DeAndre Sawyer: Study Abroad in Denmark: A Personal View from a Foreign Eye

These photos were taken during my time studying abroad in Copenhagen,

Denmark; the nation’s capital, and – according to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2021 Safe Cities Index (SCI) – the safest city in the world. I participated in the Summer 2021 program through UNC Study Abroad, enrolling in a course called COMM 325: Working Globally in Denmark, led by UNC professor, Steve May. The objective of the course was to study organizational communication and to introduce us to business culture, both in a global context. Accommodated by DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia, we were immersed in Danish culture; ranging from housing to cooking, and from lectures to tours, we participated in a variety of activities intended to expose us to Danish society, history, organizational practices, and lifestyle. Over the course of the three-week program, I took photos with the intent to highlight important landmarks and cultural aspects of Denmark; however, I also found myself capturing seemingly regular images from various lenses. Daily sights, taken-for-granted scenery, perspectives from a foreign eye – they all became part of how I experienced and captured Denmark. From the Tivoli Gardens that inspired Walt Disney’s amusement parks to Frederiksborg Castle, built by King Christian IV in the 17th century, Danish history and beauty seems to contribute to the contemporary. In such an egalitarian society, the royal castles and gardens seem to be emphatic contrasts to such values, yet, closer observation highlights these places as landmarks that tie the people together, flowing through the nation’s veins and establishing a unified sense of identity. And finally, as significant as The Little Mermaid statue and The Royal Library are, I found it just as important to capture everyday life by the canals, the evening lights, the view from our housing, and the skyline of the historic and innovative capital.

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