, as I ended up in a quad, yikes!).
DIS requires you to rank your top three housing choices and gives no guarantees as to which one you’ll be placed in. Initially, I planned to put the Residential Community first and Kollegium second, but made a snap decision while filling out the housing application and decided to go with an LLC as my first choice.
As the summer wore on and I anxiously waited for my housing to be released, I found myself growing more and more hopeful that I’d get into the LLC. I prepared myself for disappointment, justifying that no matter where I lived, I’d still make the most of my time abroad. In the end, I worried for nothing!
The Culinary LLC:
This semester, the culinary LLC is right in the heart of the city, and easily one of the best housing locations at DIS. (Fair warning: DIS switches the locations of each LLC every semester, so don’t be that person who chooses it only for the location because you probably won’t win that game.) This year, there were enough people to split the culinary LLC up into two groups, with each consisting of about 15ish people. Every Tuesday night, our LLC coordinator, Bat-El, leads us in a culinary exercise, whether it be cooking a unique dish in our apartment or going out into the community to learn from industry professionals. We’re doing everything from cooking traditional smørrebrød to literally scavenging in the forest for mushrooms (more on that later), which has so far been a great way to explore Scandinavian culture through food!
Who it’s right for:
I think an LLC is right for people who want to make new friends and live a community-based lifestyle while in Copenhagen. We’re responsible for cooking most of our meals, keeping our space clean, and generally just maintaining a healthy living environment, meaning that we’ve gotten to know each other well right off the bat. My personal favorite part about living in the LLC has been getting to know everyone – I think having structured group activities each week has really opened us all up to friendships more-so than having to initiate them ourselves. The built-in-community aspect was a comfort coming into the program and has only flourished since I’ve been here, and I know I’ll look back on this experience and these people as those that shaped my time abroad!
My LLC Weekend:
Now back to that whole “forest foraging” part…
At the beginning of the semester, each LLC dedicates a full weekend to activities based around their LLC “theme”. As the culinary LLC, we (shocker) spent a lot of time eating during our LLC weekend! We walked a food tour of Østerbro, where we tried Danish candy, cookies, and croissants (the three most important C’s, if you will). We then went home and made a ginormous pot of homemade pesto pasta – one of my new favorite foods (and so easy to make, who knew!). The next day, we were up bright and early to take the train north, where we trekked into the forest to forage for various wild plants. We picked blueberries and made our own soup, and mushrooms for a white sauce that we cooked right there in the forest. (I came out that afternoon with huge bug bites up and down my legs, but I’m choosing to stay in denial about where they came from.)
I love my LLC! I’m so happy that I went with my gut instinct to put it as my first option because it’s genuinely been the best part of my time here. At first I was worried about not knowing enough to “qualify” for it, but there’s such a diverse mix of tastes that I’ve gotten to try things I never would have at home (the Midwest really is a bubble). The one thing I will say is that each LLC is different and some are more known than others: mine has 17 people spread between two floors, but others are much smaller! Be sure to consider the strength of your interests and if you want to put in the work to live in a small community, because getting to know your LLC-mates really will make your experience here that much better.