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Review: G. A. Hagemanns Kollegium – rich traditions in lavish surroundings

Dorms Disclosed — The luxurious G. A. Hagemanns Kollegium, which boasts its own private chef, a grand piano, and two of J. F. Willumsen's most famous paintings, has something to offer for both geeks and partygoers.

When you open the doors to G. A. Hagemanns Kollegium in the middle of the embassy district in Østerbro, you start by entering the hall, known as ‘Hallen’. In the centre of the room is the ‘book of appeals’, where residents write messages to each other, just as their predecessors have done since the college was founded in 1908.

On the walls hang J. F. Willumsen’s famous painting ‘A Mountaineer’ and its counterpart ‘A Physicist,’ from 1904 and 1913, respectively. The former is known as a symbol of the liberated woman, which harmonises with the fact that the college was the first of its kind in Copenhagen to offer rooms to female students.

SEE THE FULL ‘DORMS DISCLOSED’ UNIVERSITY POST SERIES: Reviews by student residents of dorms and residence halls in Copenhagen

Geeking out over dinner

Of the total of 61 rooms, two thirds are reserved for students from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), where the dorm’s founder, Gustav Adolph Hagemann, was rector.

G. A. HAGEMANNS KOLLEGIUM

Address: Kristianiagade 10, 2100 Copenhagen

www.gahk.dk (in Danish)

Monthly rent: DKK 5,210

Average age: 25 years

Application process: Potential residents must request a tour of the dorm and then send an application with a cover letter. You be a student on a 5-year higher education programme and have passed 60 ECTS. Two thirds of the rooms are reserved for DTU students.

The remaining third of the rooms were made available to other types of students because Hagemann wanted DTU students to have the opportunity to learn from philosophers and artists, for example, »to get a broader worldview,« explains resident Marcia Søgaard Brinck.

»There are a lot of interesting people here. And people still care a lot about learning from each other,« says Marcia Søgaard Brinck.»Everyone just sits and geeks out over dinner.«

On weekdays, lunch and dinner are served by the dorm’s chef in the large communal kitchen. These meals are included in the price of the monthly rent, which is at the higher end, at DKK 5,210.

However, residents cannot completely avoid cooking – they have to take turns helping in the kitchen, and this is mandatory, as are cleaning the common areas and other tasks.

This is because the dorm is self-governing, and it is therefore the residents’ own responsibility to keep everything running smoothly.

»We really care about the dorm a lot,« says Marcia Søgaard Brinck. »We feel like this place actually belongs to us.«

Like one big family

The history of this dorm is palpable in the building, and residents still celebrate both G. A. Hagemann and his wife Mathilde’s birthdays every year with an excursion to the couple’s grave, followed by a gala.

Dorms disclosed

There are loads of dormitories, kollegiums, and student residences in Copenhagen, yet most of the information available is in Danish.

Some are small, old houses with pretty gardens, others are giant concrete buildings with tiny windows.

This is a review by a student reporter. But in the Dorms Disclosed series, it is the residents themselves that review the dorms that they live in.

Here is an overview with links to all of the dormitory and student accommodation reviews we have published so far, written by the people who know them the best.

If you want to write an English-language review of your dorm write to uni-avis@adm.ku.dk with ‘Dorms Disclosed’ in the subject header.

»In general, we are a very traditional and social dorm,« says Marcia Søgaard Brinck. »It’s like living with one big family.«

»It’s almost more like a commune,« adds fellow resident Nicolai Fürstnow, whose parents also lived in the dorm and strongly encouraged him to apply. »They said it was great to live in a place where you could learn something from others.«

Nicolai Fürstnow had to apply a few times before he got a place, but often the time between application and admission to G. A. Hagemanns Kollegium is short. At least nowadays, you do not have to steal signposts or write speeches for ducks, which used to be part of the application process.

Now it is mostly about being part of the family through thick or thin, says Marcia Søgaard Brinck: »We emphasise that you prioritise the community aspect; that you are there for the others both in good and bad times.«

[This review has been written by a student reporter at the University Post. If you want to write an English-language review of your dorm write to uni-avis@adm.ku.dk and mark it ‘Dorms Disclosed’]

READ ABOUT OTHER RESIDENCE HALLS AND DORMS HERE: Student housing reviews: Dorms and residences in Copenhagen

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