University of Copenhagen, Denmark
It’s refreshing to live in a city where the locals are sincerely proud of their way of life and have no need to apologise for it. Particular themes emerging from locals include: pride in their being rated the happiest nation in the world, pride in the egalitarian structure of their society and pride in their ability to solve problems through design-based solutions. The best example of this was my trip to the Design Museum, which was basically a large temple dedicated to the Danish bicycle Gods (see attached photos). The tour guide stated confidently, ‘Here in Denmark, we believe bicycles are the future.’
Cycling around Copenhagen is so effortless that cars seem outdated. It’s hard not to think that every country in the world would benefit from predominance of bicycles over other modes of transport, since exercise and commute blend seamlessly into one.
The only negative thing I have heard from a local thus far concerned Denmark’s lack of coverage for dental treatment. Interestingly, my wisdom teeth became extremely painful as soon as I arrived in Copenhagen. Taking on a primitive diet of ice cream was not something I imagined for my exchange experience, but it was a good reminder early on that sickness, difficulties and challenges still emerge as in everyday life. This sad story ended well, with UTS’s generous travel insurance footing the bill for the wisdom teeth removal and me learning that Copenhagen is one of the most relaxing and easy places to get sick in.
Many other challenges await my exchange experience, but so much opportunity is at hand. For an Australian who spends most of their life quite isolated from the rest of the world, exchange is one great way of understanding the other. I can’t wait to see how the next 5 months turn out!
Global Exchange Student
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