Contents

This page was created continuously during my Erasmus+ studies in Copenhagen, Denmark as a summary of both my experiences and practical information concerning every part of my Erasmus stay. Its purpose was to filter my thoughts throughout the day and hopefully help fellow future Erasmus students. In some ways, it also might be useful for anyone travelling to Copenhagen. The whole page is written in English so that I wouldn't break the flow of using English here.

Practical information summary

I will refer to the University of Copenhagen as KU.



General Erasmus-related information

All the information you need can be found on the website of Centre for International Cooperation (CZS). The following is therefore just a quick summary. Other practical info from an FI student Matej Leitner can be found on his website.

First, choose a university where you would like to go. If you are from FI MU, then check FI Erasmus page for the full list of options. Base your choices according to the coordinator of your study field, then according to the country where you want to go. You might have to take an English exam (I didn't have to, since I own FCE). Fill in your application (include a copy of your language certificate, if you have one) and write a letter of motivation. The letter is in English, should be around 1 or 2 A4 pages long, in PDF format. You write the letter for FI MU (not for your foreign university) and you explain there why did you choose the particular school.

Hopefully, you will receive an e-mail with your Letter of Acceptance from MU. In that case, fill in a document called Learning Agreement (I completed mine in October 2014, with the semester starting in February 2015). This is a plan of your exchange studies with your chosen courses, total amount of credits, etc. specified. The course catalog at KU is called Kurser. Carefully read about all the subjects of your interest and consult your choices with your coordinator. Be careful about the language of the chosen courses. In KU, there are no strict prerequisities for the courses, you yourself should estimate whether you are able to take them up.

You might or might not have to send an application to your foreign university. For KU, I didn't have to. I simply received a Letter of Acceptance from KU by e-mail (one e-mail arrived in August and another in September 2014), along with an invitation to their housing system (see Housing section below for details) around 3 weeks later. You need to confirm your stay there by replying to their e-mail and sending them your Transcript of Records. This is the summary of all the courses you have passed at MU and can be received at your Faculty's Office for studies. Then you receive an invitation for the KU information system (my was in October 2014) along with a 6-character ID (something like UČO) consisting of 3 lowercase letters and 3 numbers, e.g. abc123. Just follow the instructions and you are ready in no time. Now you can register your courses. Don't worry, you can change this up to 3rd week of your study there (much like in MU). Remember to check your new university e-mail address. At first, they will only spam you with newsletters in Danish, but after you start studying, it will become important.

After you have your accommodation ready, set up a banking account in Euros in KB. You need to have an appointment and a confirmation from CZS that you indeed are an Erasmus+ student. Setting up an account can take up to 2 hours, so brace yourself. You will be offered an insurance for a reasonable price, however, it lasts only 60 days if you don't plan to return to Czech Republic at least every 2 months. I planned to stay in Denmark continuously, so I have insured myself also elsewhere for the full time of my stay in Denmark.

No sooner than 3 weeks before you leave, sign a financial contract and confirm your leave with CZS. In the meantime, you normally ask for sign-up to another semester at MU. Set your leave in IS and that's finally it. You are ready to go. Good luck!

You can change your Learning Agreement for the first 5 weeks of your exchange studies. When you return, bring a Confirmation of study period and a Transcript of Records (results of the examinations from your classes). Insert these as PDF documents to the IS.

Housing in Copenhagen

If you are a KU student, you can find housing via an organization called Housing Foundation. When you are accepted to KU, you will receive an invitation to their online system. There you can choose from student dormitories at halls of residence and shared apartments. They may even help you with finding private accommodation. The prices vary, choose according to your financial situation and distance from your school. The rooms are usually single or double.

You will be notified in advance when the registration starts. The strange thing is that you never see all the available accommodation Housing Foundation has to offer, only a subset of it. Even if a room is free, you might not see it, so try to write them if you picked a place you like and it seems it's not available. I wonder according to which criteria they show you these certain rooms... So, after you choose from the available housings, fill in the application (it is really straightforward). This results in 3 contracts, which you have to print, sign, scan and upload back. Then you receive a bank account number where you have to pay certain amount in advance. In my case, the bank transfer from Slovakia took 5 days. On your arrival to Copenhagen, pick up your keys at their office and you are ready to go! Once there, check the whole building for any faults and report them within 7 days, otherwise you will pay for them.

