09 October 2010

Long Overdue

Wow! Time flies here! I've been in Copenhagen for about 6 weeks now and I can't believe I've only managed to write a couple lines about my time here so far.

There is too much to write in one post, so I might just start with something boring (but I find it interesting because it's so different to back home!): classes at the University of Copenhagen.

I enrolled in an intensive course here (European and International Commercial Law) that commenced before orientation week and before I even moved into my apartment.  It definitely deserves its title as an 'intensive' course; it was taught six hours a week, and required plenty of readings and preparation before class.  However, it's over for now fortunately, so I'll only have two more courses for the remainder of semester!

The law campus is very different to the one back home.  It's not so much a campus, but rather, a set of buildings scattered around the centre of the city.  For instance, the main hangout for law students, the Jurahuset (which houses a canteen, computer rooms and library), is located in a trendy street filled with vintage clothing stores, coffee shops, bars, pizzerias and S&M shops out of all things! A short cycle from the Jurahuset is the Metro Annex, where most of the law students have their classes. Everyday there are musicians playing outside (pictured) which makes it a wonderful place to study.

The timetables work on an academic quarter schedule, so classes begin at quarter past the hour, and end on the hour.  This is great for me because it means I'm never too late for class!  But it also allows us plenty of time to cycle to our next class.

I'm currently living in Vesterbro, about 15 minutes away from town by bike.  The particular area I'm living in is filled with an eclectic and odd mix of people, but it comes as no surprise considering it's a council-owned set of apartment blocks.  As I leave for class each morning, I am always greeted by an old cheerful Danish man who is (somehow) drunk by the time I leave for class (9.30am).  There are quite a few interesting characters like that but I enjoy it.  There are about 70 exchange students living in this particular set of apartment blocks, each living in a 2 bedroom apartment, so it's got the perfect mix of privacy and social balance.  I have met some older, retired Danes living around the area and they seem pleased that there are now young, vibrant and generally open-minded students to talk to in the area.  The owner of the pub on our street seems pretty pleased too as we're giving him some good business!  On our first visit there, he gave us bottles of Jagermeister and Fisk for free!

Unfortunately I don't get my own bedroom, but rather, a lounge room (pictured) which I have converted into a bedroom (by using string and curtains).  My housemate gets 'the good room'; the one with the door.  All the exchange students in this area are in the same situation, where one housemate gets a proper bedroom and the other is stuck with the lounge room.  It results in some interesting dynamics and issues; for instance, my housemate has to walk through my room in order to reach the bathroom and kitchen.  We also have no common area or dining area to hang out or lounge about, so this creates problems at times too.  But, it's all part and parcel of the exchange experience and everyone seems to be trying to make the best of it.

The best part about living in these apartments is that there's always a dinner party to attend (pictured) or just someone around the corner to catch up with if you get bored.

Speaking of getting bored, I think I'm getting bored of writing this!  Time to get outta here yo!



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