Margaux O., Bachelor of Biomedical Science / Bachelor of Business
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark (Semester 2, 2017)
Landing in Copenhagen was probably close to the scariest things I’ve ever done. However, I was greeted by a smiling Dane who my host university, Copenhagen Business School, set up for me. It was a scary but exhilarating moment being thrust into a whole new continent, let alone city, to live for the next 5-6 months.
Looking back on my exchange to Copenhagen, I don’t think I would or could change one thing about it. Every day I was out meeting other exchange students while exploring every little thing this amazing city had to offer.
Copenhagen Business School was incredibly accommodating for every exchange student. They helped exchange students with everything, from subject selection to being a shoulder to cry on for those homesick. The campus, although spread out across Frederiksberg, was beautiful, modern, and old. For me, teaching styles were reasonably similar to QUT, having a tutorial and a lecture for each subject each week. Also the standard of work is very similar to QUT, I did not struggle at all. Although the Danes may seem reasonably held back, they are very approachable and I felt very comfortable attending class every day. Much like QUT, there are many clubs and societies to join, such as the Wine Tasting club, and the Swedish Student Society!
If you are heading to Denmark (or Scandinavia in general), be prepared for the cost of living. I was lucky enough to live in exchange student accommodation on campus, which was a bit expensive but so worth it. I lived right next to Frederiksberg Gardens (like botanic gardens but with a castle), and the area itself is very pretty and safe. There are so many grocery stores to choose from in Copenhagen, so you will not fail to find the cheaper deals. However, be prepared to spend a fair bit if you want a coffee (average around $6 for a coffee) or to eat dinner out (about $30 for a meal). However, just like home, you won’t fail to find cheaper restaurant alternatives.
I can’t say I really experienced culture shock. I think I was just too excited to be in Denmark. It is an incredibly easy culture to get used to, and most important, everyone speaks English impeccably! There was not one moment where I struggled with the culture or interacting with the Danes. Definitely get used to bicycles everywhere – do not step on the bike track or you WILL get yelled at in Danish. We have all been there, trust me. Besides this, I honestly never felt so safe in a major city – everyone is so nice!
Here are some general tips for Copenhagen:
- Shop at Netto or Lidl for groceries
- Buy a Rejsekort for public transport OR a monthly pass (if you are going to use public transport often)
- OR rent a bike! Copenhagen Business School have a group of students to rent bikes to Exchange students for the semester for about $100
- Hit up Malmo or Lund in Sweden for lunch
- Definitely visit Aarhus
- Norrebro, Vesterbro, Ostebro are all worth visiting
- If you are doing fall semester – buy a yearly Tivoli pass. Trust me you will want to see it in Halloween and Christmas.
- Have a picnic on the canals of Copenhagen by renting a Go Boat
- Hit up Bastard Café – a board game café!
- Try their delicacies – Smorrebrod, Danish Rye bread, and street vendor hot dogs!
Honestly, it feels like all of exchange was the most memorable experience. Copenhagen was actually my second preference, but I could not be more pleased that I went to Copenhagen. I cannot explain how much I loved the city and how much I want to still be there with every single person I met. Everyone says this, but you do definitely make some life long friends – and lucky for me some of them are Australian!
A friend of mine I met in Copenhagen once emotionally described his exchange experience to us as “a complete dream, like it never actually happened.” Since coming home, I couldn’t agree with him more. A dream too good to be real, but a dream that did actually happen.