Expenses In Denmark

Hello Everyone,

Today I want to tell you about the general expenses I’ve come across in Denmark.

*Disclaimer: Please know that your expenses may differ depending on where you are in Denmark and when you visit ie. prices of living space may go up in the future.

Okay so here is the breakdown. For comparisons reasons, I will be using the exchange rate of 5 DKK to $1 CAD

Rent(all-inclusive): ~2250 DKK = $450, this is my room in a 4 room apartment, shared with 3 other students…The Danes don’t have school residences but instead have apartments off-campus where many students live. The school still has an accommodations office that advocates and finds these apartments for you and gives you the keys.

*They also provided free linens and kitchen boxes for me which set me up with dishes, cookware, towels, blanket, pillow and bed lining so I didn’t have to worry about it when I arrived. This may not be the same for your situation. 

Monthly Bus Pass: 300 DKK = $60, Single Ride 22 DKK = $4.40. You may be eligible for a reduced student rate which will bring the monthly cost down to 250 DKK = $50, single ride 10 DKK = $2 but it requires a 185 DKK  = $37 sign up fee which is then valid for one year. The prices are for the FYN bus company, which operates in and around Odense, Denmark.

Bike-cycle: A pre-owned one will cost you 300~500 DKK and a new one starts at 1000 DKK, Denmark is one of the most bike-friendly countries in Europe and a bike-cycle is a preferred method of transportation for many Danes. Cycling is taken very seriously over here, riders are privileged by having their own lanes and intersection signals but they are many rules over here and like I have said previously bikes are like cars, you cannot be intoxicated, you cannot be on your mobile device, you must have a blinking front and backlights, you have to signal lane and direction changes and if your slower keep to the right, the left lane is only for passing.

Food: 800 DKK =  $160 for me, this totally depends on how and what you eat. I’ve heard the cities that neighbour Germany usually drives down to pick up bi-weekly groceries.

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So this is actually my flatmate’s bill as I forgot to ask for mine but I’ll note down the few essentials.

  • 15 Large Eggs for 23 DKK = $4.60
  • 1 Litre Milk 6 DKK = $1.20
  • A loaf of bread 9 DKK = $1.80
  • A beer at a pub goes from 15~30 DKK = $3 ~ 6, bartenders usually don’t get tipped here. I don’t drink alcohol so I pay 25DKK($5) for juice and 20DKK($4) for Coke(500mL)
  • Ice burg lettuce 11 DKK = $2.20
  • 1 kg beef ~ 2.2 lbs 100 DKK = $20, this is a for raw steaks. Fancy sausages can got for more but I don’t eat much meat.

These prices are okay for Canadians for the most part, I’ve noticed a lot of Asian and other European students complain about the prices as these prices are double what they pay.

Going out to eat here to socialize with friends is for the most part non-existent like I’ve posted before students here usually host Potlucks and in apartment activities which I find is a refreshing change to the North American culture of eating out every weekend(The food is of better quality).

If you do want to go out and eat for a special occasion then there are a variety of price ranges and restaurants you can go to.

  • A slice of Pizza will be 20 DKK = $4, add a drink(350mL) for 10 DKK($2)
  • A 7/11(yes, they have those here) pastry will go for 20 DKK = $4, add a coffee for 15 DKK ($3)
  • A Shawarma(chicken) goes for 50 DKK($10) with a drink included
  • A nice meal at the restaurant will go for 200 DKK = $40, which isn’t too bad for us but again usually more than what other students are used to paying.

What you have to know is the minimum wage here is 110 DKK = $22 per hour, the costs are proportional to the living expenses here…actually it might even be considered as *cheap* but the personal income rate ~45% so it’s a little more then what we pay but I think it works out here. At least as far I can see.

Thank you for reading!

I’ll keep the updates coming just as long as something interesting comes up.

Take Care,

Written by: Hamza N

Why would someone participate in a exchange program

Hello,

For the people that are reading this and are wondering why someone would actually participate in a exchange program better yet a global exchange program when they could have successfully completed their studies at their home institution, to them I would like explain why I did it.

Firstly, it was the challenge

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” 
― Winston Churchill

I have never been away from my family, not for a long period of time and not a long distance away. Culturally I am very family oriented, we act as a single entity that appreciate each other for everything and I believe it was hard for both me and my family to do this exchange but this will give me a chance to learn to be independent in case I need to do this in the future for professional or other reasons. I believe my family will cope with it as well.

I will also have to adjust to place I am in (Odense, Denmark), the social customs and school will be different and since I have never been to Europe before this will surely be a new experience but being in Toronto for most of life will help because I have adapted myself to multiple cultures and it probably isn’t going to be too different here.

