One small aspect of Danish life that I have thought about a lot as I prepare myself to return home is how protected I felt no matter where I was. I could be in my room just on the outskirts of the city center, or I could be right in the middle of it late at night, and I would know that I was quite safe even when on my own. I have always, and will continue to be, cautious of pickpocketing and other people around me, but I find that here in Copenhagen those concerns are much less prominent than many places in the US, even around Waterville. This I believe has to do with Danish culture and the enforcement of trust and community here. My entire life, I have been taught that it is not safe to trust strangers or let your guard down in public. This is not to say that thefts do not occur here, because I have heard stories from many people of their possessions getting stolen. However, in comparison to other major cities around the world, I think that Copenhagen is the safest and most trustworthy.
Additionally, now that the sun goes down at 3:40pm, and doesn’t rise again until 8:30am, I and the other DIS students are often out studying and trying to get around when it is quite dark out, which is cause for some weariness over being by yourself somewhere when it is dark. As a female, this has always been something I had to be cognizant of, but I have found that I do not need to be as protective of myself as one would expect in a big city. Even when I return to Copenhagen on a Sunday night from a weekend trip and must take the metro home, I feel as though I can relax as I make my way back to my building without the fear of someone following me or pickpocketing me.
While I realize that this quickly turned into a fairly serious topic, my point that I hope to get across is that Copenhagen has made me feel safe, and this can no doubt be credited to the culture of happiness and trust that they have fostered here.