I arrived in Copenhagen at the beginning of August for the pre-semester Danish course. I recommend this to anyone studying at the University of Copenhagen. It was a lot of fun and has made getting around the city easier. Nearly everyone speaks English (because it’s taught to kids in school from a young age) but it’s nice being able to read the street signs and understand the train and metro announcements.
One of the first things I did after I arrived was to go bike shopping. I went from shop to shop looking for the perfect ride. I didn’t find it. The bikes carried either a high price tag or a thick layer of rust. I turned to the internet. DBA (the Danish eBay) had an impressive range. I met up with a woman to test ride a pretty blue ‘lady bike’. It seemed fine, so I bought it. On the way home, I discovered the gears were broken. I resold the bike and (with the my roommate’s help) bought another. It has been great.
Biking really is the best way to get around the city. It is very flat and most streets have bike lanes, which the motorists respect. There are a number of places that are more accessible by bike than by public transport. For example, the food markets at Papirøen (Paper Island), which we frequent for cheap good food. Helmets are not mandatory in Copenhagen like they are at home but are a good idea. I heard a number of biking horror stories, which (to my parents’ pleasure) convinced me to get one.
There’s a lot to do in Copenhagen. I’ve had my brother here for the past few days and have been showing him around all the sights. Up the top of both our lists are the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, perched on the water at Humlebæk and currently home to an amazing Yayoi Kusama exhibition, and the deer park at Klampenborg. Today we are going to take a canal tour of Copenhagen’s best architecture and then see Frederiksberg Palace.
When I’m not entertaining siblings, I’m madly trip planning. In the pipeline are:
- Spain and Portugal for the mid-semester break
- Paris for a James Bay concert
- Swedish Lapland to see the Northern lights
- Budapest, Vienna and Prague for the Christmas and New Year period
Luckily my two classes are not very demanding! I have just two days of uni a week and no assessments until finals, which are oral and apparently very relaxed.
I’m very glad I chose Copenhagen for my exchange experience and can’t recommend it enough to others.