Wowwwww, I cannot believe I have been in Denmark for almost 3 months. Cliché I know, but how time flies when you’re having fun! Thankfully my visa and everything was sorted before I left and so had a very stress free journey from Adelaide to Copenhagen (via Doha and Amsterdam).
My first few weeks in CPH were spent learning Danish. Although the pronunciation is ridiculous and the Danes speak better English than I do, I 100% recommend doing the pre-semester language course. I met so many great people including my current brunch and gym buddies, who I’m looking forward to visiting in their own countries after the semester ends.
Most faculties host orientation which are a combination of information sessions and social events and is the best place to meet people from your courses. My courses are taught in English and most of the students are international so meeting Danes can be difficult. I elected to have a mentor which enabled me to meet some Danes and get a taste of the real Danish experience eg. sitting in a smoky bodega (dive bar) drinking Tuborg!
Classes here vary between faculty but for me in psychology I only have one class per topic, like a seminar/tutorial at Flinders, and because I’m doing 3 topics I only have 8 contact hours a week!!! I also started volunteering at a community centre teaching English, they love exchange students/native speakers, and is only a couple of hours a week so that leaves loads of time for exploring!!
Copenhagen is a beautiful city, and there’s no better/easier/cheaper way than to see it by bike. I bought one from another exchange student on my second day and haven’t looked back. But riding in the rain is a new and not entirely enjoyable experience…. CPH is quite expensive though, so except for trying the local foods like ‘Smørrebrød’ (open faced sandwich on rye), I eat mainly at home.
Home for me is Bispebjerg Kollegiet. I have a little studio with my own kitchenette and bathroom. It is very private which is great for days where I need my own space. But you definitely should research every place and type of residence (college/shared flat/etc) because each has a completely different vibe, and sometimes I wish mine was a little more social. The location is great though. Close enough to the city to ride in, but far enough away that you see more than just the center. Bisp is just north of Nørrebro, which is known as the multicultural area of CPH. It also contains the ‘shawarma belt’. I’ve lost count of the number of kebabs I have eaten on this street…….
Finding housing in CPH is notoriously difficult. I went through the Housing Foundation, which you will hear about. You get invited to apply for housing, and even though I clicked the invitation link within 8 minutes of receiving the email, there were 400 people in front of me in the virtual queue, it took 4 hours to get in to the system to select housing, and lots of the better/cheaper housing was already full.
International travel from Europe is ridiculously cheap!! I’ve been to Sweden and Germany and planning to travel to a few more countries before heading home. But it’s important not to forget to see Denmark as well!!! I “camped” (stayed in a house) on a cute island called Fanø on the very West Coast of Denmark. I travelled via train and ferry so got to experience the Danish countryside.
The last 3 months have been incredible and I can’t wait to see what the next 3 bring!
- Read Hannah’s pre-departure post here