These final few posts will be tailored at those bright-eyed, fresh OCS recruits who are considering DIS-Copenhagen as an option. As such, I will try to speak to the questions and reservations that some of you may have regarding this program.
Today’s issue is about housing and transportation. DIS provides a lot of housing options, each which comes with their own benefits and challenges, including transportation. I chose to go with the homestay option, but I had friends in all of the other options as well, so I’ll give those a brief treatment as well.
Homestay- I decided to go with the homestay option to get a more “immersive” experience. My host family was a willing ambassador for Denmark and were all lovely folks. I heard similar reports from my friends in homestays, although of course, YMMV. A definite plus is having three meals a day cooked or prepared for you- I would imagine this option is considerably cheaper than the other options just on account of this. I also enjoyed the privacy that came with being a bit removed from the action. Average commute is something like 45 minutes, I think. Mine was 35 minutes, and was on a bus. Others are closer or further away; the commute to some homestays is instead by S-train, which is less reliable than the buses, unfortunately. Personally, I found the commute enjoyable and peaceful- Danes are reliably tame in public, unless it’s a Friday night. The most unfortunate thing about the commute is actually difficulty having friends over. Public transportation is super expensive- and you’ll have a tough time convincing friends to spend $15 just to come to your place for an evening.
RC/LLC- I had a few friends in LLCs (interest sections), but not RCs (regular dorms). Nevertheless, they are largely similar. You live within a few blocks of DIS campus and you get a small food stipend for shopping and cooking. LLC living is a little more structured and organized than RC living- their RA organizes events every week, although I think they are fairly casual. It’s probably a bit like living in Tamarac or IHC. Pros- easier to hang out with folks, you have more immediate social connections.
Kollegium- With this option, you live together with Danish, American, and other International students. You get the same food stipend as RC/LLC folks, some cultural immersion if you’re willing to talk to the Danes, some social opportunity, and a convenient place in the city to hang out. This option is less structured than LLCs and you might have to work a bit harder to make friends, though it won’t be as difficult as homestay living. These are scattered around Copenhagen proper, so you’ll probably end up with a 15 minute commute to DIS. Most of my friends in this option- besides one with a shitty roommate situation- seemed satisfied with their choice.
Folkehojskole- I don’t know much about this option. My friend in the FHS had a 70 minutes commute, though.
Transportation: Public transportation in Copenhagen is quite expensive. If you plan to visit friends often or travel outside of city center (ie Fare Zones 1 and 2, see the following for a map: https://www.visitcopenhagen.com/copenhagen/transportation/zones), you should consider getting a bike. I did not do this, so I don’t have much advice. But you can find plenty of info, including on shops to rent from, on DIS’ website!
Once you get your CPR card (which will be about halfway through the semester), buy a Rejsekort at any standard ticket machine. It’s a travel card that costs about $15 but gives you half off on transportation once you have it. If you plan on visiting any of the attractions several zones away (such as the Louisiana museum in Humlebaek and the Vikingskibs Museet in Roskilde) and want to pinch pennies, hold off on visiting these until you get the card and you’ll save several dollars per round trip.