WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COPENHAGEN
It is the beginning of a new semester. We return to all the familiar everyday life routines – but for some of you it is not all as familiar as you are used to. I am specifically thinking about the international students, whom we Danes have the honor to host in our country and city. To all of you, I would like to say: welcome to Copenhagen!
Copenhagen is, as you may know, the capital of Denmark. There are a lot of habitants and each of us has a lot of things to do – especially when we are studying at a University. As students we are not only engaged in our studies but also our relationships, family, hobbies etc. It is hardly unusual to be interested in all of these things but it might be useful to know why many students seem busy. – It is simply because we are busy. Copenhagen is a city of varied arrangements and the tolerance towards one another is generally highly prioritized. Even though Denmark is considered a protestant country the Christian values have become tradition rather than action and belief.
To prepare you and to get off to a flying start I have listed 5 pieces of advice:
- Ask your university for help with accommodation.
Finding accommodation in Copenhagen is difficult, even for the Danish citizens. If you know someone in the city you can of course ask them for help, but otherwise I would ask my University for help. And remember not to lose hope. God will provide sooner or later.
- Get a bike. As you may have noticed we have a lot of bikes in Copenhagen. Usually the fastest (and easiest) way to get around is by bike. Ask around if someone has a leftover bike (try asking at the local police station or look at www.dba.dk – an online secondhand. – You type “cykel” in the search space).
- Ask a Dane to teach you the rules of biking. As every other form of transport we have rules to follow. If you get help to master the rules of biking you are far ahead of many. (And you diminish the risk of being run over by a car!)
- Invite your study friends to go and explore the city. Now that you have learned how to ride the bike you’ve bought, you can go sightseeing for free! It is a great way of finding all the nice green spots and beautiful views. Maybe you have a foreign friend you can invite – or even a Danish study buddy. I can promise you that not even we Danes have been everywhere. I can recommend Botanisk Have, Kongens Have, Fælledparken or the green path (for bikes) which takes you on a nice trip through the city).
- Learn how to drink coffee. We drink a lot of coffee in Denmark and it is a great way to take a break during the day or build relationships (try asking a study friend out/home for coffee. I am sure they will appreciate your invitation). – Of course you don’t actually have to learn how to drink coffee, but I am sure you will discover that most of the University students are often in the need of this drink…
You are welcome to KFS
One of the important things to know about, as a Christian, is the Danish Fellowship of Christian Students (named KFS). KFS is a fellowship of students which is based in the faith of Christianity, united across the different church traditions. KFS provides space and freedom to consider faith and study while keeping close to God. For more information about KFS, you can visit the main website: www.kfs.dk
In KFS we have weekly gatherings every Monday evening. At theses gatherings every student is welcome. Check out the program here: http://www.kfskbh.dk/eng/
We also have small gatherings on some of the universities. These small KFS-groups are a way to pray and be together on the University Campus. If you want to know whether there is a KFS-group at your university, you can contact your KFS staff worker: http://www.kfskbh.dk/ansatte
Copenhagen has - besides KFS - a variety of churches. Some of them have international services. I recommend attending a church service (even if you join KFS gatherings). This is one of the fastest ways to build relationships with people at different ages (especially if you attend the gatherings after the services). And this is also a place to talk about other subjects than study – we all need a break from that subject once in a while.
Look at our list of international/english speaking churches at www.kfskbh.dk/englishchurches
As a round off I wish you good luck and many blessings. You are most welcome in this city remember: you are not alone!