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København: Five Months in the Happiest City on Earth

Nyhavn

My decision to do exchange in Denmark was made completely on a whim, so I was pretty surprised when I realised that I had picked what is often known as the “happiest city in the world” as my exchange destination. What did a cold and rainy city in Scandinavia have going for it that made it one of the best places to live? Turns out, quite a lot.

From the colourful houses of Nyhavn to the gates of Tivoli Gardens, I almost immediately fell in love with Copenhagen’s charm. While skies may often be dreary, the Danes are basically experts at enjoying the indoors. Getting cosy with good company, delicious food and even candles is so ingrained in Danish culture that it has its own word – ‘Hygge’.

Tivoli Gates

Another integral part of life in Copenhagen is cycling. Pretty much everyone you meet in this city will own a bicycle as it is the easiest way to get from place to place. The city has been designed to be extremely friendly to cyclists with bike lanes on most roads and parking outside buildings. Hopping on a bicycle can be a little intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it you quickly realise how efficient and eco-friendly cycling is – not to mention good exercise after eating one too many Danish pastries. For those who don’t want to cycle, Copenhagen also has an excellent metro system that can be used to explore the city.

One of the great things about studying at Copenhagen Business School is that the university provided us with ample opportunity to become immersed in Danish Culture. We were each greeted by a buddy the moment we arrived in Copenhagen, who brought us to our dorms and helped us get settled in our new lives. As part of the Introduction Social Package for exchange students, we went on a canal tour to see sights around the harbour, partied the night away at the Lake Pavilion and even tried our hand at Danish folk dancing.

My Student Dorm

Going overseas alone can seem rather daunting and I myself had some reservations regarding leaving home. However so far, exchange has just been a constant stream of incredible experiences. If you have the opportunity to go on exchange, do it because you won’t regret it one bit!

Michelle Ou
97113676
Bachelor of Information Technology
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

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