Exchange. Never had I heard of a shoddy experience, or of someone who did not fanatically rave on about the time of their life in their temporary home city and university abroad. I certainly will not be the one that splinters this seemingly entrenched pattern. Copenhagen—Denmark, this is the city housing my stay. And what a strikingly amicable and charming host I have received! The dainty charm of Copenhagen continues to enchant me everyday. Amongst the quintessential perfectly contrasted coloured buildings that line many of the canals and streets of the city, lie so many of the hidden gems we seem to endlessly be unearthing each day. Whether it is stumbling upon the most ‘hygge’ (cosy) coffee and cake shop, or exploring a nearby castle and deer park, or immersing ourselves in one the city’s museums, or strolling through Stoget shopping boulevard, or simply having a chilled drink in the Studenthuset university bar—every nook and cranny of this city seems to deliver.
Perhaps my favourite attribute of Copenhagen is its’ status as the biking capital of the world. Biking. Everybody does it. Whether it is snowing, raining or sunny, it is the Danish way of life to get on that saddle day in – day out. Being one of my first purchases abroad, getting on my bike amongst the Danes is undoubtedly one of my favorite parts of the day here. Riding from my student accommo-dation with some of the best company around into downtown Copenhagen across the Amager Bridge, with the city in sight and the crisp wind reviving any hints of tiredness, I cannot help but let a huge grin overcome me every time. It is the simple little daily delights like these, and the feeling of venturing beyond the touristy fringes of the city that really does illuminate the difference between visiting and living abroad. It is a pure delight.
But immersing myself in such an incredible place would not be the thrilling experience that it is proving to be without the people I am doing it with. All keen for adventure, the recurrent train of new like-minded students from all across the world we seem to endlessly keep meeting each day is truly what makes this experience so incredible. One week an Austrian friend will be cooking us all Viennese schnitzel in Copenhagen, the next I’ll be scaling Denmark’s southern Mons Klint cliffs with fellow Australians, and the next I’ll be in the Arctic Circle in Lapland with a crew of Swedish students witnessing the Northern Lights.
I have decided that it is a unique concoction of ingredients that is making this journey so thrilling right now! It is the city itself and the Danish way, mixed in with a host of international students, stirred in with our lack of responsibility here, padded with the spontaneity of everyday life, then mixed with the foreign university experience, and added with the host of incredible destinations right at our door step, and finally baked with what we call the Copenhagen ‘faff’—which is making this experience just so exciting! Sitting nervously and excitedly on that plane over here having absolutely no comprehension of what was to come was one of the best decisions I could have made.
Spring is here, the layers are slowly coming off, and baby summer is on its’ way…..