Isaac - University of Copenhagen

Bachelor of Science
Semester 1, 2018

Academic experience

In Copenhagen, each semester is split into two 'blocks' for the science courses. Most courses run for just one of the blocks and are worth 7.5 ECTS. I completed most of my courses in the first block to free up time for travelling and all the summer events in Copenhagen in the second half of semester. Third year UQ science courses are the equivalent of masters courses at KU. Despite this, I found the courses to be very enjoyable and manageable and I had more free time than at UQ despite doing a full time load.

Personal experience

Although Copenhagen isn't as major a tourist destination as some of the bigger European cities, it's a very popular city for students on exchange. I was able to make friends with students from all around the world and now have contacts in many different countries.

It's incredibly easy to travel between countries in Europe and I spent a few weeks doing this. 
However, if you are studying in the spring semester I'd recommend staying in Copenhagen for distortion and most of June. The city is completely different during summer and Danes become far more social and lively.

I did a pre semester course in Danish language which I'd recommend for getting a course credit and meeting people. It's nice to try and learn the language when living in a different country but it is honestly not necessary in Denmark. Everybody speaks excellent English and they will probably speak English to you straight away if you don't look Scandinavian.

Accommodation

I was lucky enough to get into Tietgenkollegiet which is right in the south campus. The building was amazing and it's one of the few options that is mostly occupied by Danes. If you manage to get through the housing foundation system I'd definitely recommend it. Basecamp and Signalkollegiet were also great.

Costs

Copenhagen is definitely an expensive city. A bike is a necessity as it is the most convenient way to get around and will save you a lot of money on public transport. Groceries are a little more than in Australia but restaurants are quite a lot more expensive.

If you look a few weeks in advance you can get flights to most other European cities for less than $50 return. You'll also be pleasantly surprised at the price of food and drink compared to Copenhagen.

Almost all of the galleries and museums in Copenhagen are free one day of the week for students so you should look ahead before you go.

Professional Development

The main skills I developed from exchange were more to do with living in a new country for the first time than academic skills. Exchange forces you to become more independent, organised and to interact with new people all of the time.

Highlight

Probably the biggest highlight was being able to meet so many interesting Danish students an other exchange students from all over the world who were in the exact same position and always ready to go out or go sightseeing. Also riding my bike everywhere was amazing, as was travelling Europe by myself and with friends.

Top tips

For Copenhagen specifically, my main recommendations would be to organise your accommodation as early as possible, get a bike and make sure you are there for part of summer.