Posts Tagged ‘ uoc: presem course ’

happenings & problems.

I have been terribly terrible at updating. There are a lot of posts that I should have posted but haven’t. I take too many pictures and then I get lazy to sort through them to figure out which of the 100s I should post. But I’ll get there. Eventually. For now, a quick update about things that I’ve been up to and things that have been happening.

  1. Danish language classes
    I wrote about this when I started, but now I have completed the three-week intensive course and I have completed both my written and speaking exams. I came away with a nice grade of 10 overall. I don’t really know what this means
    in relation to our grading system back home, since the Danish grading system goes something like: 12 > 10 > 7 > 4 > 2 > 0 > -3. Yeah, I don’t know how that works. As far as I know, my subjects are just awarded pass/fail when I get back anyway. But no matter. I’m just glad that I did seemingly quite well. It definitely feels like an accomplishment. I’ve even considered taking on the semester long course! But final registration isn’t until next week, so I won’t have to decide until then.
  2. My parents are here!
    Mum and Dad arrived on Thursday last week, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time with them, taking them out, walking around, seeing the sights. It definitely renewed the excitement of living in Copenhagen. I had become a little bit complacent. We also visited Malmø, Sweden, just a 40 minute train ride away. That’s a separate post in itself. :) I’m also thankful for all the goodies that they brought me, and all the other things on my list of things to bring. Why pay double here, when they could just bring it for me! :) We’re planning on heading up north to check out Helsingør, the site of Hamlet’s castle, Hillerød, the site of another castle, and hopefully, if we have enough time, Humblebæk, to visit the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.
  3. Classes have started.
    I am taking 3 credited courses, and also the 1 week intensive non-credit course, Introduction to EU Law (although, with my timetable, I don’t think I’ll actually be able to go to any classes the first week). Once I’ve had all my classes I’ll write a little more about the Danish university experience. :)

Other than that, I’ve just been hanging out, exploring and what not. Nothing ridiculously exciting. :) But I shall post about a couple of those days.

I have had problems with a number of uni things though.

  • ID kort: I have been waiting and waiting on my student ID card. The first day that I went to ask about it, I was turned way without the lady even looking for my card, being told that I had to wait for an email before I could come and pick it up. I knew this was… wrong (to say the least) since other people who had sent their form in the same time as me had had no problems picking up their card. So I went back last week and spoke to a different person (thankfully) and she spent a good 15 minutes searching through for my card. To no avail. So then I had to email in to the ID card making people, and hopefully I get it next week… I do want it so that I can get into Tivoli for free! (I know I could just use my acceptance letter, but that’s hardly as exciting as having my actual ID card…)
  • Absalon: This it the Blackboard equivalent (or whatever online thing you use at uni) for KU. It was working fine yesterday morning, but when I logged on last night to complete some exercise for my class (yes, look at me go, so studious already!), I couldn’t log in. It’s happened to a couple of people so far that I know of (both Australians… they must hate us… lol) and the advice given was just to wait and see. With classes starting up and what not… I don’t see this as an option. So I sent a handful of emails to all the people that I could think of, and today I am going to go and annoy the Admissions Office after class. That will be fun…

I am hoping that the KU administrative department improves its impression on me as the semester goes on…

And because you probably don’t care so much for the writing, here are some pictures from Københavns Universitet Amager (KUA), as I was leaving from my Danish speaking yesterday morning, with lovely blue skies.

emil holms kanal, with tietgen kollegium on the right.

emil holms kanal, view to the north.

tietgen kollegium.

on the way, and around, dr byen station.

And my fabulous Danish class will bid you farvel. :)

misselty.

danish class!

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some observations about copenhagen.

So I realise that it has been quite a while since I updated, particularly on what life has been like. I’m nearing the one month mark, so I thought I would write a little bit about what I’ve been up to, and a couple of things that I’ve noticed. It’s a pretty dry post in terms of pictures (there is one at the end, I promise!), but more will be coming soon for sure!!

After my first day I wrote up a couple of things that have been sitting in a document on my computer, and I’ve added some more now that I’ve been here a little longer.

