Monday, 29 July 2013

Departure: T-minus 20 days

So it’s finally done, my flights and temporary 2 week accommodation is booked. Officially less than 3 weeks to go. The confirmation emails pinged through and.. I panicked. I can’t lie, the realisation of just 3 weeks left in the UK is a sad one. Although I enjoy change and doing new things, I've enjoyed my home comforts since graduating and have so far had one of the best summers to date – family holidays, visits to London, going to Harry Potter World (UK) for my belated birthday present, seeing Mumford & Sons/Vampire Weekend/Ben Howard live, graduation day etc.

To sum up, it’s been a good one, especially since the UK managed to locate some sunshine this year. I've gained a slight tan and haven’t even left the country? Preposterous! However, I won’t view these last few days negatively. I think a slight panic is a good thing, as it makes me plan my time as efficiently as possible. I still have things to look forward to: another London trip, my mums birthday celebrations and a leaving party to organise.

So what’s next? When I finally pack away my life for the 900 mile move East in 20 days, I’ll be moving into a hostel for 2 weeks so I can attend an induction programme. ‘A hostel?’ I hear you question? A bit contradictory to my previous post, I realise. Do you remember me saying that the university had a reputation of being pretty terrible at handling accommodation? Well, they decided to hold the induction 2 weeks prior to term without allowing me early access to my room or providing/helping with other short term lodgings. So a hostel has been booked, the Generator Hostel in fact, sharing a 6 bedroom female dorm. It looks clean and modern so i'm looking forward to it (although the lack of a kitchen may mean a lack of food for a few days..). Being a hostel virgin, I’m pretty nervous, but also excited to meet some new people and the adventure ahead :) Until next time…

Byeee for now!
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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

New Camera: Canon EOS 100D

I had been planning to spend my birthday money on a decent quality camera but I couldn't make up my mind about what type of camera I wanted. Did I wan't another compact, a dslr or a bridge? 6 months after my birthday, I finally got round to doing some research and picking what I wanted.. and this is what I ended up with:

I chose a dslr over the others as I felt willing to invest a bit more money in a camera that will hopefully last many years and also my time in learning how to use this camera at least to amateur standard (hopefully better than that in future). So why the Canon 100D? I had been able to test a Canon before doing proper research and liked how it handled. However the real selling point was it's size. It is currently the smallest and lightest dslr on the market and although with my current lens it is still quite bulky, with a smaller lens it feels very similar to some of the larger compacts around.

I wanted to get my camera before my move, to help document the next era of my life with good quality photographs/videos. For now though, my pets have become my models as I learn and test out all the functions as displayed below.

My Ginger man, Ratchet

                            Hugo aka Huggy Bears

I love it.. its my new baby. So no excuse for good photo blogging.

Byeee for now!

Monday, 22 July 2013

I won’t be homeless in Copenhagen!

Since applying for my course, I had been rather anxious about my future living arrangements in another country. When applying for accommodation through the university’s department, I looked up other people’s recommendations on what type of housing to apply for and found worrying reviews on the service they provide. It appears they have a reputation for not being able to deliver halls of residence to a large proportion of students, particularly the international kind (aka me). Not that being in another type of accommodation would have been the end of the world, but from personal experience of first year of university life, I found it a great way to meet and mingle with lots of different students. However, worry faded a couple of weeks ago when shopping in London. An email pinged through on my phone alerting me that not only did I have some accommodation sorted but I had also managed to bag a room in halls of residents too!

My new global location according to Google Maps
A quick google search of what I had been provided, I found I am staying in Tåsingegade Kollegiet in the district of Østerbro. According to the university’s website, this accommodation houses 270 students with a mix of Danish and international, and is situated just 15 minutes north of the city centre. My search pulled up few images but from what I have found it looks nice, and I have my own bathroom and kitchenette.. a bit like having a mini apartment!

Photos from the university website
I never thought I actually would be homeless… but it’s nice to confirm living arrangements at least for my own peace of mind. I guess this has also made the move even more real. Although a move date is yet to be confirmed, I know that it is fast approaching and there is still plenty to organise. Typical me though, I’ve been putting it off.. definitely need to get myself in gear.

So if anyone else finds themselves in Tåsingegade Kollegiet from this September (though I highly doubt it).. come knock on room 215 and say hello! (or Hej!)

Byeee for now!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Why Copenhagen?

To start, an apology for the late arrival of my 2nd post. I started this blog the evening before my holiday and have only just returned. Blogs will be much more frequent in future!

I wanted to set the scene for the purpose behind my move. When I have been asked where I am studying for my master’s degree, people often appear taken aback when I respond ‘Denmark’. This is a completely understandable reaction, as this time last year someone had told me I would be moving abroad to continue further education I would have laughed at them. Finding myself at the end of my second year of my undergraduate, I was close to dropping out rather than thinking of a further 3 years of studying. This changed when I found myself in the careers centre at uni, being told that in order to get employed in my preferred job sector, I required more than just a bachelor’s degree. However even then, moving abroad still wasn’t on the horizon.

So why Copenhagen? The initial consideration was the cost. For anyone who isn’t British, UK undergraduate degrees are funded with help of government loans however this is not provided for postgraduate studying. When searching options at UK institutions, I was looking at forking out between £7,000 – £10,000 just for 1 year. A suggestion from my dad to look outside of the UK, I found my perfect course that would last 2 years and costing £0 for any European students. Although other costs would have to be factored in (accommodation, food, travel etc.) it seemed like a cheaper option.

 Secondly, Demark is a beautiful country. I was 12 when took my first visit to the country, on an exchange with my school. I spent 6 days with a lovely Danish family in a town north of Copenhagen. Although I was young, I had a great time and loved their culture. I was hoping to include some nostalgic photos from my trip but I have yet to locate them in the huge boxes of family photos in the loft (I promise to keep looking for them, mostly for the entertainment factor of 12 year old me). My most recent visit was back in March, when my dad and I spent 24 hours visiting Copenhagen for the open day. Below are some photos.


A bit breezy... (my face says it all)

Looking around one of the 3 University campuses

Dinner with dad, and his chilli crab

Views from the Copenhagen observatory

Although it was deathly cold (officially 0°C but with a wind chill of -6°C!!!), we had a very short but sweet visit. We tried to fit as much in as possible, attempting to capture a snapshot of the city for me. Some of it was a trip down memory lane, such as the Nyhavn canal and Tivoli Gardens, but it was mostly to get a feel of whether I could picture myself living there.. and I could! The city is so different to cities I have experienced in the UK, particularly the cycling culture. The astonishing thing was that Friday 5pm (typical rushhour time), the roads were awash with bikes rather than cars. It appears a clean place, quite peaceful for a capital city and most people seem to speak fantastic English – even the food menu for dinner has printed English translations.

For now, I am pleased with my choice. Although this could change in the future (touch wood it won’t), I’m excited to experience living in a different country – even with the unforeseen challenges I am bound to face while adjusting to life in a new county. I am also extremely grateful to my family who are supporting me through this experience and without them, I wouldn’t be able to do it.

In the last 2 weeks, a lot has happened involving my move so I have a lot of catch-up blogging to do since being away. I also have my graduation next week which I’m very excited about!

Byeee for now!