Creating Video Games in Copenhagen: A Computer Science Major Abroad
I always thought about studying abroad, but I never thought that it would be feasible as a computer science major. Even if it were possible, would the experience be more valuable than a semester at Hamilton? I wasn't sure at the time, but after finding an abroad program with a computer science department, I was going to find out. In the beginning, I struggled even to buy groceries in a language that I had never seen before. However, by the end of the semester, Copenhagen was home.
My core course in Copenhagen was Video Game Development, which allowed me to explore a completely different area of computer science. We spent the semester creating video games, individually and in groups, as well as traveling to different areas of Denmark and Germany to learn more about different video game companies. We visited small companies tucked away in basements of buildings, and larger, more well know companies such as IO Interactive. It was a really great experience to be able to speak with so many different people within the same industry and to compare and contrast the different companies.
I lived in a dorm, but participated in a visiting family program that allowed me to spend time with a Danish family. This easily became one of the most valuable parts of my study-abroad experience, as I finally learned what it meant to be immersed in another culture. I spent a weekend with them speaking Danish, harvesting honey from their bees, orienteering in the Danish forest, and ended the day with a sunset kayak on the fjord. I have never felt so happy, excited, and exhausted at the same time. I learned how to live in the moment and finally find a work-life balance that makes me happy and even more productive. Now that I'm back at Hamilton, I'm incorporating the principles I learned in Denmark into my life back on campus, enjoying and learning everything I can. So, in the end, I can absolutely say that the experience was as valuable as, if not more than, a semester at Hamilton.