AARHUS, in Denmark!
Though it’s the second largest city in Denmark (with the capital Copenhagen coming in first), Aarhus is one of the most underrated student cities that you could come across! A three hour train trip or four hour bus ride north of the capital, it truly holds the charm of a Danish city!
Clear your mind.
Cobbled streets, cosy parks, and a river that cuts through the centre… can you feel it?
It has been named as the 2017 European Capital of Culture so if you’re considering exploring solemnly swear that you’re up to no good and go! As a relatively small city (at least in comparison to Sydney), it holds a multitude of gems such as Aros Museum, the oldest museum outside of Copenhagen as well as Den Gamle By (the old city) where you can gain a glimpse of Aarhus as it once had been in 1700s! (Bonus points if you’re an architecture student as you can get in for free.)
If you arrive in Winter, you may be surprised that the sun sets at 4PM and as the darkness settles the city becomes alike to a ghost town. Don’t be alarmed – it’s not haunted! (Though this may be suggested more than once in the Danes’ dark humour.) It is due to the Danes’ dining in culture – they have a tendency to hold dinner parties (and why wouldn’t you when it’s -5 degrees and eating out is insanely expensive! They also have a fat tax… yes you read that right…so stock up on your Nutella when you cross the German border!) As it slowly transitions to summer (11pm sunsets with a chance of rain and the certainty of a cold night), expect to be serenaded by the phrase “summer’s coming!” one that could send George RR Martin fans into a spiral of confusion!
If there’s one thing you need to know about the Danes, it’s that they’re incredibly humble and honest! I found out quite quickly that if you ask a Dane how their day is going, they will be very confused as to why you’re concerned and then genuinely reveal what has happened – from the heartbreaks to the health scares to the hearty rye bread they had for frokost (lunch).
Though the Danish language presents a grand challenge, many of the Danes (if not all) are incredibly fluent in English, though they will insist that they aren’t! One of my first encounters with this strange phenomenon was a lovely lady at DOKK1 (their newly built library/community centre) apologising for her “awfully terrible English” after she had not only just used the perfect combination of words but had also cracked a few jokes with me! How dare she!
If you’re lucky, you’ll befriend some of the most authentic people you could ever meet aka The Danes (or Norwegians or Swedes – Scandinavians are shy but they’re amazing once you’re inside their shell!). Consider Denmark if you want to find yourself singing Disney songs in Danish, saying Nej (Nej means no!) and truly appreciating the sun (when the sun comes out, so do the Danes – the shade looks a little lonely when it’s summer. But it’s heartwarming.. or hygge as our Danish friends would say.)
You may have to fight for the sun and you’ll probably lose… but you know what they say – if you can’t beat them, join them! See you in the sun!
Joumana Elomar | 11997741
If you have any questions about Aarhus, please feel free to shoot a message! firstname.lastname@example.org