Grace – University of Copenhagen – Denmark
Semester 2, 2022
Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Through the turmoil that was the peak of COVID-19, I had plenty of time to plan my exchange. However, Denmark was never a country that crossed my mind as a study destination until about a month before I submitted my application. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel as though no one ever talks about Denmark. I also did not know anyone who had ever visited Denmark. I had no idea what to expect, but I liked the look of the subjects on offer and so I decided to take a risk and study Nordic Mythology and Danish Culture at the University of Copenhagen (KU). That turned out to be the best decision I could’ve made!
Not only does KU have an excellent array of subjects taught in English, they also offer great support for incoming international students, including a buddy program and student assistants within each course. The teaching staff are very friendly and willing to help, and they are often quick to reply to emails. University is very casual, and the teachers always treat you as an equal. I would encourage you to join the buddy program as it can be difficult to make Danish friends at university (if you are taking subjects for international students) or in your housing. You will find that most of the students living in the student housing are also internationals.
I must say that the most difficult part of planning my semester was finding accommodation. The Housing Foundation provides housing for students studying at KU, and the process can be quite stressful. It is essentially a ‘first in best dressed’ system, however you have no control over whether you can be first in. You will need to register for an invitation to the housing portal and on the day you are randomly allocated in a queue for access to the website. Certainly do your research on what dorms are available to you, but don’t be disheartened if you don’t receive your first preference. Also be aware that Denmark is an expensive country and so housing can be pricey when compared to some other European countries.
I ended up living at Signalhuset Kollegiet. This was one of the cheapest and, in my opinion, the best dorms available. Although I didn’t have the best luck with my flatmates, it is an extremely social dorm and I would spend a lot of time with my neighbours, having regular dinner parties and Sunday brunches together. It is also opposite a large shopping centre which contains every shop you could need and in front of Amager Fælled (a park), which has a golf course, cows and horses, deer and hosts a Parkrun!
One important tip I have is to organise your CPR Number early! Have your appointment booked before you leave Australia so that you can get your CPR Number quickly. You need it for many important things (e.g. renting a bike, opening a bank account, mobile subscription), and those that booked a CPR appointment after their arrive had to wait weeks to get an appointment, which caused some issues for them.
I would highly recommend taking advantage of the free Danish language courses that internationals are afforded when residing in Denmark. I took an 8-week course with UC Plus and it was so much fun. The oral exam at the end of the course is not hard, and the teachers are very relaxed and want you to pass – so don’t be deterred by the fact that it is assessed! Rest assured though, everyone in Scandinavia speaks fluent English. I mean everyone – even the older generations.
Some of my other top tips for an exchange in Copenhagen are:
- Rent a bike through Swapfiets! The cost of the metro adds up quickly and it is cheaper and quicker to ride.
- Buy a Rejsekort! Public transport fares are cheaper this way, and you can get any leftover money refunded at participating 7-Elevens before you leave.
- Use the DOT app for planning your public transport journeys and purchasing tickets.
- Keep an eye on the ESN Copenhagen activities and attend these to make new friends!
- Check out Time Travels to book some student trips (I can highly recommend the Finnish Lapland and Iceland trips).
- Look into WISE banking! It is a great alternative to opening a Danish bank account.
- Oister is a reliable and affordable mobile subscription company.
- Have fun! Don’t be afraid put yourself out there. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
I would also encourage you to do some travel while you’re over there. You will no doubt meet other students who are eager to travel, so you won’t have to travel alone either.
If you are interested in studying in Denmark contact email@example.com for advice from students who have studied there before!
Find out how you can apply for exchange via the QUT Student Exchange website.