At the time of writing I have been in this beautiful city for 2 weeks. And what a jam-packed two weeks they have been! I have already fallen in love with the colourful streets, countless bikes and wonderful charm of the capital. Copenhagen is a beautiful, interactive city with a huge focus on design and environmental impact. It is a great mix of historic and modern style, with numerous castles and references to the monarchy and the most amazing contemporary architectural designs.
So far my time here has been spent settling in and sightseeing, partaking in a science orientation week and beginning my first week of university classes.
I am staying at one of the housing foundation residences; Basecamp Sølvgade, the old military barracks converted into student accommodation. It is in the most ideal location; close to the city centre and most of the UCPH campuses, plus sandwiched between two of the biggest parks. It’s the perfect place to grab some friends, beers and have a picnic, or just to chill out with a book.
I signed up for the Buddy Programme when enrolling, which has been an excellent way to meet other international students and local Danes. They provide a lot of activities such as walking tours, social gatherings, and most recently organised a trip down the coast to Møns Klint, the Danish version of the White Cliffs of Dover.
The Science orientation week was well worth it, who can say no to free food and canal tours? It was another great opportunity to meet other exchange students in the faculty, see the different campuses, learn more about the university services and Danish culture.
So far the classes are quite similar to UTS Science where you have lectures, lab days and tutorials to discuss case studies. Despite being composed of mostly Danish students; everyone speaks very good English and the lecturers are easy to understand.
My classes are all direct equivalents so very similar to what I would usually be taking with an exception of an Ecology class. Our first week involved a field trip up north to Bøllemosen, a forest where we took some water and plant samples for future lab analysis. I thoroughly enjoyed it, so it was nice for a little change and to see a part of the city I wouldn’t have probably gone to.
I also joined in on Klimamarch, where 15,000 Danes marched outside parliament and through the city streets, demanding more action in response to climate change. It was a unique opportunity and amazing to see how passionate people were about the environmental health of their country.
There is so much to see here and despite being a large city it doesn’t have that overwhelmingly large city feel to it. Just walking through the streets is a great way to spend a morning. Mostly everything is accessible by bike so it is quite easy to sight-see.
Of course, Nyhavn was the first place I visited. It can be quite busy, but quietens down later in the evening, so is lovely to walk around as the sun is setting. The Little Mermaid statue is a little underwhelming but it’s one to tick off the list. Close by is Kastellet, a star shaped army fortress. Vesterbro and Nørrebro are very cool neighbourhoods, great to walk around with countless cafes and bars.
There are so many parks in Copenhagen you are spoilt for choice! My top picks are Kongens Have, Østre Anlæg park, ørstedparken, and Søndermarken. Amager beach is very close by and has a long boardwalk, a perfect place to ride your bike on a sunny day.
Sweden is so close; you can see it from the beach. I took a day trip over to Malmo (about 45 min on train). It is a beautiful little city and its very surreal knowing you can take a train to another country and be back home for dinner.
It is important to note that Copenhagen is a very expensive city to live in, keep that in mind when applying. I found a lot of places in Europe expensive while travelling around before arriving here, but Denmark is on a whole different level. While there are countless charming cafes, buying that coffee will set you back at least 7-8 dollars. Luckily there are a lot of student bars and cafes near university that will offer cheaper drinks and student discounts if you look out for them.
Overall I have only been here a short while but I have fallen in love with the place and am so excited for the next few months studying and living here. So far I would absolutely recommend studying in Copenhagen to anyone, the people are friendly and passionate about their city, every street contains its own special charm, plus it’s close to several countries so it’s so easy to travel around too.
If you have any questions about Copenhagen or the university, please feel free to contact me! I’m sure I’ll be more useful once I’ve been here a little longer too.
Bachelor of Biomedical Science
University of Copenhagen
For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au