Bachelor of Laws/Commerce
Bachelor of Laws/Commerce

In 2014 I was beginning my fourth year as a UQ student enrolled in a Bachelor of Law/Commerce. I choose Semester 1 of 2014 to go on exchange, because I had finally accumulated enough law units and it was the last semester before my penultimate year (and the last time I would be free from the flurry of internship submissions). As most students returning from exchange will tell you, it became one of the best decisions I ever made

I was fortunate enough to take Master subjects for law at the University of Copenhagen (KU). The KU city campus, which is where the law faculty is, is situated on of the city’s shopping streets, amongst cafes, restaurants and most importantly, right next to the student café/bar (Studenterhuset). It was there that I took classes in International Human Rights Law, EU Trade Law and Negotiation and Dispute Resolution. At KU, many courses are assessed on oral examinations, whereby students either give presentations and/or are asked questions by the lecturer on the course material. All my courses had oral assessments and although at first it seemed quite a stressful notion, all in all I thoroughly enjoyed this mode of assessment.

Anticipating the challenges of studying under a different legal system, KU made it very easy for incoming students by providing an intensive course on the EU system (Introduction to EU Law and Institutions, taken by Professor Morten Broberg). I also highly recommend any exchange students going to Copenhagen, regardless of what faculty you belong to, to take the Danish Language course that runs three weeks before semester officially starts. Not only is it a chance for you to immerse yourself in Danish language and culture, it is also a fantastic opportunity to meet other exchange students, from all different faculties. It was there that I was able to forge some of my first and strongest friendships.

A basic research of Scandinavia will uncover their expertise in eco-friendly, minimalistic architecture and this definitely extends to their student accommodation as well. Although Tietgenkollegiet was by far the most popular choice for many exchange students, spaces are indeed limited and so I know many people instead lived at Signalhuset Kollegiet and Bispebjerg Kollegiet, the latter of which was my home for seven months Personally I enjoyed having all my amenities in my own private room (including private kitchen and bathroom), but some shared accommodation can still provide you with your own private bedroom with other shared facilities at a reasonable price. Living in Northern Europe is expensive, but the difference is a more comfortable way of living and a lower crime rate.

Copenhagen is a very liveable city and within the first two weeks, you will able to ascertain the best modes of transport to and from the city centre, which suburbs to go to for certain types of cuisine (kebabs at Nørrebro and Chinese behind Copenhagen Central Station and at Vesterbro) and which of the numerous supermarket chains is closest to you (Lidl, Netto, Fakta, etc). However, here are some things I think could be useful to know before you go:

- Get a Rejsekortet (travel card), as this will be much cheaper in terms of public transport costs in the long run
- Buy a bike when you arrive at Copenhagen, in order to be able to take the bike for a test-ride
- Go to one of the many kiosks (where they sell tobacco, beer, etc) which provide free prepaid mobile SIM-cards ready for top-up

Each exchange experience is unique, but I think all hold this in common: the friendships you make, the places you travel to and see, the independent lifestyle that you make your own and the glimpse into the culture and people of your host country, all leave a positive, lasting impact on you and prepare you for the next stage of your life.

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