Abroad: First impressions of Odense

It’s been already two weeks since I arrived in lovely Odense and started my next adventure abroad. On August 27, my parents took me to the airport in Vienna. Once I made it to Copenhagen, I continued my journey by train to my final destination: Odense. There, Annemarie picked me up at the train station and we went to her place, where we hung out in her backyard. In the evening, Stine then picked me up to go to her apartment as I was staying with her in the meantime. Later, we headed to the city center to meet Annemarie again and had drinks to celebrate my first evening in Odense.

Over the following days, I discovered the city center, browsed through some interior shops, and checked out cool places to eat out before the introduction days at the university started. There, I met many new people and future study buddies and got to know more about the university and student life in Odense. On Wednesday and Thursday, Stine introduced me to Danish nightlife, while on Saturday, I finally picked up my new bike. In the evening, I went to the Warehouse Festival with some girls I met at the university and spent Sunday evening with Stine and her parents, who invited us for dinner at their place. So my first week in Odense was already filled with many new impressions, people, and experiences.

However, after a week, I was still looking for an apartment. Thus, Monday afternoon, I met Nanna, who was looking for a roommate. And since we got along very well, the same day in the evening, she even told me I could move in mid-September. So, I could finally tick the apartment hunt off my to-do list.

On September 5, I had my first classes at university and had a fun experience during my last one for this week when it turned out I was the only student in this course. Friday evening, I started the weekend by going out again and joining the street party of the Karrusel Festival in the city center of Odense with some other students from my program. And while I still have no plans for the upcoming week, I’m sure I won’t get bored because there is always something going on in Odense.

As you now know more about my first two weeks in Odense, here are some things I’ve already recognized during my time here.

  • Bikes everywhere: Public transport here in Odense is expensive and takes longer than biking. So it’s best to get around by bike. It’s not only cheaper but also typical for Denmark. 
  • There’s no bad weather but only bad clothing: It rains a lot in Denmark. So be prepared for rain showers and bring the right clothes not to get soaked while biking.
  • University life: At university, you’re not only a number. There might even be a chance your teachers will remember your name. No matter if the staff or other students, everyone at the university is helpful and friendly. And that makes attending (even early morning) classes much more bearable.
  • Foreign currency: When you’ve always been used to paying in Euros, you might struggle to pay in a foreign currency. You’ll find yourself always converting prices to Euros to know how much something costs. But when paying or withdrawing money in a foreign currency, you pay exchange fees. So, I recommend getting a Danish bank account or one that doesn’t charge you any fees for foreign currency withdrawals.
  • Student discounts: As Odense is a student city, many shops and cafés offer student discounts. Just ask at the checkout before you pay, and don’t forget to show your student ID.
  • Going out: Danes like partying, but as alcohol is expensive in Denmark, the cheapest drink you might get at a bar is a glass of beer. 

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