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Student life

Review: G.A. Hagemanns Kollegium

This dormitory has personal chefs and a study hall overlooking the water. It is more like a mansion, and its residents live more like royalty than students

In 1908, engineer and industrialist Gustav Adolph Hagemann made the decision to have a dormitory built in his name.

G.A. Hagemann’s Kollegium (GAHK) was first of its kind in Denmark, as the first to have male and female students live together – quite controversial!

Written on top of the great main entrance are the words: ”Tjen andre, vil selv du tjenes” (serve others as you wish them to serve you).

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

Shared meals and intimate atmosphere

The house today is home for 61 students from different higher education institutions. The average age of the residents is higher than most other dorms, as students must have finished two years of studies prior to acceptance. They also strive towards and equal gender distribution within the dorm.

The fact that only 61 residents live at the dormitory creates a community feeling, where everyone knows one another. All residents want to be part of the community and are willing to work for it.

Everyone participates in the shared meal arrangement and takes responsibility for the cleaning and the maintenance of the dorm.

Different responsibilities

Moreover, each resident is member of a group with additional responsibilities for the everyday life.

There’s ”Køkkengruppen” (The Kitchen Group) who are responsible for the communication between the residents and the kitchen employees, and “Festgruppen” (The Party Group) who are responsible for some of the traditional parties held at GAHK.

Other groups arrange ”out-of-house events”, like trips to the theater arranged by ”Kulturgruppen” (The Culture Group) or a climbing competition organized by ”Sportsgruppen” (The Sports Group).

Almost like a hotel

Today, the dormitory works as a self-governing institution, where the residents manage the day-to-day operations. This includes everything from budget, to cleaning, to deciding which new students should be part of the community.

As a very special feature of the dormitory, two employees work in the kitchen on weekdays to prepare lunch and dinner to all residents. The meals are the main gathering point at GAHK. Here, it doesn’t matter what floor you live on – everybody mixes around across floors, acknowledging and caring for one another.

The meals take place in the great dining hall in the basement. On weekends, the residents cook themselves with groceries bought by the kitchen staff.

Heartbreaks and politics

The meal arrangement gives surplus energy to the residents, since grocery shopping and cooking are already dealt with when returning after a long day at the university.

During dinner, there’s a great atmosphere among the residents, and everything from political agendas, heartbreaks, sports events, and reality-TV are debated.

These social hours are especially appreciated during exam periods, where it can sometimes be difficult to find the time and energy for anything other than studying.

Many years – many traditions

As student housing with many years of history, a lot of traditions have been established. Among the most important is G. A. Hagemann’s birthday, which is celebrated with a picnic every year.

The residents rent a bus and drive to the burial site to remember and honour the man who founded such a unique and special place for the students of Copenhagen throughout the years.

The wife of Hagemann is also praised annually. This is celebrated in November with an annual galla. The residents show up in their shiniest dresses and suits for a three-course meal, speeches and ”les lanciers” dancing, a traditional style of classical dance.

Vodka and the Russian anthem

G.A. Hagemann’s arch-rivals, Nordisk Kollegium, are situated just a few hundred metres down the road. Through the years, Nordisk Kollegium and GAHK have been competing in having the best rooms in Copenhagen.

This rivalry is tested each year at Kastellet by an intense and nerve-racking tug-of-war competition. The evening is always completed with the two dormitories partying with each other – sometimes with a few pranks involved.

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.

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 with ‘Dorms Disclosed’ in the subject header.

At the end of the year, the greatest party is held: New Years Eve. As tradition prescribes, the residents and guests visits their neighbours, the Russian Embassy. Here, everybody (attempts) to sing the Russian National Anthem, and the Russians reciprocate with vodka and snacks.

In general, the dormitory has a lot of parties throughout the year. Common between all of them is that the residents always party and dance until dawn.

Study hall with a view

As a resident at GAHK you are assigned a room with your own washbasin and built in closets. Some rooms are larger than others, and include a bed loft or a balcony.

All rooms have their own charm, and since there are options to change room residents move out, it is often that a resident manages to live in several different rooms during their stay at GAHK.

The residents are allocated between 5 floors. At each floor there is a shared bathroom and toilet. There is also a small kitchenette where board games, coffee, and wine are enjoyed. At the top of the building – right under the roof – there’s a study hall, with an amazing view over Copenhagen.

GAHK also houses a great banquet hall above the dining hall. On many evenings the residents gather for a movie, or the latest episode of Paradise Hotel, in the home theater.

Are you interested in living at G. A. Hagemanns Kollegium?

In order to apply you must have completed an equivalence of two years of studies at a long, higher education, and must be Danish-speaking.

The first thing to do in the application process is to visit the GAHK website, where the application process is outlined.

Here you will get the chance to see the place and maybe meet some the residents. In case you are still interested after the guided tour, you will be given the application scheme and you’ll be explained the further application process. We admit new residents continuously. Maybe you are the next one?

Until then you can get a guided tour of the dorm via the University Post photo reporter Ane Terp Rasmussen. See below!

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