  1. Bilka does not stock Skittles. I am not sure if this is a prevalent attitude in Denmark, or if Bilka just has something against Skittles. They have M&Ms aplenty, just not Skittles it seems. (And yes, of course, this is very important.) Good thing I brought one packet from home! I still haven’t found a place that has sold Skittles! :( Thanks to Mum and Dad who are bringing me some more. :)
  2. While Australian powerpoints consist of a little on/off switch that we flick to know whether the powerpoint is on/off, in Copenhagen (and I am assuming throughout the rest of Copenhagen), the switch that serves the same function takes up an entire panel on its own. At first, my inexperience thought that it was in fact a light switch…
  3. Danish pillows are square. While a little bit strange to me, used to my rectangular pillow, and with my rectangular pillow case, this has turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because all of their square pillows are quite soft. Crammed inside my pillow case, and problem solved. The smaller case has ‘densified’ the pillow, making it absolutely perfect.
  4. Something that is not so much an observation, but more a failure of my adjustment skills, is that, as you may be aware, cars on Danish roads drive on the opposite side of the road as to what we Australians are used to. For me and my lack of adaptability thus far, this is has led to a lot of anxiety when crossing the road, even when there are no cars present. The stress of remembering which way to turn my head before I step onto the road will no doubt be my eventual downfall… :P I’m still working on this one! Just today I looked the wrong (right?) way…
  5. I have mentioned this before, but I shall elaborate. The guidebooks made me quite aware how long days were in the summer. However, I was not prepared for the balmy conditions that greeted me. The sun at 5pm is like the sun at 1pm during an Australian summer, altogether quite a nice, yet confusing experience. While the heat is somewhat offset by the breezey-ness, there are no windows in my room and there is only a door that leads out on to the balcony, which we are not meant to leave open, without propping it open wth something. Contrast that with the warning not to put stuff on the balcony, and therein lies a problem. The weather has certainly become more interesting. The past week has been a bit cloudy and rainy. But it’s strange, because there are some moment of sunshine, like this afternoon, after a particularly cloudy and windy day, the sun came out to play for a little while.
  6. THERE ARE WHEELY BASKETS. I think this is genius. Shopping baskets are by no means the most comfortable of things to carry, particularly when it starts to get full. Also, you never usually carry more than one, right? But wheely baskets solve every problem. 1) You don’t ever have to really feel how heavy it is, except that it takes that little bit more effort to pull it along; 2) If you’re a ninja, you could ideally push/pull 2 baskets, giving you more space to load up your shopping. And sometimes you kind of need that!

As for living here, I’m getting quite settled. There are a lot of things that I had to do upon arrival.

  • Registration: Getting your CPR number is pretty much the first thing that you have to do. Everyone in Denmark has one, and a lot of services require you to produce your CPR number.
  • Bank account: I went with Danske Bank, and had to pay 300 kr. Other people have told me that it should be free and what not, but for me, I think it was better to get it done, so that I could get money transferred over. I’m still waiting on my PIN though for my MasterCard, and that is something that I shall be chasing up tomorrow…
  • Moving in: Sure, moving in seems quite simple, but the difficulty is trying to feel at home in a new place. I am going to be living here for almost 6 months, so I have to get a little bit comfortable. It’s strange trying to get used to putting things in the ‘right’ place, and trying to figure out where exactly that right place is. It’s difficult trying to work a washing machine and dryer different from your own, where everything seems to be in Danish. Feeding myself has definitely been an interesting one. A few days go by when I can’t be bothered to try to cook, and I just eat sandwiches. Then some days, I spend a while trying to make something, with the result being 10 minutes worth of eating. As a student, it’s hard to go to the shops and look at things and struggle to decide what is really essential, and what I can do without. What are the things that I can just… figure out another solution for, without having to buy things for it? Yesterday, I changed up the layout of my room, moving my bed and the small table around, because it was just not feeling right. And I have to say, I did a little bit of shopping today, but now I feel like everything is finally in order.
  • KU stuff: I have started Danish classes (more about that later) but we’ve also had our first taste of an orientation. On Monday 9th August we headed over to sit down at a huge Orientation Meeting, seeing (mostly) the entire exchange cohort for the first time all together. They gave us an introduction into all the things that we should be doing as exchange students, as well as an introduction to some of the activities and things that the university offered. While it was somewhat informative, it was information that we probably should have already known, and was readily available already on the international office website anyway. We were also given the chance to pick up our ID cards as well as the invite for the Matriculation Ceremony in September. Invite I got, but my ID card did not appear to be in the pile. When I headed to the Admissions Office today, I was told that it was still not ready. I am apparently waiting on an email to tell me to pick it up…

As I mentioned before, I have started Danish classes! It’s a three week intensive course, 9-12.30 everyday, but it’s been pretty good so far. Danish is definitely a difficult language to learn, both in terms of pronunciation and grammar. Luckily, we have a good teacher, Anna, and she’s pretty patient with our repeatedly horrendous pronunciation. Unfortunately, this does mean having to do homework, which is something that I should be getting onto right now! I’m enjoying it though, and even considering taking it on for the semester… although I can imagine that it could only get more difficult… It’s been a good chance to get to meet people though. My class has quite a number of Aussies, a lot of them from USyd, and pretty much everyone is in their final year, which makes me feel like rather a young’un. Also, a number of people from my class actually live at the same kollegiet as I do, at Signalhuset, so that’s kind of cool too. :)

Anyway, while I could launch into an essay about the composition of our class (in Danish too, if you’d like!), I really should get on to looking at infinitive and present tenses… >< Wish me luck!

københavns universitet, city campus, main hall at frue plads.

As the Danish say, hej hej!
Which actually means bye.
Even though hej means hello.
I did say it was difficult, didn’t I? :)

misselty.

twin edition.

