Her Campus: Denmark must have been super fun! How’d you get involved with the opportunity to study abroad in Denmark as a first-year?
Betsy Terrell: It was super fun! While applying to colleges my senior year of high school, I stumbled upon the Global AWAKEnings program on Wake’s application. I knew that I wanted to study abroad at some point during my college experience, but I had never considered studying abroad my entire freshman year. After I got into the program, I started doing research on Copenhagen, and I was fascinated by the city. I started imagining what it would be like to live there, and every day I found myself thinking about life in Denmark. At that point, I knew that I would regret not considering the program. I decided to visit Wake’s campus, and while I was there, I met other Global AWAKEnings students. After that, I knew I wanted to go to Denmark.
HC: How would you describe your time in Denmark?
BT: My time in Denmark was very rewarding. Navigating my first year of college while in a foreign country was very challenging, but I quickly realized that I had an entire cohort and many resources to reach out to. I think that one of the main things I learned from my time in Denmark was how to be flexible. I really didn’t know what each day would hold, one day I might be writing a midterm paper in Venice, while the next I might be in chemistry class in Copenhagen. I am very grateful for the experience and everything it taught me.
HC: I remember viewing your Instagram posts last year and seeing all those gorgeous sites and activities! What was your favorite memory from Denmark?
BT: One of my favorite memories from Denmark was biking around the Danish island of Bornholm. It was in early fall, so the weather was still warm, which was pretty rare in Denmark. I biked with two of my friends to a small pier, and we had a picnic while watching the sunset. It was at that moment that it really hit me that I was actually going to get to spend a year there. It was also the start of a great friendship.
HC: How was adjusting to life back at home especially after spending all of freshman year in Copenhagen?
BT: It was pretty strange! In Denmark, I had gotten used to the convenience of everything. Almost anywhere that I wanted to go was only a short train ride away, while back home I have to drive 20 minutes just to get to the store. It was also strange to be away from the 16 other members of the cohort, as I had traveled and spent almost every day with them.
HC: How did the news of the coronavirus affect you whilst in Denmark?
BT: We got the news that we were being sent home in mid-March. It came as a shock to all of us, and we were all very upset to have to leave. We were encouraged to leave as soon as possible, so when I got the news at 1 am that night, I immediately booked a plane ticket back home. It was a very rushed and anxiety-inducing experience, as none of us knew what was going to happen, and we hardly had time to say goodbye.
HC: Since this year is your first time living on campus how would you rate your experience so far?
BT: I have really enjoyed living on campus so far! Although most of my classes are online, it has been great to meet other students and participate in events on campus, such as Hit the Bricks. I am glad that I can join clubs and be part of the campus community.