Applying for an exchange is something I wanted to do for a long time, hell it’s basically one of the reasons I even went to University in the first place. However, deciding where to go was one of the biggest struggles. Being German, well having a German last name, I thought that would make sense head to the mother land, however my subjects didn’t line up (apparently Journalism isn’t the best choice to do an exchange in). On posting a desperate plea to Facebook to ask anyone for the little advice they could offer on the best places to live overseas, with the idea of Europe in mind, it surprised me when many of them said Copenhagen. Where the hell is Copenhagen? On a few google searches and some quick Wikipedia flicking, I got enough knowledge to decide it would be the perfect place to call my second home, and so I applied.
I was in Thailand, recovering from an Australia Day celebration, when I got the email to say I was accepted into Roskilde University and would be packing up my life and moving to Denmark in six months, needless to say I was ecstatic. I was a little nerved by the town, Roskilde, being a little way out of Copenhagen, but hell, it was something. These doubts weltered away once I arrived, and met my first friend Janelle, who remains one of my best friends today.
Copenhagen is a beautiful, classy and exciting city. If it was a person it would be exactly like all the people you see wondering its beautiful streets; a tall blonde Scandinavian, dressed head to toe in black, classy yet funky and a love for good coffee and bikes. It fit perfectly with me. My boyfriend and I often joke, that if we were cities I would be Copenhagen and he would be Berlin (he’s a little more on the grungier side than me…) Its cobble streets surrounded by colourful houses lining the various rivers and lakes that weave in and out make walking anywhere a joy. There are small cosy cafe shops with some pretty good coffee (if you know where to go), hygga is a huge love of Danes, involving ‘getting cosy’ and surrounding yourself with candles and lots of blankets. Over Christmas they drink warmed wine with almonds and fruit, and have a strong love for beer. What more is there to ask for in a city?
Okay, yes, it does have its downsides. It is expensive. You can spend more than $10AUD on a cup of coffee, but that’s basically just the over priced chains you should be avoiding anyway, (I’m looking at you Starbucks!). Drinking is affordable, even for cheap uni students living on campus and drinking every second night, accommodation is expensive for a visitor, but housing is about the same as back home, only an apartment (but who doesn’t want their own one bedroom apartment once in their life).
Scandinavian style is very minimalistic and classy. It’s still in the theme of baby neutral colours and not too many patterns, some would look at it as snobby (Tyral *cough cough*). It’s like a town designed and made by classy Ikea.
The people are warm welcoming and happy, I mean they won happiest country of 2014 for a reason. It’s true, at first they are a little standoffish, you feel a little silly walking around smiling at everyone like I’m used to back home, but once you get to know them they will do anything and everything for you. Plus, they’re all tall, blonde and tanned and good looking, so that helps.
Overall, the landscape, the people, the feeling and architecture all added into the many reasons I fell in love with this city. To be fair, as a tourist there isn’t that much to see. The statue of the Little Mermaid and the ‘street with the colourful houses’ are some of the top things to do on Trip Adviser, but it’s not the sights that make it beautiful. It’s the feeling it gives you, it’s the small streets you find when you’re lost and vowel to come back to and can never find again, it’s the sunshine in the summer and the snow in the winter, it’s the people, warm and friendly, it’s the bikes that outnumber the cars and it’s the lack of touristy things to do that make it, it.