Some of you may have noticed that the workload for a student on the year/semester abroad is slightly less demanding compared to back home. This is due to the fact that Copenhagen expects you to accomplish a lot of reading outside of class instead of instructing you every step of the way. This coupled with the fact that you very likely only need a pass to send back to your home uni means you’re going to have a lot of free time on your hands. Although this may at first appear a blessing it can quickly become a curse if not tackled in the right way. The excitement and thrill of having a year away from hard gruelling work will be taken over with pangs of “OK, what do I do now?”. All that time you thought you’d spend making Danish friends becomes redundant when you realise cracking into the Danish friends circle as an international student is just about as realistic as finding the cure for cancer, solving world hunger and catching all 150 pokemon…whilst blindfolded. So with that hope thrown out the window what should you do get up to now that you’re free for the next four months? That is, until the dreaded summer exams come looming. Here’s a list of thing that I’m hoping you’ll find handy.
An arduous task, if mastered within a year you deserve a knighthood.
Find an internship/job.
So for some the idea of giving up much free time to do some unpaid work seems ridiculous. However if in all honesty you’re going to be spending the days making the most of your Netflix account and ensuring that every American TV series made since 1996 is viewed then I’d definitely recommend this. Not only can it provide useful life skills but also give you some something to put on your CV other than “spent time on year abroad”
Volunteer at studenterhuset.
Actually highly recommended. The socials they do are cracking fun, with much free alci and food (ok they were salted nuts but I hadn’t eaten at the time so they counted for dinner for me). Also being the one with all the free beer tokens will make you fave out of all of your friends.
Do actual volunteer work
This has the double benefit of helping time pass and making you feel like you’re actually helping people. There is a large asylum seeker population in and around Copenhagen which the Danish red cross does much to help with; and not just by helping at the asylum centres themselves and also other schemes such as teaching them how to ride a bicycle. Well worth a look into.
Do loads of academic work in the hope of doing really well this year.
Join a sports team
A very good way to meet people, you don’t even have to be particularly good at sport to go. Even with the co ordination skills of blind baby seal I joined the badminton club and thoroughly enjoyed a great proportion of it.
Join meetup and find those with the same fave pastimes as you.
Meetup is a great website that puts you into contact with people of a similar passion. The website runs hundreds of events and everyday you can find activities for people who like whatever you like, whether it be a zeal for board games, movies or country hiking.
Go to one of the many community kitchens dotted around the city and learn to cook.
If eating alone isn’t your sort of thing and you like paying reasonable meals for prices (who doesn’t) then you’ll love the meet and eats which are littered about the city. You could probably go to a different one every evening and never eat the same thing twice. The website http://johan.cc/2013/04/23/where-eat-copenhagen/ has a great list of community dinners where everyone, from the culinary ability of Jamie Oliver to those that count beans on toast as dinner is given a chance to show off their chopping skills.
Well I hope this list helped and inspired you to go out there. There’s a world of opportunities beyond your front door and a host of people just waiting to be met, you can’t find them watching House of Cards season repeats