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7 ways living abroad in Copenhagen will change your life

Are you planning to move abroad to study and live in Copenhagen? Then be prepared to never be able to view certain things the same way. From must-see tourist attractions (like the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen Zoo, The National Gallery of Denmark, Tycho Brahe Planetarium, and more), to participating in the community life around the city, the Danish capital will no doubt leave you with a strong impact. Whether you come from China, the United States, Brasil, Canada, India, Russia, Japan or Australia, moving to the Scandenavian paradise will leave a stamp on your heart, which will change the way you think and live.
Written by Danielle Neubauer 

Here are the 7 ways living in Copenhagen will change your life: 

1. You’ll never want to drive a car again.

Biking has for years been a popular choice of transportation in Copenhagen, but also a lifestyle – some even call it a cult.

Whether you are a politician, a musician, a student, lawyer or a doctor, if you live in Copenhagen you will most likely be biking to work or school tomorrow morning regardless of the weather forecast. If you manage to adapt to the biking culture, you will surely find yourself immune to riding your bike in the cold snowy winters, warm summers and during the rainy days. 

While your friends back home take taxis on a night out (as to not ruin their hair, shoes, bags, makeup and clothes), don't be surprised if you find yourself riding your bike to a stylish cocktail party or a fancy dinner. You won't be the only one who dressed up either. Suits, ties, dresses and heals, can all be spotted on the biking lanes around the city.  


Being the world’s most Bike-Friendly city (after Amsterdam), the city finds innovative ways to provide VIP facilities to its bikers. Investments are constantly made to improve and build biking infrastructure (bridges, links across harbors, lanes and more). The city even shifts the way traffic lights work to allow a better bike flow.

This bike culture reveals the awareness that the Danish society has towards staying environmentally friendly and reducing global warming effects. Biking is also seen as a way to maintain fitness, without needing to hit the gym.

So if you want to live in Copenhagen, don’t expect to avoid a guilt trip when returning home and driving your car.    

2. The way you view your role in the community will never be the same.

Among the many travel advises for traveling in Copenhagen (sightseeing, tourist attractions, visiting museums), nothing can compare to taking part in some of the city's vibrant communities. For many foreigners, this is one of the most unique aspects of the city. 

These community centers include: public kitchens - where people gather in the evenings to cook food together, garden communities - where people grow and nourish plants, art centers - to get creative, and more. You will also start to notice the community activities taking place in the city, like people setting up art installations or decorating the streets.

Some of Copenhagen’s inhabitants even live in one of these communities (in designated apartments and even in boats on the river).

Don't be surprised if you start waking up in the mornings and asking yourself: "what can I do for the community and the world today?". 

3. Freedom will get a whole new meaning.

If you've visited Christiania, you might start to question the way governments in the world work today. After turning its abandoned military base into a massive social experiment, Freetown Christiana became one of the biggest hippie commune in the world. 

The population of Christiana is not constraint to social, judicial and governmental norms that have been implemented for years in societies around the world. Instead, Christiania was created as somewhat of a utopia, focused on mindfulness, individualism, and basically complete anarchy, freedom and some would also say, chaos.

A big sign at the entrance of the town informs the visitors that they are leaving the European Union, and entering an autonomous neighborhood, with its own flag, currency and laws. Art, museums, beautiful cafes and interesting people can be found on every corner of the streets. 

4. Free medical health insurance seems obvious.

In many countries health insurance is not cheap. As international student, it's even more expensive. The initial purchase of the insurance costs a lot of money and additional payments may also be necessary if you actually use the medical services.  

In Denmark things are very different. As an international student, getting health insurance before arriving is unnecessary. When you get your student visa, you also get a little card with your doctor’s information and phone number. In case you get sick or need to see a doctor, all you need to do is call and schedule a doctor’s appointment. There is no need to pay ahead of time or when you see your doctor.

5. Renting out a board game in the library instead of a book will seem totally normal to you
Libraries in Copenhagen, such as the KΓΈbenhavns Biblioteker, Royal Library, Black Diamond Library and more, are designed to store books and be a place to study in, but also to be a socializing and a meeting center. 

These beautiful public libraries are free and allow the visitors to borrow more than just books. Among the many stored items in their archives, are DVDs, computer games, board games, music, newspapers of different publications and more.

The libraries in Copenhagen are a place to get together to socialize and connect with people.

6. You'll have no shame 

In Copenhagen, there's a phenomenon called "dumpster diving", which is the anti-capitalist alternative to grocery shopping. This is a way to shop for free and save money, but also to salvage mass production of eatable goods which would normally be thrown to the trash because of a small harmless error during the manufacturing process. 

Although this is not a socially acceptable norm in many countries, in Copenhagen, it's done in an organized form and therefore involves no shame at all. The opposite is true. Society sees a core value in staying environmentally friendly and preserving unnecessary waste. 

Designated bins are scattered around the city where huge manufacturers and brands put their packed products (only if they are in good conditions of course). When a big company decides to put their products in a bin, people can get notified on different Facebook groups. 

7. You’ll never want to live anywhere else.

According to this year’s World Happiness Report, by the Earth Institute of Columbia University, Denmark is starring at the top number one spot, right before Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia.

In this Scandinavian paradise, people expressed their feelings of freedom and were shown to have high life expectancy rates, living on average till the age of 80.   

So if you plan on living in Copenhagen, be prepared for things to never be the same again. 

Are you interested in studying in Copenhagen? 

With more than 598 programs and 1288 courses taught in English, it's no wonder that Denmark made its capital an attractive destination to international students among other top study destinations in Europe. Universities in Copenhagen include: the University of Copenhagen (UCPH), the Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Technical University of Denmark (DTU),  IT University of Copenhagen (ITU), Roskilde University (RU), Aalborg University (AAU), Aarhus University (AU) and more. 

For more information about studying in Copenhagen, don't wait till it's too late. 
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  1. I love public transport in this city, no need to spent hours in traffic like in other places

    1. Yes, Copenhagen has an amazing transportation system. Other countries should definitely learn from them.

  2. Copenhagen is the place to be!