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Lessons in liveability from IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark

I am thrilled to get off the plane, we’re finally in Copenhagen, the world’s ninth most liveable city in the third happiest country. I want to find out why they’re so successful and after two weeks, this is what I’ve learned so far:

Laser cutters are awesome

In my very first class we were given paper and told to go make something with it. Oh, and, by the way, we are strongly encouraged to use the laser cutter, just so we feel comfortable with it. Yes please!

What do you do when you’ve got to print something and assemble it in less than 3 hours? We printed bowling pins. Only, the design we found on the internet was intended for thin sheets of wood, not (ahem) paper thin materials. So instead of being able to construct 6 bowling pins, we end up merging them into one epic bowling pin. Oh, and then we built a crossbow out of paper to knock the pin over. Because a bowling ball is boring.

Peak hour is super early

People talk about the work life balance of Denmark being crazy good. Let me confirm, people are not exaggerating. I was unsurprised to see that bikes were not allowed on the local metro during peak hour, but it was weird that they defined peak hour as 3:30pm – 5:30pm. That can’t be right… Two days later, I’m walking down the main road with my partner. It is the late afternoon and we notice that the traffic seems to have quieted down. This must be a quiet area, we think. Hold on a second, it was crowded yesterday. Oh wait, it’s 5:35pm, everyone is already home!

Bikes are the best

Speaking of bikes, bikes are the best. Everyone in Copenhagen rides, and I mean everyone. We bought some snazzy second-hand bikes and have barely been back on public transport since. You can ride across Copenhagen in less than 20 minutes. The only time we have been on public transport is to take advantage of the S Train’s free bike carriages to visit attractions out of town; like the deer park, with over 2,000 deer roaming around woods and plains. What locals we’ve become already.

Alexander Lawrence Dacre
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
IT University of Copenhagen
Denmark

For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au

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