The first question you are probably asking yourself right now is “What is Hygge?”. The closest thing that comes to explaining this is a quality of cosiness. Anyone who spends time in Copenhagen and visits some of the many cafes and bars, or just has dinner with their flatmates will experience Hygge. (For extra Hygge, add candles, close friends and a few drinks). It is an interesting concept, and, if you come to Copenhagen, I encourage you to seek it out and embrace it.
Aside from the obvious decision of choosing an exchange uni, one of the bigger choices you will need to make is about your accommodation. Where to stay? Shared Kitchen? Shared Bathroom? Private apartment? Shared with one person? Shared with three people? Many people will be tempted (myself included) by the thought of not having to share anything with anyone. However, my experience of sharing an apartment (in Signalhuset Kollegiet) with three other people has been one of the experiences which has made my time in Copenhagen so far oh so very Hygge. It is great to have people to socialise, cook, explore, and just relax with, especially for anyone who is concerned about the social disconnect of moving far away from the life and people they know.
Now, onto the next matter at hand, university. ITU is in many ways similar in feeling to the Faculty of Engineering and IT at UTS, it is a large single modern building uni (See photo), with all students studying IT related degrees. Expect to have more timetabled hours than classes at UTS, however, the overall workload is not dissimilar to what you would have come to expect of university. Tutorials, in my experience, have been more about facilitating and assisting with take-home work, rather than acting as an additional teaching channel. Exercises and lectures run for longer than would be expected (2 – 4 hours), however, breaks tend to be given every hour, so this isn’t too exhausting. Giving you a break from uni work, every Friday ITU’s bar “Scrollbar” opens up and has yet to disappoint. Casual drinks from the early afternoon turn into a fun party which runs till the early morning.
Copenhagen itself is a beautiful city, with interesting architecture, museums, parks, and interesting food hubs. So far, my explorations have taken me up towers, into street-food converted warehouses, around diamond shaped islands, to a viewing of a 24-hour movie, through WW1 bunkers, and given me a spinning and twisting view of the city as I was hurled about in the air at Tivoli Gardens (Like Luna Park, but bigger, and with gardens). Most residents of the city travel on bicycles. Dedicated cycles lanes and the city being the flattest I have ever visited, make this a convenient form of transport.
If you are looking for a place to go for exchange, enjoy socialising, don’t mind cycling, and want to come to Northern Europe, give Copenhagen a serious thought. It has yet to disappoint me.
Bachelor of Information Technology
IT University of Copenhagen (ITU)