Now that you’ve finally arrived in Copenhagen and
are eager to start your study abroad period in this new beautiful city, you might be faced with a lot more free time than you’re previously used to. If you’re the type of person who likes staying active and playing sports with fellow students, then you’re in luck.
Coming from North America where almost all universities have at least 1 large dedicated sports, fitness and recreation facility on campus mainly for students, it was a little odd how the University of Copenhagen doesn’t. This may seem like it will be a problem, but USG aims to, and has successful, fixed that issue. USG stands for Universitetets Studentergymnastik, and it’s the University’s Sports Association in Copenhagen.
It is advertised to students as “an affordable and good way to socialize with other students in an informal way”. The USG website describes the sports association as being organized in the “Danish tradition of a forening”, which actually has no direct English translation. The best definition for the term would be a club/association/union. It’s about developing strong relationships with similar-minded others in a democratic and fun atmosphere.
Healthy living and better health are indirect and additional consequences after having fun and developing skill sets. The USG sports association is split up into 2 main seasons. The primary season runs from September until April, effectively coinciding with the academic semesters, and the second shorter summer season runs from May until the end of August. There are currently over 80 different sports available that take place both indoor and outdoor, such as basketball, football, handball, dance, Pilates, Kung Fu, yoga, swimming, and much more!
It’s important to note that despite being supported by the University of Copenhagen, it is in no way restricted to only KU students. Any student in Copenhagen and even non-students can participate if they’d like. As an added bonus, students who are only in Denmark for 1 semester can get a refund for the remainder of the season by simply providing a letter of admission outlining how long your stay in Denmark is. Due to its affordable cost compared to other clubs and associations, USG is very popular among Danish and international students alike.
Some faculties also have their own sports associations for their students to take part in. For example, the faculty of Science at KU has VLI, which is a sports club run by the members themselves for students and staff to compete in, and the department of psychology has a unisex football team called Pavlovs Køtere. No matter which faculty you are enrolled under, you can always find a place to play sports.
As the sun begins to shine, the days start getting longer, and summer starts approaching, Danes move out of the comfort of their homes into the city’s numerous public parks to hang out and get some exercise. Another option you have is going to one of the city’s green spaces or parks, and just joining an already existing game. It’s a great way to meet some new people and have fun at the same time. There will for sure be an abundance of football matches going on in places like Fælledparken, where there are dedicated fields for anyone to use.
Whether you’re playing a sport you’ve been playing all your life, or trying one you’ve never even heard of before, there is no doubt you’ll have fun. Copenhagen is a very fun and active city to live in, making it the perfect destination for those who enjoy playing sports.