Social Student Life
Not having a campus life as such means that your social life as a student will depend on how much you choose to engage in social activities.
Though not run directly by the university, there are a bunch of social activities at the universities, often run by students either from your own field of study or from the university as a whole.
If you would like to get involved in student life at your campus, there are plenty of options. You can help plan parties and academic events, help run the Friday bars (which often function as cafés during the daytime), or get involved in student politics and help shape the university.
Social Life on Campus
Even though students don’t usually live on campus, that doesn’t mean that there is no social life at the schools. Most universities have canteens, cafes, rooftops, green areas or other places where students can hang out between classes or when they need a study-break. Spend some time exploring your campus to find the small student-run cafes, your favorite place to have a coffee with your friends and where to get the best food.
Some universities have choirs, big bands and other performance groups you can join. Furthermore it’s tradition at many departments that students put on a yearly revue – a satirical musical usually filled with nerdy insider jokes about the field of study as well as references to well-known characters around campus, current events and political topics.
Ways to get involved differ from faculty to faculty and from university to university, but a good place to start is your local fagråd (student council) or fakultetsråd (faculty council). Get in touch with them to get more information about how you can volunteer, or who you can contact to join some of the other student-run projects.
Some of the most common social initiatives at the Danish universities are the Friday bars. All Copenhagen university faculties have at least one Friday bar at each campus. Theses are bars run by the students and this is where you can go to hang out with your fellow students each Friday, wind down with a drink and have fun. Some of the bars function as volunteer cafés during the week, which can give you a social meeting point on all days ending with Y.
Often there will be a party committee related to the Friday bar as well, that will organize bigger parties for either their own field of study or the entire institute or faculty. Each bar usually throws several themed parties during a semester, it’s a great place to party in a student-friendly environment with cheap alcohol.
If you want to meet students from other programs than your own, doing a “Friday bar pubcrawl” can be a fun way to do so.
All of the big university cities have a student house, all of which are called Studenterhus or Studenterhuset. These are volunteer-run student organisations with a café/bar/concert venue that host a lot of social and student-related activities. You can either join their events or sign up as volunteer.
If you would like to meet people from other faculties and universities, come by Studenterhuset in the city center – right next to the round tower.
Social Immersion Programs
Most universities have social immersion programs designed specifically for international students. These can be called mentors, tutors, buddies etc., but are essentially projects pairing Danish or already established international students with newly arrived students in order to give them a fun and safe introduction to their new life as a student in Denmark.
In most cases, you can sign up as soon as you have been admitted to your university, so remember to check if this is a possibility for you once you have received your admittance letter.
A lot of the activities that you are used to having offered at your home institution might also be available here. There are student or university-run sport clubs, choirs, societies for various interests and charities. Often you just have to ask around or keep an eye out for the posters hanging around campus to see what activities are available.
Most universities also have a yearly party or event for all of their students.
Other Social Activities
Since Danish students often have social lives that take place outside of the university, you should also try to find activities off campus. Get involved in the city – enjoy the cultural opportunities or the outdoors, volunteer for an organization that is not necessarily related to the university or seek out your own interests.
Most of Danish civil life is organized in the form known as “foreninger” and there is almost something for every interest on the planet, so if you are looking for something specific in terms of sports or hobbies, just Google it.
Chances are that your new city will have a forening for whatever it is that you are look for, and joining that club or activity will be a great way of meeting new people.