Sunday, January 30, 2011

Denmark's getting COOLER

...and I ain't talkin' about the temperature! It's about 0 degrees on average here, but there's no wind chill that brings it down to -30. I even wore my Cons yesterday when I went downtown!

(For those readers who are over 35, when I say Cons, I mean I wore my Converse sneakers instead of boots...wait, maybe I'm over 35. Do people say sneakers anymore?)


SO! Here I am again, and I'm delighted to tell you that I've had a GREAT 3 months so far in this country.

...Ok. But actually, I've only been in Denmark for one week. WHAT???

It's true. A mere SEVEN days ago, I stepped foot on Danish soil for the first time. And it's actually been thee longest week of my life.

I journeyed from Toronto to Copenhagen, I ran around Aarhus with my Dad looking for a phone, a bus pass, and a CPR number, I made 2 trips to Ikea, I slept over at Emily's, I called the internet guy 823 times, I grocery shopped, I decorating my room, I toured downtown, I went to a dinner party with other international students, I made a trip to my school, I got lost countless times on the bus, I made another trip downtown, AND THE LIST DEFINITELY GOES ON!!!

I've moved across the ocean, adjusted to a different time zone, and have been introduced to a different culture all in a matter of days! WOAH NOW.

But let us back up, if we will, as I finally have some picture documentation of my whirlwind of a week! First stop, my house.

Fig. 1: A great, big, happy and pleasant welcome to my house :D Hahaha.
This picture shows one of the entrances to the big complex I live in. It's called "Skjholhoj Kollegiet" (pronounced Skyol-hoy Collegiate) and it's public housing for about 1,000 students who go to school all over Aarhus.

Fig. 2: The path to my you get that prison vibe? It was RATHER intimidating last Sunday!

Fig. 3: My front foor! Building 15.

Fig. 4: The common room. I only have about 7 housemates, (all from Denmark, with the exception of one guy from Turkey), but Skjolhoj is really popular with exchange students. So when they leave to go home, they apparently leave things behind. There are a lot of lamps, plants and even a TV that are sitting unclaimed on the main floor!

Fig. 5: You're back is now to the common room, and you're looking into the kitchen. The stairs lead to about 5 more rooms on the top floor.

Fig. 6: The view from upstairs, looking down at the common space.

Fig. 7: The kitchen.
I share a mini fridge, but I do have my own cupboard space. A lot of the other international students from my program who live here in Skjholhoj live in the buildings with 2 rooms and a small shared kitchen with no oven! Therefore, THIS is gonna be the place for nacho nights. WOO!

Fig. 8: The view from the kitchen, looking into the common space.

Fig. 9: The steps to the front door. (The kitchen is just to the left.)

Fig. 10: Just to the right of the stairs to the front door. This hallway leads to my room.

Fig. 11 : My chamber, right when you walk in my door!
After a VERY negative first impression, I've spruced up this little nook and am now happy to call it my own :) I even have my very own balcony out that door behind my plant! When I got here, that plant and that random flower-explosion-thing on my bedside table were scattered in disarray in the common area, probably from past exchange students who left them behind. So naturally, I decided to give them a new home.
CLAUDIA! As an interior design student, how do you rank this space?? I was going for "blue zen." Hm. Yes.

Fig. 12: :)

So that's more or less my digs! It's only been a week, but I am definitely adjusting to my new home already. There's something about having a space of your own that makes any foreign place comforting!

But wait! There's more. A 20-minute bus ride on Bus 15 will take you from Skjolhoj Kollegiet to DOWNTOWN:

Kiesha, from California, Katie from Missouri, Marieke from Belgium and Kristin from Slovakia!

And Kimberly Ivany. From Canada. Pretty amazing, EH?

Week 2 starts does school. It's funny, I haven't even really THOUGHT about the school part of this experience yet. I know I came here to in fact STUDY abroad, but I'm just realizing now that it's back to the academic grind. I've been out of school since December 3rd - HAHA - so maybe it IS about time I get back to it, like my Canadian buddies, starting with these 2 articles on Danish government and education systems...

...but first, I shall vaccuum. The crackers I was eating while writing this post have somehow settled as crumbly tidbits all over my floor. Pssh. How dare they?

Farvel så længe!

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