My housing address was Søgårdsvej 16A, 2820 Gentofte, Copenhagen, Denmark. The house consists of 2 floors (ground and first), each of which has its separate key and contains 3 rooms: 2 double and 1 single, therefore at most 10 people can live there. The house was 6.5 km from my school (Nørre Campus), which means biking every day or travelling by public transport in 3 zones. Otherwise, it was great. The neighborhood is very safe and peaceful and it is a great place to return to after a busy day.

The payment conditions are not so peaceful however. The deposit was 4000 DKK, monthly rent with all fees included was 3681 DKK/month; with the binding contract for 6.5 months (you can shorten your contract only if there is another person who wants the room). You have to pay a considerable amount of the total rent in advance (I think it was the deposit and 3-months rent before arrival). I made a mistake and had to pay by 2 separate bank transfers. For each international transfer, your bank obviously charges you extra and the Housing Foundation fines you 250 DKK for accepting bank transfers (even if you set an OUR payment, that is, paying all transfer expenses by the sender). The best option is simply to pay the full rent at once by credit card and then you are done for the rest of your stay. The credit card payments are fined by a percentage (I think 1.5%) of the total amount anyway, but the acceptance of the payment by Housing Foundation is free (why you so generous).

Søgårdsvej shared apartments

Travelling to/in Copenhagen

Airplane

The price for my flight from Budapest to Copenhagen was 65 € along with 1 piece of checked 20 kg luggage and 1 piece of 10 kg hand luggage. The flight took 90 minutes. Cheap flights can be found on Skyscanner.

Bicycles

Bikes are the most popular type of transport in Copenhagen. You can buy a new bike for around 2000 DKK, but for an exchange student it's not really necessary. Used bikes can be bought for around 600 to 1000 DKK (do not pay more for them). You can find offers in various Facebook groups such as Buy/sell used bike Copenhagen, or you can try one of the many stores which sell second-hand bikes. A lot of them is situated around the corner of streets Jagtvej and Nørrebrogade.

Google Maps: Streets where bikes can be bought

I got my bike for 700 DKK and a lock for 50 DKK. Lights, a helmet and a bell are not required, but it is advised to have them. Bike lanes are in very good condition around the center. Just make sure you drive safely and follow the rules. Learn biking hand signals.

Public transport (buses, trains, metro)

Copenhagen is divided into several zones. You can find the details about the zone system here. Note that the price payed for the ticket depends on the zones you visit while travelling (2 zones minimum). It does not matter whether you travel by bus, train or metro, and it does not matter at which stop you get off as long it is in one zone.

The tickets can be purchased:

More information can be found on New at SCIENCE website or on Housing Foundation's website. You can plan your journeys at rejseplannen.dk.

Shopping in Copenhagen

Buy food at supermarket chains such as Netto, Lidl, Aldi, or Rema 1000. These have a good selection of basic products at a reasonable price. Fakta has medium prices, but charges you when using credit card, so I didn't shop there. Irma, Føtex, or Kvickly are supermarkets with a wider selection of goods, however, a little more expensive.

I include cheaper food prices or various weekly-sale items which you can find from time to time. Remember that when you buy anything in a can, plastic bottle, or glass bottle, you are charged extra as a deposit (pant) for the container. Empty bottles/cans can be returned at any shop.

Bread, grains and cereals:

Fruits and vegetables:

Meat, eggs and dairy:

Sweets:

Drinks:

Various food:

Drugstore and household goods:

Finally, have a look at this infographic about the most expensive countries in the world. And remember to cook home if you want to save money. The restaurants here are quite expensive!

Studying in KU

The best information webpage that covers everything important is New at SCIENCE. The whole philosophy of Danish educational system is described here.

KU uses ECTS credits just like MU and you are expected to earn 30 ECTS credits per semester. Most courses are usually for either 7.5 or 15 ECTS credits. Therefore, you can have for example one 15-credit subject and two 7.5-credit subjects per semester.

One semester in KU is divided into 2 blocks (at least in SCIENCE), each ending with an exam week. The blocks are separated by a teaching-free week where you don't have any courses or exams. The exams are graded according to a 7-point scale.

As a KU student, you do not have any timetable! This means that you must find out where and when your classes are held on your own. More info on academic year and timetable is here.

KU consists of 4 university campus areas. Computer science department called DIKU is located in Nørre Campus.

Extra activities

The following pages might be useful:

With your KU student ID card, you can get discounts in various shops and bars or even free entries to several venues. For example:

Other things to do:

Travelling:

Diary of an Erasmus+ student

Some of my Erasmus+ experiences with photos.