Without realising, almost two months have passed since I first began my semester abroad in Copenhagen. Since then, I’ve adjusted to the chilly weather, the steep costs for everything/eating out (not really, I’m still shocked), and become quite fond of this gentle city.
I’m studying Graphic Design at DMJX’s (Danmarks Medie-og Journalisthøjskole/Danish School of Media and Journalism), Copenhagen campus. The classes at DMJX are small; my cohort has 22 students, including me and an exchange student from Montreal. The class is cozy, everyone is welcoming, and since we spend a lot of time together (at least 25 hours a week), we’ve gotten to know each other quite well. Danish people are known to be shy and reserved, but after some time they begin to open up. Being surrounded by local students has been a precious experience, as I have been able to learn a lot about Denmark and its culture through them. They’ve also been sharing the intricacies of their language, such as how pronouncing Ø is like saying “o” while being hit in the stomach, and that Danish sounds like someone has a hot potato in their mouth. On the other hand, I’ve been providing quality entertainment by absolutely butchering the language when trying to pronounce words.
Before arriving in Copenhagen, I was warned by friends and family of the rainy skies, and harsh winds here. They were not exaggerating – SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder, ‘Winter depression’) is extremely common here! It’s normal to not see the sun for days, but when it does peek out from behind the clouds, Copenhagen is aglow, soft, and beautiful. The Danes are a lot happier as well! Now that it’s spring, the city has begun to brighten though it still feels like winter as the temperature is still in the negatives – the first proper snowfall this year happened in March!
Despite the often gloomy weather, Copenhagen really is beautiful. There is a lot to do and see here, whether it be modern and historic architecture, museums, cute design stores and more. Unlike in Sydney, design is deeply embedded into daily life in Copenhagen – the Danes put of lot of care into looking stylish (usually an all-black ensemble), and making their living spaces as hygge as possible.
The frequent advice “just wait until Summer” and “this will be better in summer” has hyped me for seeing how Copenhagen will transform as the weather warms up. But for now, I’m happy to soak in the winter vibes while they last.
If you’d like to ask me anything or simply follow along my exchange experiences, don’t hesitate to contact me via @chieoni.jpg (instagram)!
Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication
Danmarks Medie-og Journalisthøjskole (DMJX)