Introduction Week

This week was the Introduction Week! The DTU people had divided us into “buddy groups” beforehand, and on Monday morning we met each other at 8:30 in the DTU main building. I was late, surprise surprise, because I severely underestimated how much the traffic would affect the drive, which I had on Sunday checked to be about 20 minutes. I think it was closer to 35.  Of course, knowing this didn’t stop me from being late also on Tuesday… And again on Wednesday. And on Friday. Oops.

The parking lot of building 101 on Lyngby Campus.

There are a couple of things about the Danish traffic and driving that are different to ours.

  1. The bigger roads seem to always have 3 lanes. On Saturday, when we got here, I kept driving on the middle lane even though I was going pretty slow, because to me driving on the rightmost lane keeps feeling like I am going to turn away from the road at the next exit, even though the lane continues.
  2. The speed limits are higher – on roads that in Finland the limit would be about 70 km/h (think Kehä I in Espoo) it can easily be 90 km/h, and on any bigger road it’s 110 km/h.
  3. Bike lanes! You have to be very aware of bikers, especially when turning right. The first right turn that I took on Saturday (with the backseat full of our stuff and my vision blocked) I almost hit a biker. Luckily I didn’t, and since then I have made a rule to always stop and double-check that there’s no-one sneaking up on me.

The people on DTU have been super nice! My buddy group is great, we have people from France, China, Germany, USA, Sweden and Norway in our group. On Monday we mostly played games that involved getting to know each other. They felt a bit silly at first, but were maybe necessary in breaking the ice.

Tuesday was a workshop day, where we picked 4 workshops according to our interests. My picks were;

  1. a lecture about the Danish courses that you can take on DTU,
  2. an ESN lecture about the Danish culture,
  3. a lecture about travelling in Europe when you’re on a budget
  4. a biking workshop, where we were taught the different hand gestures to use in traffic, and some other rules that you have to know when biking in Copenhagen.
My lunch from Tuesday – in DTU you pay for your meal by weight.

On the afternoon we had a “Cake Run”, where we competed against other groups and tried to assemble ingredients for a cake. Apparently this was the first time that a Cake Run has been tried, and there were maybe some issues. But we did manage to build a cake!

Our cake.

On Wednesday we had an Inspiration Day, where we were given lectures about the topics that we will be studying in DTU. I picked a lecture about indoor acoustics, from the Department of Digital Media Engineering, as the computer science one was a bit too deep into data for my liking. The lecture was interesting, and afterwards we did a “pilot project” with those groups. The topic of the project was to build a system that could measure 1 minute as accurately as possible, from things like plastic cups, balloons and straws. The system that we (and most of the other groups) built dropped water from one cup to another. The minute line was marked on the lower cup with an elastic band. We didn’t win the accuracy competition (our system took 1min 5secs), but we did have fun building the thing. 😀

Thursday was my favourite day of the week. We took part on a “DTU-Mazing Race” around Copenhagen. It was a lot of fun, and a great way to get to know the city.

Nørreport station. This seems to be the best station for me when going between the city center and Albertslund.

The Botanical Garden of Copenhagen.

We were just in time to see the changing of the guard at the Amalienborg Palace.

Nyhavn. We found the place with the colourful houses!
Our DTU-Mazing group!

 

This is where we ate our lunch on Thursday.
From inside Vor Frue Kirke.

Christiansborg Palace.
The view from Christiansborg tower.
FarFar’s bar, where the race ended.

On Friday there was a Gala dinner, and after that an award show where winners of the different competitions during the Introduction Week were rewarded. We were not expecting to win anything, but ended up being announced the winners of the DTU-Mazing Race! As a reward, we got stuffed “animals” (they were different kinds of microbes). I’m using mine as a neck pillow right now. 😀

Meet Bookworm!

On Saturday I went to pick up my car from Lyngby, and made a quick trip to IKEA. Then I tagged along with Minna and her buddy group for a dinner and some drinks. 🙂 On Sunday we met with our buddy group and went to see the free town of Christiania. I took my camera with me, but apparently you can’t take pictures there. Here are a few from the gates:

All in all the week was awesome, and I hope that the actual start of studies tomorrow goes as well as this week has. I’m now feeling a bit ill and feverish, but hopefully that will pass with a good night’s sleep.

Until next week!

Week(end) 1

We are here!

The journey to Denmark started quite precisely at 17:00 on Friday. We packed our things to my small but spacious car, and got on the road towards Turku. In Turku we got into M/S Gabriella, after first waiting for about an hour in the line to the ship because we got there early. Oops.

 

The car ticket thingy, which we first didn’t know was supposed to hang there..

 

When the ship finally started towards Stockholm, we decided to go and get glasses of white wine to ease our nerves, which were at this point all over the place.  Unfortunately that one-glass-of-Riesling moment was all the partying that we did on our small cruise to Sweden. When we went to sleep (early!)  I found out that Irina would have been playing in the ship’s bar. Oh well.

On Saturday our alarms were set to 5:30. This was, surprisingly, not that much of a bummer, because the excitement was pretty effective at getting us moving. The journey through Sweden started in the dark, and we decided that we would drive a little way out of Stockholm before stopping for breakfast and, most importantly, coffee.

 

 

After our breakfast the sun woke up as well, and we got to witness the winter wonderland that the roadsides had turned into. At times the road was a bit scary to drive on, because of the snow and the ice, but those bits thankfully didn’t last that long. It was also interesting to see that the weather conditions changed quite a lot throughout our drive. The snowy bits were usually followed by foggy bits, which I guess makes sense. There was one maybe 20-minute stretch where the fog got so intense that I couldn’t see more than a few meters in front of us.

 

We stopped to get petrol from this moose-themed (?) gas station.
This was a cute road that we followed when we tried to find a lunch place. We didn’t find anything there.
The bridge to Denmark!

 

All in all the drive was surprisingly easy and over before it got too tedious. There weren’t a lot of cars on the road anywhere, even as it got later in the day, so I got to drive at my own pace most of the way. What made the drive extra fun was the playlist that we had compiled the previous night – the car ride was basically a 7-hour karaoke trip…

We arrived at the Lyngby Campus to pick up my keys around 15:30, which was pretty early to our estimates. From there we went to Nørrebro to Minna’s new place, where I left her with her new roommate. In the evening we went to Ikea to get some necessary things. I might have gotten a bit carried away with the whole “hygge” thing… But the rent of my temporary home is cheap and it shows, so I can compensate with cosy pillows and blankets, right?

 

The hygge corner.

 

Right now it’s Sunday evening, and getting kind of late, and I would like to sleep well before tomorrow’s first orientation day. Here are some pictures that I took today as we walked around the central Copenhagen (at least what we think is central Copenhagen? We have no idea at this point…):

 



  

 
   

Week 0

Hello blog.

There are 3 nights left before I leave for DTU. I have started packing, as well as looking through things that I need to do before leaving Finland. One thing that I had forgotten to do was to send my DTU acceptance letter to Aalto University, which they needed for me to be allowed a study abroad grant. Luckily I can still get the grant, but it will be paid in February.

Otherwise it’s starting to look like I’m good to go. I left a travel notice to matkustusilmoitus.fi, applied for financial aid for studying abroad from Kela, and changed my address to WebOodi. Ronja has been helping me, as you can see in the picture. She’s a great assistant. I will miss her so much.

Anyway, nothing left to do now but to see friends this week and to pack my things for Friday. We are driving first to Turku, and then taking M/S Gabriella to Stockholm. On Saturday, we will be driving through Sweden, and will hopefully arrive to Copenhagen before 5pm to collect the key to my room.