I chose to live in a Residential Community for my housing option at DIS, and it has been one of the best parts of my experience here so far. Living in a Residential Community means that I live in apartment-style housing with other DIS students from schools in the U.S. There are residential communities in different locations around Copenhagen, and my building is located in in Copenhagen’s city center, a short walk from DIS.
Setups vary from building to building, but I am in a flat with 11 other students. We have 5 double and 2 single rooms, and we all share a kitchen, living room area, washer/dryer, and 3 bathrooms, which always gets interesting Sunday night when everyone wants to do laundry.
When we arrived, my flatmates and I immediately bonded over figuring out everything from how to use the microwave to where the best grocery stores are. Living with other DIS students is nice because we are all in the same boat in terms of being in a new place and going through orientation/classes here, which made adjusting to life in a foreign country feel a lot easier.
I’ve also loved getting to know people from different schools all over the United States that I never would have met otherwise. Being from a small, historically women’s college, this was a big part of why I wanted to study abroad and live here. Now I have lots of super cool friends at Tulane, Elon, Cornell, Middlebury, Duke and more.
Living here immediately gave me a built-in friend group–our flat has explored, gone out, and taken trips together since day one. We’ve travelled with each other, everywhere from Mons Klint to Malmo to Finland, where some of my flatmates are this weekend! It seems crazy to jet off internationally with people you haven’t even known for a month, but you get close fast. Nothing will bring you together like sharing a bathroom in a foreign country 🙂
Our flat regularly cooks together, and we’ve done several family dinners featuring chicken pesto pasta, tacos, and Pad Thai. Most nights, everyone makes their own food in our little kitchen, which gets pretty crowded, but we all end up hanging out and listening to music together while we cook. I love seeing (and tasting) what everyone makes, and it turns out that I live with some talented master chefs, which is definitely a perk.
We also do Bachelor in Paradise Night each week when the new episode comes out, gathering in the living room with popcorn and chocolate to watch together. Accessing Hulu here did require a VPN, but we had to do it to stay up to date on Bachelor Nation back at home.
We share household responsibilities like keeping the living room/kitchen area clean and unloading the dishwasher. A new person is on trash duty every week, and we usually take the ‘pant’, or recyclables that you can turn in at grocery stores in exchange for money/credit, to the nearby Netto together. Living with so many other people is sometimes challenging with our one dryer, but it’s also really fun. Some of my favorite times are when we put on music and all have cleaning parties together after a meal or a night out.
Living in a residential community is a great option if you’re looking to make close friends who share the DIS experience with you. Getting to know Danes and locals takes some extra effort, though, since all of us are American. Despite that, I am very happy with my housing and feel lucky to be in a great location with great people. I know that some of my favorite memories from this semester are going to be sitting around our table playing cards, cooking together, and Bachelor nights!