If you’re reading this and have received your offer, congratulations! It may be your first time flying to Denmark and undoubtedly, you’re feeling a little on edge. Believe me, I get it. I had never been to Europe, nor had I ever flown on my own… especially for 36 hours. So, here are a few things you may like to do in preparation for your exchange at CBS:
- Apply for Denmark’s ‘Residence and Work’ Permit. From memory, it takes roughly 3 months. Once you get this cherished piece of paper, do not let go of it.
- Print out your travel documents. Although, I later learnt that the European travel system is far less strict and complicated than Australia’s. Also, everything can be organised electronically. I know, I’m an old-fashioned millennial.
- Research the country. For me, I learnt that Denmark’s “summer” is comparative to Brisbane’s “winter”. The price of everything is like you’re shopping on James Street. And if you’re a coffee snob, I suggest nipping the addiction in the bud before you arrive…
- Start packing your bags a few weeks in advance. For someone who lives life to the last minute, it was the best thing I ever did. Adding things day by day and making sure I was prepared. Although, if you forget something, don’t stress, you can buy pretty much everything, anywhere.
- Pack your carry on essentials: gum, earphones, eye mask if you’re a light sleeper, and compression socks (“cankles” are a thing, ladies).
- Get on top of the student housing process. This can be tedious and a little stressful but don’t worry the CBS team are more than helpful. It is expensive but I truly think it made my ‘student experience’ – it was a lot easier to make friends and you’ll never feel alone.
- Ride a bike. Copenhagen is the city of cyclists. Prior to my exchange, I hadn’t ridden a bike in 10 years so you can just imagine my biking skills (shocking to say the least). You could say I looked like a “local-tourist” – someone who lives in the area, but still looks and acts very much like a tourist.
The feeling of touching down in a country 15,500km from home is overwhelming to say the least. You’re about to embark on one of the greatest experiences of your life. So, to make your arrival as smooth as possible, I recommend applying for the exchange buddy program. They meet you at the airport, take you to your accommodation and are there to contact and guide you through your exchange.
How to make friends in the first few weeks? Apply for the social package, either first week or second week – both are great! The friends I made in the first two weeks are some of the people who I call my best friends today. So, after you’ve spent the beginning weeks getting to know people, obliterating your liver, and settling in, classes will begin. At CBS, some subjects have lectures and workshops, and others, have just lectures which run as tutorials (these tend to be smaller). Also, something to note, they do NOT record lectures… so if you miss a class make sure you do the readings because you don’t want to get to the end of the semester and have 100+ pages to read (I may have learnt this lesson the hard way).
While, like myself, you want to do as much travelling as possible, try to enjoy the city! It is truly one of the prettiest and happiest places I’ve ever been to. The weekends where I didn’t travel, I explored the city and when it got a little too cold, I spent time indoors with friends and truly experienced the feeling of “hygge”. You’ll come across this word in any travel blog you read about Copenhagen. Essentially, it means the feeling of warmth, cosiness and being with friends. And, is pronounced “hu-gah” (from what I understood from the Danish accent).
On a final note, enjoy every moment – the months will fly by! Make sure you go to Tivoli, try a cinnamon scroll – Bodenhoff near Kathrine Kollegiet (CBS Housing) became a Wednesday tradition, go to CBS’ weekly Nexus Party, embrace the seasonal changes – something I had never experienced before, go to “Dyrehaven” where there are over a thousand wild deer, find student deals (Riz Raz – vegetarian buffet – you will not regret it) and get outside your comfort zone!
If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact me on Facebook!