Nicola - University of Copenhagen

B Law/ B Arts
Semester 2, 2017

Academic Experience

I took courses in International Environmental Law, Law and Literature and Criminology. I found Criminology immensely fascinating - and our lecturer was a leading academic in the field which meant we were learning contemporary material and even had the opportunity to attend industry conferences across Europe. The most challenging part of studying in Denmark was getting used to the oral exam format - it can be daunting to be quizzed one-on-one with your lecturer for a subject, but thankfully the professors are really great at guiding you through what's required.

Personal Experience

I've made some amazing friends overseas, been to places that looked like another planet, tried my hardest to learn all nine of the Danish vowels and navigated my way around the Russian metro without a translation service; if exchange has taught me anything, it's that no matter where you are in the world, people are consistently friendly, helpful and open if you only start the conversation.

Accommodation 

I lived in a student housing block called Collegium Juris - and it was wonderful. CJ as it's affectionately known, has a close-knit family vibe: there are regular communal dinner nights, monthly opt-in group activity days, plenty of student parties and a Facebook page that always seemed to be packed with odd household requests and offers.

There are heaps of student housing options in Copenhagen: if you're studying at KU (Copenhagen Uni) your first stop should be the Housing Foundation - but it shouldn't be your last stop! CJ is actually an independent college which accepts applications separately, as do Bikuben and Tietgen (although these Colleges do also have limited rooms available through the Housing Foundation). Get in touch with someone who has recently been in Copenhagen, or better yet, find someone who's currently on the ground and get them to do some sleuthing for you - the Housing Foundation is a great resource but you might just find a gem on your own as well!

Budget

Copenhagen is not cheap - so the more you save the better. It's a really small city, so remember that housing that seems far away is actually only a 15 minute bike ride into the city (and you'll definitely be cycling - everywhere's flat and with all the designated paths and lights it's both easy and fairly safe to get around on a bike) - and rent is one great way to save.

Professional Development & Employability 

The Danish system of oral exams are meant to simulate the experience of being in a courtroom: you get 'sideswiped' as it were with questions that aren't necessarily on the topic you begin talking about - but as daunting as this can be at first, it's a great way to learn to think on your feet and connect ideas and arguments at a fast pace.

Highlights 

Experiencing New Years Eve in Copenhagen was equal parts exhilarating and a little terrifying. The Danish celebrate New Year for a week either side of January 1st, and the excitement is literally in the air all around you - the city is totally overtaken by fireworks. Whilst on the actual countdown the number of fireworks being let off in the streets did verge for a moment on properly scary, for the most part it's great to see an entire city transformed into a huge celebration of the year that was and the year to come. Throw in some of the best friends you'll ever make and it really is a killer way to bring in 2018.

Top Tips

Pack light! Especially if you're travelling to colder climates - this seems counter productive, but I found that the seriously warm gear that you'll need in the negative temperatures just isn't available in Australia (or if it is it costs a fortune here). Far better to get something overseas that'll keep you warm and have room to put it in your luggage home than to bring something inadequate and struggle to fit everything in on the way home!