Life in a Danish Kollegium

It’s a cozy Sunday morning. The smell of bacon fills the apartment as I sit at my kitchen table with my flatmates enjoying coffee and catching up on our weekends. After breakfast, we slowly start the Sunday process of catching up on homework that we didn’t do all weekend. Sitting here at my computer listening to the productive typing of my flatmates, I think now is the perfect time to procrastinate my Danish homework by writing a blog post about life in my Kollegium. 

Let me start by describing what a Kollegium is. Universities in Copenhagen don’t really offer on-campus housing in the same sense that American universities do, and so Danish students seek out other housing options. One of these is a Kollegium, a co-ed residential community which provides housing for students from various universities across Copenhagen. In my Kollegium, Danes and Americans live together and this creates a great social environment in which you can meet people from all sorts of backgrounds. 

I live in a Kollegium with a shared kitchen, which basically means apartment style living. My flat has four bedrooms, two of which are doubles and two singles. We are four Americans and two Danes; the Americans share the doubles and the Danes get the singles. There are two apartments per floor of every building, and they’re pretty spacious! We share a kitchen, a lounge area with a TV, and a dining area that’s part of the kitchen. We also have an awesome balcony. My apartment is in an area of Copenhagen called Frederiksberg, a cute, residential area of the city with a giant park and a big mall. It’s about a 25 minute commute from DIS classes, but doesn’t even feel that long. 

I chose a Kollegium as my housing because of the social aspect and the opportunity to meet local Danish students. I really wanted to meet Danes and be immersed in Danish culture, but I also wanted to be in the city. I thought about living in a homestay but I knew that I wanted to be centrally located, and a Kollegium seemed to combine living with locals and being in the city! I live in Nimbus Kollegium, which is known as one of the more social Kollegiums. The Nimbus community throws fun events for all its residents, like pre-games on Thursday nights, cake and board games nights, and themed parties! This social aspect was present even from our first night in Copenhagen with a welcome gathering in the common rooms of the building and then a welcome dinner with your whole floor. 

Back at my home university, I only lived in a dorm with no kitchen, with just one other roommate. So coming here and living with five other people with a ton of apartment space has been amazing. I love cooking and sharing meals with my roommates, and honestly my cooking skills are really developing now that I actually have to make dinner if I want to eat.

My flatmates have become some of my closest friends here at DIS and we spend a ton of time hanging out together in our cozy apartment. We often sit at the kitchen table together for hours, just talking or “doing work.” Flat activities include dinners together, movie nights, and many spontaneous Netflix binges. We’re even learning a few Danish traditions! One thing that stuck out was birthdays here in Denmark; everyone puts Danish flags in their cake with the candles. All Danes seems to do this, according to my Danish roommates. So when one of my DIS roommates had a birthday we stuck a bunch of mini Danish flags in a sheet of brownies and sang Danish songs. 

Overall, I love living in my Kollegium, and couldn’t imagine my semester abroad without my flatmates and my cozy apartment. 

My lovely roommates when they cooked me a birthday breakfast

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