Abby, a Civil & Environmental Engineering major, studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark at DTU, the Technical University of Denmark in the Fall of 2018.
IF NOTHING ELSE, DON’T FORGET TO PACK:
A good backpack/suitcase to travel with on weekends! Getting around Europe is super easy, and you are going to want to take some weekend trips, so having a good travel bag is useful. Also, clothes for all weather. It rains a lot in Copenhagen, so a rain jacket is useful. It doesn’t get quite as cold or quite as hot as Illinois, but if you travel you will still want some clothes variety.
ON SECOND THOUGHT, LEAVE AT HOME:
Things you can buy in the country when you get there, like toiletries and school supplies. They will just take up extra space in your suitcase.
WHERE TO LIVE:
I lived on campus in a location called Campus Village, which are renovated cargo containers. It was entirely international students living there which was nice, and was pretty much the cheapest option. Other on campus locations that I had friends living in were Kampsax Kolligiet and Hempel Kolligiet which were both a bit nicer than my accommodation. I would have liked to live in the city to see more of that, but Copenhagen can be quite expensive and difficult to find housing without DTU’s accommodation.
BEST PLACE TO EAT:
If you are buying groceries, Netto is the cheapest discount option, since groceries can be expensive in Denmark. Pretty much everything is expensive in Copenhagen, so I don’t eat out a whole lot, but Max Burger is a tasty Swedish fast food restaurant. On campus, the canteens are very cheap with a student card and normally have a wide variety of food.
FAVORITE CULTURAL ACTIVITY:
Copenhagen has a night in October called “Culture Night” where the museums, bars, and parks in the city hold events all night long celebrating the cultures of Denmark. You can buy a ticket for really cheap and there are lots of cool events! The ticket even includes the public transport.
FAVORITE PLACE TO STUDY:
The library in the main building is very cool and probably the largest place on campus to study. During the warmer months the central courtyard in the main building is very good too.
MUST-TRY LOCAL DISH:
You have to try pastries at as many bakeries as you can, since Danish cinnamon rolls and sweets are famous and so good. Another famous Danish food is smorbrod, which is an open-faced sandwich on rye bread. I am not the biggest fan of rye bread, but you have to try it at least once.
BEST PHOTO OP:
One of the most famous places in Copenhagen is Nyhavn Harbor, which is the harbor with all the colorful houses you will probably easily recognize. It is very pretty and always packed with tourists-but you still have to make sure you get a picture there.
Not studying a lot. They have almost no homework at DTU and not a lot of midterms, so your entire grade is pretty much a group project and the final. So if you don’t keep up during the semester, you will have to study a lot for the final.
I got postcards every place that I went as souvenirs, and I am happy I have those memories from every place. I don’t think souvenirs are tacky, so I would make sure to get some everywhere you go. On a more practical note, I bought a backpack rain cover which came in handy with all the rain in Denmark. I bought this at the store Flying Tiger-which is the Danish version of the dollar store and it
MOST INTERESTING CLASS:
I took a lot of classes in sustainable energy because Denmark is a very sustainable country (and they love wind turbines). I took one called Energy and sustainability where I got to do a project with a group about making a city more sustainable, so I thought that was very cool.
BEST PART OF THE PROGRAM:
Making all the new friends I made and meeting people from so many different cultures and backgrounds. DTU is very popular with European exchange students, so I was able to meet so many people from all around Europe and all around the world. I was not expecting to make so many friends and meet so many interesting people to travel with, but that was definitely the best part. Especially because they were all engineering students! Definitely do the introduction week they host at the beginning of the semester. I met all my friends during that!
MOST MEMORABLE TRIP:
I took a trip with 8 other exchange students to Norway to go hiking and it was absolutely amazing. So many of my trips were awesome but I had not planned to visit Norway and I was so surprised by how beautiful it was. We did this 8-hour hike called Trolltunga and the views were incredible. I highly recommend trips to Norway for anyone as it is the most beautiful place I have seen.
BEST LOCAL EVENT/HOLIDAY:
The Danes get a week off for the Potato Holiday in October which is historically when the kids would get pulled out of school to go harvest the potatoes. I like it because I was able to take a week-long trip with friends that I made. We were able to go to 3 different countries in Eastern Europe at that time, so I loved having a week-long break in the middle of my semester.
FAVORITE LOCAL WORD/SLANG:
Skol, which means “cheers” in Danish.
IF I COULD DO IT OVER AGAIN:
I would stay even longer! It’s the best experience, I would just need more money!