Our first month here in Copenhagen has almost past, and I think it is safe to say we are all very settled here, and have taken the opportunities when arising to explore the city. By we, I refer to myself (Dominique Pitman), Ben Buckley and Will Millar-Smith.
As said in last years post, DTU is one of the best engineering Universities in Europe and the highest ranked of the Nordic countries. All the courses we take are taught in English, and we are all taking Structural Analysis, Sustainable Buildings, Smart Cities this semester, and a 3 week intensive course in January. I am the only one also taking Concrete Technology. It was pretty well planned out as we now all have Fridays off! Each lecture is 4 hours long (I know it sounds horrible) but they are generally broken up into lecture and tutorial time, which is actually great incentive to get tutorials and assignments done there and then, and where there is help available.
The work load has been fairly large, as we have no exams (I have one for concrete), so all the work is made up of various assignments throughout the semester, of which one (Sustainable Buildings) has been the most intense. As said in last years post, some of the things that the lecturers want are hard to understand
The only problem we have found is a lack of societies. We definitely take them for granted in the UK! That isn't to say there isn't anything but the selection is small, there is no competitive football team (only recreational), but there are a variety of bars and events on campus, such as this Friday, beers will only cost 5kr (about 60 pence!). Unfortunately I will be working at the bar at halls for a private event, but we have another party in the halls bar this Saturday!
Social Life and Accommodation
We have been to pub crawls (both in town and on campus), hall parties (in which I was bartending), the freetown of Christiania, Nyhavn, Tivoli, boat tours, and generally cycling around the city.
Learning how to make the cocktails
Unfortunately I missed both the introduction week (a kind of freshers week) and the first week of lectures as the terms starts fairly early (late August) and I had been working in Zambia as part of the University of Bath for 6 weeks (see A2Z if you are interested! - https://ace2zambia.wordpress.com/). However, it was fairly easy to get into the routine of getting up at 6am to get to 8am lectures, and cycling everywhere. We all live in the same accommodation in Tingbjerg, which although in a little bit out the way, is great for both town and campus, has cheap shops like Aldi and Lidl very close by, green parks with lakes, and the halls themselves are really nice, ensuites, large rooms, and a great shared kitchen (much better than the accommodation on campus).
Route from Tingbjerg to Lyngby campus
There as some intense hills, but on the way back it is pretty great!
Route from Tingbjerg to town
My bike was purchased from a second hand store for 1050kr (which including a new chain and lights), approximately £120. Bikes can be purchased cheaper, but since I wanted one straight away (to avoid having to pay for buses) I bought what was available quickly (and one that had gears, which Ben found out was very important since Copenhagen isn't as flat as you might think, and a basket for groceries). I am hoping to sell it for a similar price when I leave. Cycling can be manic within the city centre, but is such a great way to get around, and also great for your fitness!
A Copenhagen requirement - A BIKE! Mine is actually the one behind me. Nyhavn in the background
Comparing us to the guys last year, we were very lucky with accommodation and got our first choice. This area is full of immigrants and foreigners, and to be honest, I haven't actually got to know any Danes! But there are plenty of great people from all around, all of whom speak great English so is not really a problem 🙂
I have only recently purchased a rejsekort (a travel card which gives you half price discount), which you are able to purchase in some shops and metro stations. The cost was 80kr for the card itself, and I also had to pay 100kr credit. From where we live (Tingbjerg) to town, instead of 24kr paying by cash, it is only 12kr! Not bad for Copenhagen. The transport costs work by zones, so you can get on one bus, change, then get off in another zone and the price only depends on the zone you end up. However, should you forget to sign out there can be a very large fine! (about 700kr = £80). I wouldn't say public transport is the best, although we have a great bus link to town, getting to Lyngby campus is another story, with 3 buses involved and about 1.5 hours travel. Biking is definately the best way unless you own a car, and only take about 40 minutes (this might seem long but you get used to it very quickly).
Christiania the freetown is a 40 minute bike ride away, just across the river and is a lovely place day and night, with a very different vibe. If you google it you will understand why, it has a very interesting history and sees a lot of tours!
Shots of the freetown of Christiania
The skyline has a lot of spires, and the city itself is incredibly pretty, with little roads full of cafe's and life. We will find out if this remains the same through winter! There are lots of museums, and an incredible amusement park, it has an interesting mix of rides, shows, gigs, beautiful restaurants and a great view at night with all the lights lit up. Although not cheap, it is a great day out!
Next blog post will probably be more study orientated I'm sure!