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Life in Copenhagen

When I come to study abroad in Copenhagen, I experienced a huge change in my lifestyle. My
normal weekly routines that I was used to did not fit into the Danish way of
life, and I had to adapt to a more European lifestyle. One major change was
that I was no longer constricted to a single university campus (like in
Caltech). The University of Copenhagen is located in the City Centre, and has
multiple campuses for each of the departments. Contrary to what I was used to,
these campuses consist only of classroom buildings and libraries. Unlike
colleges in the US, the Universities here do not own any dorms and are not so
enclosed in their own campuses.

Students who study in Copenhagen may choose to live in one of the privately owned
(dorms), rent a room or an apartment, or live at home if their
parents live nearby. If you are a student coming from Caltech you will be
placed in the newest and best dorm in all of Copenhagen. I am very grateful to
Caltech for that, since I have the best room and facilities out of anyone I
know (see picture to he left). I have a lot of space in my dorm, and am able to invite all my friends
over for dinners or other get-togethers. However, most of the time, my social
life is not centered around my dorm. Coming from Caltech, I was used to living
in the house with all my friends, and spending most of my time around my room.

Here, however, I quickly learned that my dorm was not going to be the center of
my social life.

All of my friends that I usually spend time with live in very different parts of
the city. However, we still manage to meet up and have fun every week. First of
all, the key to European life is the vast amount of bars and cafes where you
can chat, relax, and drink some coffee, milkshakes, or whatever you like. In
the first month, we found one such café that we really like, and now we go
there all the time when we have no better plans. If we find ourselves outside
in cold, rainy weather, we always know that Robert’s café will have warm cozy
atmosphere, and delicious drinks for us to enjoy.

There can never be a time in Copenhagen when there is nothing for you to do. The
Danish students really enjoy partying and having a good time. So, you can
always be certain that there are multiple parties going on somewhere in
Copenhagen on probably every day of the week. In the beginning, I was very
surprised with this amount of partying, and went to more of these events. After
I had formed a good group of friends, however, we usually find a lot more
exiting things to do outside of plain partying. There are many interesting
places in Copenhagen that are worth exploring, and many fun places to go to.

said earlier that my dorm is not the center of my social life. However, there
are still a lot of opportunities to have a good time here. First of all, our
dorm has its own bar and a café that are open on Saturday and Tuesday nights. Often,
we hold parties at the bar on Saturdays. In addition, there are activities that
I can do with my hallmates. I share a kitchen with twelve other students who
study in various places in Copenhagen. Once a month we have hall dinners, and
occasionally we have more themed events. Next weekend, for example, we will hold a “Christmas lunch” – a Danish
traditional meal that they eat in the weeks before Christmas. So, I am looking
forward to trying the Danish specialty foods, and maybe practicing my Danish a
bit more.

Also, I invite my friends over to my dorm very often, since I have so much more space
than anyone else. Everyone loves my dorm for its spacious and modern setup. I
can easily have up to 10-15 people over, which can be very convenient for
birthday celebrations. But more often, I will have just a couple of people over
to cook dinner together and just hang out.

I hope that what I wrote here gives you an idea of what it is like to live in
Copenhagen for a bit. It is really a great city, and I like it very much. In
addition, when living here, there are many opportunities to take trips on the
weekends and visit many beautiful places outside of the city. I am afraid that it
is not possible for me to completely convey everything I like about being here
in this short blog. Also, everyone who comes here has a chance to create
his/her own unique experience, so you just need to come see for yourself!

Masha Belyi