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Dorms Disclosed: Egmont

Getting into the huge brick building in inner Østerbro is not easy, but once you are in, Egmont Kollegiet provides an identity today and a packed calendar forever. It's a lifetime deal.

Egmont Kollegiet sits sandwiched between Vibenshus Runddel and Universitetsparken, opposite the May Day haunt of Fælledparken and attached to Q8, the 24 hour petrol station, that services your 4am munchies and tobacco emergencies. The dormitory is down the road from Nørrebro’s trendy cafes and hipster covered bridges, and 10 minutes by bus or 15 by cycle from the hustle and bustle of Nørreport. Its convenient location is by far one of its strong points.

With 469 student rooms and a mix of single and couple en-suites, the exact population of this concrete village is hard to establish. Single rooms are about 11 square meters with joint bathroom and toilet facilities with one other person, couples have the option of a couple’s room, which is basically an en-suite at 26 square meters. A leftover from when Egmont was once a hotel.

Chocolate milk structure

An average corridor will house about 20-24 students (there are 22 corridors spread across 3 buildings) with one shared kitchen per corridor, though you’d never guess it.

Every kitchen has their own cleaning rota and standards, in ours, the Artiz man or woman for the day clears the place up at night, making sure it’s in a relatively hygienic state for the next morning. Every kitchen is decked out with a communal fridge loaded with beers, cokes, and chocolate milk that is replenished on a Thursday in the basement, when the empty bottles are returned for recycling.

To purchase a drink in our corridor you simply scan the barcode of your drink and your personal bedroom barcode, though every kitchen has their own method of doing this. Your drinks are added to your bedroom tab, and the corridor accountant sends you your bill over the next few months, together with all the other contributions, such as the Food Club. The drinks fridge somehow works, there’s a huge element of trust here in Egmont, which is pretty much absent in many British universities.

A compact village

There is a ‘madklub’, directly translated to ‘food club’, every night where someone cooks for everyone who signs up on the corridor website. Normally about 12-14 people will join. It is very rare that the entire corridor expect to be fed unless it’s a special Easter or Christmas dinner.

Egmont is your mother, and pretty much takes care of the small as well as the big, from toilet paper and light bulbs to new dish cloths on a Tuesday to renting out furniture if necessary. It comes with so many comfortable perks, leaving you to never think about the mundane.

The Kollegium often resembles a compact village, the basement snakes round with all sorts of amenities like a bike workshop, a sauna, a gym, both a laundry room and drying room, study rooms, printers and photocopiers, chill out lounges equipped with projectors and pool tables, and music rooms. There’s a clothes bin where discarded clothes are left, if you get there early they are yours to take, if you don’t they’re cleaned and put on sale in the Egmont thrift shop. Outside there’s a bike shed, and BBQ patios as well as communal garden space where Egmonters sunbathe in Copenhagen’s 10 degrees.

You will need a calendar

Sports facilities can be found with the Basketball court, table tennis, foosball, petanque area and of course with Fælledparken opposite. There are two football teams, male and female, appropriately named the ‘Breezers’ and ‘the Hangovers’.

For those less sports-inclined there’s a creativity room for arts and crafts, a beer brewing association, a newspaper and a newsletter and the odd capoiera to participate in. Egmont even has its own annual 3 day festival, which takes place in August.

Aside from this, the Egmont calendar is dotted with traditions and unique gatherings, such as the ‘vennerfest’ (party for outside friends), Giraffe party, the gala party, the tour-de-chambre…the list goes on. Most events go along the lines of a designated theme, drinking activities, and opportunities for your friends to meet your friend’s friends and mingle.

Your average Thursday night, sees the cafe open up, a loaded bar that dish out Irish coffees at DKK 5 and any other liquor your heart desires. Every week a different corridor hosts the cafe, and voluntarily works behind the bar and sets the theme and playlist of the night.

Lifetime deal once you’re in

Getting into Egmont is pretty difficult; a small resident council headed by a dean or principal approves your application. It’s a place that prides itself on socialising, and being a social creature is part of the requirement in getting in. There’s a real communal atmosphere: Egmonters wear their dormitory as a badge of identity, which has a near legendary status, most Egmonters still host reunion parties for the 50s and over and the cupboard rooms are filled with logbooks from the 1970s.

There’s a sense of everyone mucking in together, and you’re expected to play an active role in your corridor’s parties, events and meetings. Detail is everything and you will see people go to extraordinary lengths to make dinners and gatherings perfect.

I realise that I’ve been very lucky to get a place here, the rent is cheap and it’s got loads of charm and character. You won’t see many foreign exchange students around here; the ratio is in favour of the Danes. But for me personally, that’s what makes this place so attractive as a foreign exchange student, it provides me with that opportunity to mingle with Danish students and get a real feel for living in Denmark, something that is not always guaranteed on exchange. Though it has been challenging at times, I’ve had a fantastic and unique experience, and I would stick with Egmont if I had to do it all over again.

Photos by Martina Zamboni.

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