In light of the news that Crown Princess Mary is expecting twins, it is only fitting that I update on my first visit to Amalienborg Palace, Tuesday 27th July. (Yes, I am finnicky with dates, and like to keep a record.)

But first, I headed back to Rosenborg Slot, since I hadn’t really wandered around the first time I went there because I got distracted by the changing of the guard.

rosenborg slot, with blue skies.

but then those skies turned to grey... and it started to rain...

walking through king's gardens, i spy a marionette theatre.

copenhagen has a lot of these pretty coloured houses.

frederik viii's palace (aka the future residence of the crown prince and princess) at amalienborg palace. andi also managed to catch the end of the changing of the guard on the other end. :)

(i think i'm getting better at these!) me and christian viii's palace, which now houses a museum, and with frederikskirke (frederiks church) (aka the marble church).

i love that the guard house things have little hearts carved on them.

frederikskirke. it's a bit weird to take pictures inside a church...

hello ceiling.

later, walking along strøget, i got ben & jerry's. :) phish food. yum. :)

and then 30kr. chinese takeaway.

I ended up going back to Amalienborg today, because I realised that the opening of the residence ends tomorrow. More about that later.

I also need to post my week in Munich and my day trips to Salzburg and Prague. :) But I am getting lazy. I think this is a good thing. It means that I am settling in to everyday life. :)

Church tomorrow, and I might check out Kulturhavn as well if I have the time (and if I can manage to find it!).
And then it’s language course on Monday!

misselty.

the number eleven bus.

the number eleven bus (from: maryvrobinson.blogspot)

So I was just discussing with Mum the potential options that I have in regards to my travel once I finish classes and exams at KU… whenever that is going to be…

Once she pointed out the seeming impossibility (lack of $$) and practical-ness (time, places that I want to go/don’t want to go to vs places the tour goes), we discussed the possibility of going by train/flying to the places that I want to go to and just leaving it at that.

Then she said something really funny:

Don’t forget, there’s always the number eleven bus!

I looked at her strangely, and received a “What?! You’ve never heard of that before?” in return.
Uh… no?

HAVE YOU HEARD OF THIS BEFORE?! It’s not just me, right?

Other updates…

  • Scholarship
    Say hello to (less than?) half of my funding to Russia. :)
  • Study tour to Russia
    I think I have kind of decided that, yes, I do want to go, and yes, I will probably have no money after that…
  • Accommodation
    I’ve been looking at the places available to stay for the first night that I get there… and it’s looking like I’ll be staying at one of the youth hostels there. So I think I’ll end up getting the YHA/ISIC card, not that I know what discounts I get on ISIC yet, because the site is ridiculous to navigate. T_T
  • Aforementioned travel
    Yeaaaah, I’m just going to think about this more once I finish exams… But I think I’ll just go to London, then train to Paris, then on to visit Beck in Lyon, with a side trip to Barcelona hopefully, depending on schedules and timing and Beck’s parents being there and… what not… Then I’ll head back to London…? Hopefully do Munich and Berlin before I start classes, and then at some point venture into Netherlands, Sweden and maybe even Norway…?! And I think that will be about it for my travel. I’ve decided that I won’t be going to Italy…
  • Pre-sem class
    I got the ‘official’ acceptance for this the other day…
  • Danish?!
    Yeah, lol, this is not going so well. I did borrow all the stuff, but one is veeeery difficult to learn on your own, because it goes in terms of grammar lessons, which I guess is good if you want to actually LEARN learn the language, but I kind of just want to have a basic understanding, so it’s kind of confusing me so far. Needless to say, this has kind of been shoved to the side while I cram for exams…

I think that’s about it actually…

misselty.

P.S. If you, like me, think my mum is weird, and you’ve never heard of the number eleven bus before, and you don’t get it from the picture, it just means walking…

P.P.S A Google search of “number eleven bus” informed me that the Number 11 bus is actually a good bus to catch in London to see some of the more famous sites. Fancy that.
(Note to self: this could prove to be useful in future. :) Although upon examination, Number 11 doesn’t seem to cover that much…?)

no regrets.

Dear Lindy

Unfortunately, there will not be a new beginner class in April. We only start new beginners in late January/early February and in August.

Cheers
Birthe

So, I think this means that there will be no Danish classes for Lindy. And I was really looking forward to them too! Oh well.

Next step is to go to the library then, and borrow the Teach Yourself Danish thing that I borrowed a while ago but never really looked at, beyond thinking how HARD Danish was going to be to learn…

I should have applied earlier, but too late now.

No regrets.

It’s something I’m going to try to remember throughout this entire experience.

Besides, I’ll be doing a three week intensive course before the actual semester at UoC starts. AND I’ve been told that it isn’t essential to learn Danish, since most people speak English anyway. I think, though, it’s just a part of becoming a little more immersed in the culture…

Anyway, instead of learning Danish, we shall look at some pretty pictures!

Østerbro (from: Classic Copenhagen)

misselty