Abroad: First impressions of Odense

Exactly two weeks ago I arrived in lovely Odense. I really fell in love with this city and am still overwhelmed by everything that’s going on here. Back back to the day, I left Austria. On August 27, my parents took me to the airport in Vienna, where I was even able to hang out at the airport lounge since I was traveling business class. Thus, before getting on the plane to Copenhagen, I first had breakfast at the lounge.

After arriving at Copenhagen Airport, I still had to wait for half an hour before getting on the train towards Odense. When I finally made it to Odense, Annemarie picked me up at the train station and took me to her place, where I dropped off my luggage in the meantime and then had Gin & Tonics in her backyard. In the evening, Stine picked me up there to go to her apartment as I was staying with Stine for now until I found my own place to stay. Later, we headed to the city center to meet Annemarie again at a restaurant 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 university started. There, I got to meet already many new people and future study buddies. But they also provided us with useful information about the university and the student life in Odense. On Wednesday and Thursday, Stine then took me out to get to know the Danish nightlife and celebrate the start of the semester. The next day, I decided to stay in and watch Netflix, while on Saturday, I was finally able to pick up my new bike. In the evening, I went to the Warehouse Festival with some girls I met at the university. Sunday evening, Stine’s parents invited us over for dinner at their place, where I probably had the best salmon ever. So my first week in Odense was already filled with many new impressions, new people, and new experiences. And that has strengthened my decision to do my Master’s studies here even more. However, after a week, I was still looking for an apartment. So, on Monday afternoon, I met up with Nanna, who looked for a roommate. We got along very well, and the same day in the evening, she even told me I could move in mid-September.

On September 5, I then had my first lecture at university but already had two days off again afterward. And my last lecture for this week on Friday was a funny one as it turned out that I am the only student in this course. So it felt a bit like private teaching. Friday evening, I went to the street party of the Karrusel Festival in the city center of Odense together with some other students from my program. I still have no plans for the upcoming week. But as there is always something going on in Odense, I will not get bored.

My experiences and impressions so far

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 (24 kr ~ 3,20 € per single ticket) and often even takes longer than going by bike. 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 while biking and make sure to bring the right clothes not to get totally wet.
  • University life: At university, you’re not only a number, but there might even be a chance your teachers will also remember your name. No matter if staff or other students, everyone at the university is helpful and friendly. And that makes attending (even early morning) classes a lot 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 also always need to pay exchange fees. So make sure to get a Danish bank account or an account, where you don’t pay any exchange fees.
  • Student discounts: As Odense is a student city, there are a lot of shops and cafés offering student discounts. Just ask at the checkout before you pay, and don’t forget to show your student ID.
  • Going out: As I’ve already noticed during skiing holidays in Saalbach, Danes like partying. And as alcohol is expensive here in Denmark, the cheapest drink you might get at a bar is beer. 

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