A famous danish singer once sang "where will I be sleeping tonight?" and music story time aside, it's a question a lot of (newly minted) danish university students asks themselves every summer.
Where will I live when I get to university?
In Denmark, universities are often centralised near Copenhagen, meaning that the universities simply can't offer student accommodation to everyone. That in turn means it's often up to each student to find their own accommodation - unless you're an international student. As it is, in a large city like Copenhagen, the options are many; you can find your own apartment, move into student accommodation or find a place to share with your friends - however Copenhagen is notoriously difficult to find an affordable place in. I chose to apply to a private student accommodation called Egmont dorm, and I was lucky enough that they liked my application, got accepted in and then I moved in, in October 2017.
Egmont dorm was build in the 1950s and bears the motto 'more than a place to live' with pride. There's 22 hallways (flats) here, each with around 23 residents sharing 1 kitchen, which is also the communal area. That means around 500 students lives in relatively close quarters.
In Denmark, if you choose to go into student accommodation, you're not required to move out after your first year, you can stay for as long as your degree lasts - which for most people is around 5 years. This still means that 1000s of students have walked these hallways, partied in the big hall and enjoyed a cold beer over our pool table in the lounge. In general we're very fortunate to live where we do. It's relatively cheap rent, loads of society option and a lot of fun.
Each room has a small entrance bit you share with another person, here the door to the bathroom you share with your neighbor is situated, and then you have your door to your own room and opposite the door to your neighbor. My room is 11m2 (118feet2 - i believe), so nothing much, but it's mine and it's home. As most people here stays for several years, it's important to make your room just that - your own. I studied and lived in England when I got accepted into Uni of Copenhagen, meaning I hit the ground running - 4 days after results day in Lincolnshire, I started university in Denmark. That means my room is still a little bare, but I'm getting there - and I got the most important thing, my kettle, so I'm good.
As I said, living at Egmont dorm is a lot of fun. I think that's important while you're studying. I spend most days, 9-5, at the university, so letting your hair down every once in a while is important to keep the stress levels down. Especially in exam season!
Every night, at 7pm, everyone who is home in the flat, gathers around the kitchen table and have communal dinner. We all take turns cooking, but as there's 23 of us here, it's rare that we have to cook more than once a month. In turn we all get homemade food every night - and the chance to spend some time chatting about anything and everything with the people we live with. It makes for some extremely odd conversations, and a lot of laughs.
I personally spend a lot of time at university, and in turn a lot of time with my friends from my course, but a big part of my spare time also goes to my flat. We have a lot of traditions here, some of them includes the plate game; which in short is a dinner plate lying in the hallway - touch it and you have to buy beers for everyone who wants one. Another is our ladies/gentleman days where we spend the day gender separated and have a lot of fun with the other girls or the big gala event in April, or the 4 days music festival in August - held in the garden behind the dorm. Also everyone in my flat gets a Pokemon to represent them - for the nerdy ones, I'm Chansey. The average age in my flat is around 24/25 years, and as I'm only 21, I'm one of the newest additions - but you rarely notice it. However, living 23 young people together makes for some interesting situations. Like the other night, when one boy was dared to eat a whole pack of Lurpak. For those wondering, that's a bad idea, but he did win the bet. It also means sometimes you will be woken up by shouting at 3am because someone came home and decided it was time to party, though it's rare and it's just part of living in such a social accommodation.
I'm lucky, or so I feel, to live where I do. It's not common for student accommodations to be this "colourful", but we have all applied to be here, and we all do our best to keep the 'more than a place to live'-spirit alive.
In the end, trying to recount all of it is impossible. I just know I enjoy the fact that I get to spend my free time out of my course, living with some of my best friends. After all, I only get this one chance to be a student. It's some of what keeps me sane when my veterinary medicine degree seems to be the all encompassing feature of my life, it's important to remember that I'm something besides a veterinary student. I'm also just a student, living a very special place. Where we even get to dress up sometimes!