Judy - Copenhagen Business School

B Commerce/ B Law
Semester 1, 2016

Academic experience

During my exchange, I took 4 classes: Financial Accounting, Corporate Finance, Marketing and Foreign Policy in the EU. The main differences between UQ and CBS were class sizes and assessment style. At CBS, there are much smaller class sizes (anywhere from 20 to 80 people). Some classes were more interactive than at UQ, but others were less (depending on class size). With assessment, all of my classes had 100% finals. While this seems terrifying, in my experience the exams at CBS were much easier than UQ. However, you do tend to find out exam dates last minute, so be prepared to change some travel plans. 

Personal experience

The CBS campuses are spread out around the city, so take this into consideration when you choose classes. If you don’t have a bike, it may take you 10+ minutes to get to your next class. If you decide to buy a bike, you can buy them off many Facebook groups. However, you’ll probably want to test drive it and check if the bike is stolen (every bike has a serial number and there’s a website to check if it’s been reported as stolen). Expect to pay 400-1000kr, and you’ll likely be able to recover the entirety of this cost on resale.

With public transport, you’ll want to get a Rejsakort. Save yourself 80kr and order one online. Also, only touch on at the start and end of your journey, otherwise you’ll get charged per individual trips rather than for your entire trip. 

Accommodation  

I would definitely recommend going with student housing. Many people were looking for private accommodation well into the semester. Porcelænshaven (PH), Kathrine Kollegiet (KK) and Holger Danske Vej (Holger) are the three most popular residences. I stayed at PH and in my opinion, it was the most convenient for classes (I didn’t have to leave the building for some of my classes) and had the best facilities compared to the other residences. However, while the facilities are not as great, Holger and KK are known to have bigger parties. This all comes down to personal preference.

Another option is Tietgen, which by far has the best facilities and design. It is however quite far from the campus/other residences and does not house many CBS students, making it hard to meet people. Even if you don’t stay at Tietgen, go just to see it, it’s a landmark itself. 

Budget 

Copenhagen is notoriously expensive so definitely have a budget in mind but also be prepared to spend more than planned. Generally, however, most things (groceries, beer/alcohol, going out) are the same, if not cheaper than Australia. The only things that were more expensive were public transport, eating out and some bars.

Ultimately, the costs balanced out and I personally saw no difference compared to Australia. The most expensive thing I had to accommodate for was my accommodation which was around $1300 a month. However, I was told that given the area and facilities I was provided with, this was considered a ridiculously good deal. There are a few things you can do to save money once you’re there:  

  • Get your residence permit after you arrive in Denmark. Australian citizens are given 90 days to apply for the student visa after you arrive in the Schengen region so you have up until this time to apply. I did mine there and actually ended up getting my Visa and Health Care Card faster than those who did it in Australia. 
  • Shop at the (much) cheaper supermarkets such as Rema, Netto and Fakta rather than Irma and Fotex - it’s around half the price for exactly the same stuff. 
  • Recycle your beer/soft drink bottles and cans. Each can will yield a 1kr refund. Likewise, you’ll get 2-3kr for a bottle, depending on its size. Trust me, this adds up.
  • Eat in – I definitely did not do this at the start of the semester and as a result, I felt the full throttle of my poor financial choices towards the end of my exchange. 
  • Don’t bother with a Danish bank account, save yourself the time and money and just get a Citibank Visa card in Australia before you leave. The exchange rate is far better than the Commonwealth Travel Card, for example, and there are absolutely no fees. If you decide to go down the slippery slope of getting a credit card, I would recommend the 28 Degrees Mastercard – again, great exchange rates and no fees. 

Highlights 

I purposely did my exchange in the Spring Semester to see the transition from Winter to Summer. Winter is somewhat miserable but it makes you appreciate the summer so much more - I honestly cannot explain how beautiful Spring/Summer in Copenhagen is. This also means you don’t miss out on day drinking in parks and Distørtion. 

Top tips 

  • See Denmark – rent a car and do a road trip to Aarhus and stop at Mons Klint, Frederiksborg Castle and Helsingor along the way
  • If you’re struggling to find a decent coffee, Nexus (the campus bar) does early bird Nespresso deals. Otherwise, Coffee Collective does a great flat white for $7. Or you could give up like I did and just buy a coffee plunger.
  • Bring an Australian powerboard, it will save you from charging everything out of your laptop
  • Don’t do the Danish Crash Course, everyone said that this was a waste of money. Do, however, buy the social packages.
  • Study in cafes! My favourite of which are: Noho (also happens to be a bar), Harvey, Sidecar, Paludan, Democratic Coffee, Bevar’s, Den Fede Kat, Mokkariet.
  • Food/drink: Bakken, Mikkeller & Friends, Warpigs, Mother, Mad & Kaffe, Meyer’s Deli, Sidecar, Ramen to Biiru, Neighbourhood, Bio Mio, Bar 7, Kallaset, Bollyfood, Made in Italy, Kassen (2 for 1 happy hour most nights), Grød, Juicy Burger (great student deal).
  • Other recommendations: Papirøen – comparable to Eat Street but a lot cosier, rent a GoBoat during the summer, Torvehallerne – similar to Papirøen but more of a farmer’s market during the week, Kødbyens Mad & Marked – street food market in Meatpacking open on weekends in the summer, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Danish Museum of Art and Design. 

 

Judy - Copenhagen Business School