Living in Copenhagen – Preparation

For my dissertation research I spent six weeks living in Denmark to study at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen. Those of you that wish to undertake academic research in a different country; my solid advice to you is to PLAN EARLY, as early as possible. I first started planning and organising this trip in the September of second year as soon as I got back to uni, with the research placement being finalised end of January and an arrival date of 17th July in place, I still managed to miss all the application dates for funding and for the first set of summer accommodation. This all meant that my trip seemed even more unorganised and unachievable. The next date for accommodation application was the 14th June; a month before I flew out on the 15th July; meaning that it was a stressful experience to obtain a place to stay for my six week academic adventure. But I managed to book a 20sqm studio apartment in the area of Østerbro, Northern Copenhagen; which was such a sigh of relief (even if it did break the bank a little).

With Flights booked with Norwegian Air and accommodation all sorted, it was time to organise the last few bits and gather everything for packing. I applied for a Caxton FX card (Which I cannot recommend enough to everyone thinking of travelling for whatever length of time), this meant I was able to transfer money onto Caxton and switch the currency to avoid the costly conversion fees if a debit or credit card was used. Having never been to Denmark before, I took some cash which I had to order from Tescos (Many Bureau de Change offices DO NOT readily stock Scandinavian currencies, so it is always best to check in advance and not get caught out before you travel).

danish currency

Those who have already been to university knows the amount you have to take with you when you move in and out of student accommodation and share houses. I had to take this all with me! and with just the 1.5 suitcases (I shared a case with my lab partner) this proved to be a challenge. Many things had to be left behind and plans had to be created to find and buy things such as extra kitchen equipment and bedding, which I would not have got through customs or not had the space for. I prioritised some snacks and most importantly a box of tea bags, as everyone knows that the tea we have at home is not the same elsewhere; with most being herbal teas, which I am not a fan of.

packing denmark

For Six weeks of expected Danish summer weather (Rain!), I packed: 10 t-shirts, 1 more formal shirt, 2 shorts, 2 jeans, suitable amount of underwear, coat, hoodie, towel, blanket, bedding, toiletries for as long as possible, snacks and stationary/equipment needed to undertake my research. I managed to pack all of this in a 15kg capacity suitcase but I wish I had started packing much earlier, taking my friend and I over four hours to completely pack everything in an orderly fashion. After completing this mountain of a task, I was then ready to fly out the next day for my Danish adventure.


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