“Let’s get hyggelig!” These were the first three words out of the tall, twenty-something-year-old boys mouth as he walked into the party. Hygge is the hotly debated Danish word that describes a cosy and warm atmosphere. The term extends to describe a night in watching a movie, drinks in an underground bar, or even a bike ride on a sunny day. The Danes strive for hygglelig-ness each and every day, and I can’t get enough of it.
I am just under 2 months into my exchange at Copenhagen University and it has been a whirlwind to say the least. Here are four of my favourite experiences so far.
- Buying a bike and riding it absolutely everywhere. It is the best way to look like a local and is easily the highlight of my day. Pop your earphones in, memorise the route and laugh at the distant memories of the Sydney traffic chaos.
- A day trip to Malmö in Sweden. This was the first time I have ever been to another country for just lunch.
- Living at Tietgenkollegiet. This circular college is home to almost 400 students and is exceedingly cool (seriously, Google it). Nights at college can range from delicious common dinners to open invitation parties that last till ungodly hours.Copenhagen University (Amager Campus) & Tietgenkollegiet
- A week spent in Lapland, Finland. The jam-packed trip consisted of endless saunas, husky sled rides, skiing, visiting an ice hotel and indulging in reindeer pancakes.
- Learning Danish. It is a painfully slow process and the pronunciation is a nightmare but it is so satisfying once you pick up a few everyday phrases.
It doesn’t take long to realise that six months in Copenhagen is not enough. Every day throws something new at you. Sometimes I try to stop and take it all in, but minutes later the next adventure pulls you off in another direction. I have always loved travelling, but I also love the comforts of home. Living in another city – particularly Copenhagen – combines the best of both.
By Ava Hancock
Studying law at Copenhagen University, Autumn 2014