What it feels like to be studying in Denmark, Part 1

From the "About me" section of the blog, you did not get to know much about me, only the basic info. Well, today I have decided to share more and I hope this post will be helpful for those of you who are thinking about studying in another country. I noticed there are more and more students like me who go for this decision for various reasons and some of them are willing to go back home after being done with the studies, while some of them already think about their future in another country than their own.

I am part of the last category for the same reason I decided to leave in the same place. I am not happy with how things go in my home country- Romania. Simple as that.  And some of you will say, if things are bad, why don’t you and other people improve them? Because I don’t care that much. I care about my own life, my own standard of living. It is a trade off. I either go back and be unhappy or I don’t go back and be considered “a traitor”. I think I could live with that. Actually, I am sure I can.

Anyway, there are some things a future student needs to know before taking this kind of decision. First of all, not everything is that pink as it may seem at the beginning. You may be thinking you start a new life, get to meet new people and go back home 2-3 times a year, for Christmas, for Easter and in the summer holidays. That way you won’t even miss your parents or friends.

But you actually need to acknowledge this is a HUGE change and you need to be prepared for it, spiritually and financially. Things may not go the way you planned. For example, I never went home for Christmas in these 2 years I live in Denmark. I couldn't because I had exams right afterwards (on 2nd of January!!). I personally love Christmas, it is my favorite holiday, so I found that in this time of year I missed being home the most.

Then, you not only move to a totally different city which you know nothing of, you move to a whole different country. That means new laws, new culture, new way of thinking, new places to hang out, new foods, new traditions, new way of teaching, new currency in my case (Danish Kroner). It might be a little overwhelming at first, so just breathe and wait for the shock to pass. The first 2 months are the hardest. Then you get used to it and it turns out it was a good decision you made.

You also need to be prepared financially. Don’t think the moment you get there you will get a student job and you’re covered. It takes time to know all the tips and tricks. It takes some time for your residence permit and other documents to be released. In my case some of the biggest expenditures were the rent deposit (7000 dkk/940 Euro/1250 USD) and furniture for the room because the dorm room was unfurnished when I moved in. It was a shock for me too. Thank God for Ikea!

So check all the conditions before applying for accommodation. Is the room furnished (usually it is not), does it have shared bathroom/kitchen, is it in a good neighborhood, not too far away from your university? Some dorms are located 40 minutes away from the university by bus, at least in Aarhus. Most importantly, are the heat-electricity-water and internet included in the price of the rent? I live in a dorm where all these things are included and the rent is 2600 dkk/350 euro/460 USD.

In case you are planning to come to Denmark you also need a bike. Actually, it is essential that you have one. This is the main means of transportation and besides, a bus ticket is 2.7 euro/3.6 USD, which I personally find expensive. A new average bike is around 250 euro/356 USD but you can get a used one from other students for a much cheaper price, usually around 80 euro/107 USD.

You are also going to spend quite a lot of money on books, in my case at least the books are worth around 400 euro/3000 dkk/530 USD per semester. As in the case of the bike, you can get used ones for a cheaper price from other students, but they usually are an edition older than what you need.

At first, using Danish kroner instead of the currency you are used to can very confusing and frustrating. Just so you know, the cheapest brands in Denmark are Budget, Landlord, X-tra, Coop. Fakta, Lidl, Netto are little shops you can find in every neighborhood where you can buy cheaper basic stuff (like milk, bread). For a bigger diversity of products, go to Fotex, Kvickly or Bilka.

For part 1 of this series of posts, I tried to cover all the things that may surprise you financially. I hope it didn't sound too pessimistic, Denmark is a great country after all, it’s just that the adjustment can be tough sometimes. This post is related to my experience in Aarhus, while most of the information provided is valid for Denmark in general, some of it may slightly differ from city to city. Copenhagen can be more expensive in some aspects than Aarhus for example.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me and I will do my best to answer them.

P.S Here is another post, related to my experiences in Aarhus: Globen Flakket

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About me

About me

Welcome on my blog!

I am Luiza, a student in her twenties living in Aarhus (Denmark). Besides blogging, I love to travel, shop, laugh and watch TV series.

Founded in 2012, Ladylike is a blog that covers lifestyle, fashion, travel, healthy eating and relationships. The idea for this blog came when I realized I would love to have my own personal space where I could share my thoughts and experiences with other enthusiastic girls who are preocuppied by their looks and health. The blog is called Ladylike because I love being feminine. What can I say more?

Thank God I am a woman!

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