I didn’t really have any expectations prior to going on exchange. The day the exchange application was due I went to visit the Exchange Office for some last minute advice on how to list my preferences when the lovely lady casually asked if I had considered Denmark as a possible destination. Curious at this new possibility I went off to do some research and within a couple of minutes I discovered Copenhagen was the apparently the ‘green’ capital of the world, the capital of what was recognised as the ‘happiest country’ in the world and also home to the free town Christiania – once an abandoned military base until it was taken over by hippie squatters in 1971 (If you have never heard of this special place, click on the following link to get a feel – Christiania Buzz Feed article). That was all it took for me to want to spend my 6 months living in this idealistic city.
But it turns out the main reason I have fallen in love with Copenhagen is that especially during Summer, it is SO full of life and surprises. Events and parties would be happening every day in multiple locations throughout the city. One day I was riding my bike and found one of the main streets ‘Nørrebrogade’ and the Dronning Louises bridge was blocked off so cars couldn’t pass through. Instead there was a reggae DJ grooving out and boxes and boxes of coloured chalk were provided for everyone to get down on the floor and create some colourful art along the street and bridge. Just in case you weren’t into the reggae tunes, a bit further down the street there were speakers paying the sound of birds singing. So beautiful.
Another day I was riding home from a swim in the harbour and stumbled upon a free opera, contemporary dance and ballet concert in one of the parks. So in I went, sat down on the grass and enjoyed along with the other extremely prepared and organised picnicking Danes.
Lastly – I didn’t think I would come to Copenhagen to fall in love with Cuban salsa, but here I am attending free classes every Tuesday afternoon.
This reasoning is not to mention the incredibly magical parks and lakes, bikes, outdoor dance parties, organic food, street art, delicious coffee and pastries and beautiful people.
This may seem like an overwhelmingly positive review but in my 2 months of living here I honestly have not experienced anything to cause me to frown.. except maybe how expensive everything is 🙂
My only piece of advice is to have no expectations for wherever you go on exchange, no preconceived notions of how you think the journey will or should pan out, just set your intentions of what you want out of the experience before you leave and let it flow to you in the most curious unexpected ways.