This experience will help me

“The only source of knowledge is experience” – Albert Einstein

I am sure this experience will help me in many ways, I first saw the Global Experience Office flyer the first day of the Winter 2012 semester and completely ignored it until a week passed and I had nothing better to do then to read it. After I found out what it was for and where I could get more information I searched the college to find Global Experience Office. Why you ask? Well that summer one of my best friends just came back from a exchange trip to Singapore and I could tell he was different. He saw and experienced things he just would not in Canada, it changed his prospective on a lot of things and I wanted just the same.

Our world is very globalized, we can constantly access information for all over the world and it is a necessity to be able to communicate with others from different continents. This experience will not only help me u

nderstand how to do that but also master it which will not only in my profession as a engineer but also in social situations.
Thank you for reading this, hopefully this will answer some of your questions on the opinions I expressed as I am sure there are many other wonderful reasons to participate in a program like this.I will meet people and see places that I may have never done if it wasn’t for the push of this exchange. Sure I could have traveled but how many times do you really get to experience living in a country you may not permanently reside in? And in my program you usually do not get this opportunity often so I took it while I could and I don’t regret it.

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Written by: Hamza N.

First few days in Denmark

Hej,

Well, I’ve been in Denmark for two days now so I thought I would share a little about my first impressions in this country. So I arrived in Copenhagen on Friday around 3 am (Toronto time) and I took a 1.5-hour train ride from there to Odense, the train had large windows which would have allowed me to see much of the country but sadly due to having an overnight flight and not sleeping a wink I had to make up for it on the train.

As soon as I arrived I was met by a buddy’s team member, my buddy is assigned from the university to show me around the city and the university but she is currently away on business so her team member met me, gave me the keys for my apartment and showed me how to get there.

At my apartment, I greeted by my flatmate who helped me take in my luggage and poured hot tea and homemade bread. I believe him to be the nicest guy ever, not only did he do the above when I was finished catching up with my sleep which wasn’t until the morning of the next day he made omelette, later his wife who is also a student at the university made lunch and dinner.

Until today I was cooped up in the comfort of my room because I didn’t have a bike, a bike in Denmark is a Car in Canada. You can’t go anywhere without one, well you can but not far and not within a reasonable time. I found a second-hand bike I wanted to buy and my awesome flatmate took me to the city center where I was to meet the seller.

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My “new to me” bike, only 7 previous owners. I shall call her “Little Pippa”

ImageI’ve heard the Danish queen resides here during one of the months in SummerImageLittle street, I love the architecture here, you can have a 200~300-year-old building attached to the brand spanking new one. The contrast is amazing this is a little danish bakery I found at the city center

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My awesome flatmate

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I also made some friends at a social gathering the other night and one of them hosted an international dinner part in his apartment. We had foods from all over the Europe, Danish, Italian, Greek, German, Romanian and even Libya…being Canadian I didn’t know what dish was uniquely Canadian so I brought a Tuna Salad, to those of you that are saying that I should have brought Poutine, I didn’t want to embarrass our fair nation by showing our fatty food off, I’ll remember to order Maple Syrup next time my mom asks me if I want anything.

Written by: Hamza N.

Open a TD Select Service account before you leave!

Quick Message to all my fellow outbound exchange students, before you leave (the ones that haven’t yet) open a TD Select Service account, one of the key features in this account is that has unlimited worldwide ATM withdrawals, I’m am unsure if others banks offer this but ask.

The catch is that you have to have a minimum balance of $5000, otherwise you will be penalized $20 a month, even if you pay the $20/month you will save as most banks charge $5 for an international ATM withdrawal and sometimes you need cash instead of using a credit card.

For me Danish Law says I cannot withdraw from my Danish Bank account until 8 weeks after I open it, I am however allowed to deposit money in there.

Written by: Hamza N.

Introduction: Hamza N.

Hello everyone!

My name is Hamza N. and I will be travelling to Odense, Denmark to attend the University of Southern Denmark(www.sdu.dk/en), to finish up my Mechanical Engineering Technologist Diploma. I leave in the last week of January and should be back by the first week of July.

I’ve already made contact with a number of people in Odense, especially my roommate (Timur S.) and my buddy from the international office (basically someone who helps me settle in and answers questions that I may have) both of them seem very nice and helpful.

My interests include anything to do about cars and watching a good science fiction movie or TV show. I could talk about, read about and write about cars all day, everyday for the rest of my life but I’ll spare you guys the pain, going to Europe I should see vehicles I wouldn’t normally in North America. For a year now, I’ve owned and operated my own part time detailing business specializing in the technical side of detailing (Paint Correction and Paint Coatings <- It’s a niche thing) but what the really means is sometimes I get to drive and work on cars like this.

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From what I’ve been reading I’ve learned most Danish and International students in Denmark do work during the school year, I’ve been in contact with a potential employer who owns a detailing studio in Odense and is looking for some help (I have a type D student permit which permits me work up to 15 hours per week)

So I guess I should start packing, I just want to thank everyone who made this happen Pearl, Yana and Everyone from GEO office.

Adios,

Written by: Hamza N.