Blog entry 2 - Life in Denmark
Time flies. I’ve been in Denmark for 4 weeks now and there are many things happening.
The “dormitory” I life in is a student residence for students like me and at the same time a boarding school for Danish pupils. This is why we have some house rules, like curfew at 10 p.m. and a room check every second week. Plus, almost everything here is labeled in Danish.
The advantage of having the Danish pupils around is the meals during the week in the food hall. It safes you a lot of money, because food in Denmark is expensive.
And of course I got lucky to have my very own room, because the search for accommodation in Roskilde, Copenhagen and surroundings isn’t funny at all. Especially if you don’t have a CPR number (personal identification number).
Getting a CPR number is the first thing you need to do, once you arrived in Denmark. As an EU student, you need an EU residence permit and an appointment at the office in charge at Copenhagen to apply for a CPR number. With that number you then apply for a NemID (ID for secure online banking, etc.) and the “yellow card” (health card, which you will need for all medical services). If you’ve managed to master all those steps, you can be really proud of yourself!
The location of my residence is perfect for students of the Zealand Academy (5 minutes by foot). Students who study at RUC (Roskilde Universitetscenter) have a longer way though.
Of course, we also explored the surroundings: the town center of Roskilde is 10 minutes away by foot, but most people go by bike. There are a lot of little shops in town, which are open every day (even on Sundays) and a beautiful market place. Plus, there is a chain of ice cream parlors called “Paradis” which has some really nice flavors. The price is about 25 DKK per scoop.
Through a park you can get to the harbor. Don’t miss that view! Along the harbor, there are some restaurants, a museum and a pub.
Not only did we explore Roskilde, but also Copenhagen at the first opportunity! We, that is to say 9 other Erasmus students and I, organized this trip ourselves. We had to, because in Roskilde, there are no official Erasmus trips or parties. What a pity. Anyhow, we took the train from Roskilde to Copenhagen. The ride takes about 25 minutes and costs 81 DKK (regular price). However, if you buy a „Rejsekort“ at the 7Eleven shop by the train station, you can get a lot of discounts and the price of the train ride to Copenhagen is reduced to 49DKK. Fortunately you don’t need a CPR number to buy the „Rejsekort“ (unless you want a personalized card). The card itself costs 80DKK and you always need to have a minimum balance of 70DKK. We learned that the hard way, when we were thrown out of the train 3 stops away from RoskildeJ.
In Copenhagen we visited the famous “Little Mermaid” statue and the Geofin fountain while enjoying the good weather.
We also paid a short visit to the Christiania-district, the twilight zone of Copenhagen. You are not allowed to take pictures, because the people there don’t like tourists on their black markets where they sell weed and other drugs. But I find cities that have different “faces” very interesting.
And of course, we visited the famous amusement park “Tivoli”. It is located right in the center of town, next to the central station and it is filled with attractions.
I am excited what else is going to happen in October. We have some more trips planned. Also, my exam period starts in October, which is earlier than usual, because next year the whole cohort must complete an internship. Luckily, I already made friends with some of the other students in my course. Most students, though live in Copenhagen, because that’s where the action is. Because of the lack of Erasmus parties, we often meet at the “Studenthouse”, a house behind the Zealand Academy buildings. You need a door code to get in, but inside you can play beer pong, table tennis and tabletop soccer. You can also chill with your friends on couches. On Thursdays and Fridays they host the „fridaycafé“. You might think that you are invited to a coffee party, because it starts around 1 p.m., but no! The Danish students are drunk by 5 p.m. on a regular basisJ.It is very funny to go there every once in a while.