Whether you prefer to study at a quite library, with friends, or at a busy café, your new favorite study spot in Copenhagen is just waiting to be found
Most universities have several different kinds of spaces to study in. They usually have large open rooms, group rooms, smaller nooks, and even comfy couches. Go on the campus tour at the beginning of the semester, ask local students about their favorite spot or simply go explore you campus.
If you prefer to study in cafes, many of the cafés in Copenhagen have wi-fi and are open to students spending hours studying in the café –but it might also be a good idea to ask them first.
When doing group work, students tend to meet at campus, at cafés, libraries or at the home of one of the group members. Often groups will find a spot that is easily accessible and in a fair distance from the homes of the group members.
If you prefer to study at libraries there are three main options: institute libraries, the faculty libraries and public libraries.
In Denmark we have public libraries as well as university libraries. The public libraries are open for everyone and you can register as a user when you have a CPR number. Ask your local library how. The public libraries function more as civic centres than research facilities and have a diverse selection of genres and media. Your local library will often host events and various social initiatives.
The university and royal libraries have more restrictive user policies – ask about or look up the rules before assuming that you can use them. As a rule, your home university and institute’s libraries will definitely be open for you.
Click the links below to find relevant and updated academic materials, reading halls, librarians who can help your literature search and being a user will often grant you with access to online databases and materials as well.
Department libraries are the libraries specific to your field of study. They will usually have the most relevant books and it’s probably where you are most likely to find people from your program studying. Some of the books you are allowed to borrow, while others you can only read in the library. Most books are available to access on the shelves.
The faculty libraries at the University of Copenhagen are part of the Royal Library. These are very popular and offer quiet study halls and group work spaces, as well as library services.
The Royal Library is the national library. The main royal library is The Black Diamond, a beautiful building right by the harbor. Here you can study at several reading halls, the café, outside by the water, or do group work at the tables scattered around the building. You can also have food at the café or restaurant, or the staff canteen which is open to guests at certain hours. Furthermore the Black Diamond houses rare collections of historic sheet music, maps and newspapers on microfilm.
Students at University of Copenhagen are automatically registered users at the royal libraries. The royal libraries have most of their books in storage which means that to borrow a book you will have to order it through the online library service “Rex”.
You can choose which royal library branch you want your book delivered to, and if the book is not checked out by another user, it will usually arrive the next day. If other users have checked out the book, you can put yourself on the waiting list.
If you are a student at University of Copenhagen you also have access to a vast number of online databases and journals through the royal library system.
The city of Copenhagen houses 22 public libraries. Some are very big, others smaller, but most areas of the city have at least one. At bibliotek.dk you can find your closest library by searching via zip code or name of the city.
Copenhagen Central Library is the largest public library in Copenhagen and is located at Krystalgade 15 right in the center of the city. It is a 5 story building and houses the library collection, a café, Citizen Service and different events. It’s open to the public and everyone can get a library card.
Although not designed for studying like the royal libraries, it does offer ample study space, and if you like to people watch while you study, it’s a great place to experience a broad variety of the Copenhagen population.
The central library does not offer as many scientific books as the royal library, but the books are accessible on the shelves, so it can be a great place to go for inspiration when you are trying to find a topic for an assignment.
If the book, DVD, or CD you are looking for is not carried at your local library, you can order them through bibliotek.dk and the book will be shipped to the library of you choice.
Buying reading material for class
For most classes the teacher will compile a compendium for you to buy. This is a booklet of the texts you are required to read during the course. It’s sold buy the university and is usually priced according to the number of pages. For most classes professors will also expect you to read books that are not included in the compendium.
Academic Books has a store on most campuses and they cooperate with professors so that books on the syllabus for the different classes are ready for the students to purchase at the beginning of each semester. They don’t usually offer buy-back services at the end of the semester, so sometimes it might be better to purchase a used book or borrow the book from the library if you don’t need the book for more than a month.
Be aware that buying books for your classes can be quite expensive, so don’t forget to put it in your budget. It also varies how much of each book the professor will require for you to read, so it might be a good idea to take a look at your syllabus and see which books are necessary to buy, and which books you might be able to simply borrow from the library or classmates.
Another option is buying online. You can sometimes get a better price online, especially if you need English books. Be aware of custom rules: if buying online from the European Union you only pay the VAT (sales tax) but not customs. VAT is usually included in the price, but make sure to check before you place your order. If your book is being shipped from outside the EU, custom taxes will apply, and can be expensive. A good example is buying at amazon.co.uk rather than amazon.com.
If you are comfortable reading on screens, buying e-book versions is often cheaper and faster. Some books might also be available to you as an e-resource through the online database of the Royal Library.
Pensum.dk is a website where students can sell their used books. Unfortunately, the site is only in Danish, but it’s fairly simple to search for a title and find the contact info of the seller, and then you can then simply contact them in English.