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Dorms Disclosed: Øresundskollegiet

It is the largest dormitory in the Nordic region (some claim it is the largest in Northern Europe). It is not just a dormitory - it is a universe. Here is our review

Øresundskollegiet, or ØK as it’s known to its inhabitants, is located in the beginning of Amager close to various supermarkets, as well as a mall (Amager Centret). Getting the bike into town or to the beach (Amager Strand), takes about 12 minutes and getting to KUA, ITU and Islands Brygge takes less than 5.

This formation of 70’s concrete blocks with their deep-red windows, towers high above a cemetery and Kløvermarken, a big playing field next door, provides a shield from traffic.

Øresundskollegiet houses around 1,500 people, in 1,025 apartments, and this makes it the largest dormitory in all of the Nordic countries. The inhabitants are a big mishmash of people. There are singles, couples and families living here from all over the world, though especially Denmark and the other Nordic countries (the Faroe Islands in particular).

There’s always a group of exchange students housing there from the US and other places as well. There are 12 buildings, each with 8 floors and there are 14 different types of apartments, so there’s plenty to choose between.

(Check out the excellent pictures, and take a tour through the dorm below.)

Meet people in your kitchen

Two of the apartment buildings consist of rooms with their own private bathrooms, but with a big communal kitchen shared by 13 people living on the same floor.

These have the cheapest rent, at around DKK 2,000 including everything. Most communal kitchens have a cleaning schedule, where the residents are expected to participate and to pay a small amount of money each month for cleaning supplies.

Some communal kitchens also organize food clubs and parties for the specific hall or block. So if you’re new to Copenhagen, and would like to meet new people and make friends, communal kitchens are good for that.

Wave to your neighbor

If you like the privacy of your own kitchen, there are four blocks of apartments with rooms of the same size as the ones with the communal kitchen, but with their own, small kitchen instead.

Even if you don’t get to experience the same dorm vibe as the people with communal kitchens do, you still have plenty of opportunities to meet other people living in ØK and be part of the social life.

The rooms are spacious and well lit with one wall consisting of floor to ceiling windows, and mostly overlooking, though not directly, the other buildings (making it hard to see everything your neighbor´s doing, though you can still wave at them).

Family-friendly

The rest of the dorm comprises two- and three-bedroom apartments.

These are often inhabited by couples or families. ØK is a pretty decent place for young families to live, as it’s closed off from traffic, which helps create a sort of small-town feeling for the people who live here.

Another perk is that the biggest and most expensive type of apartment, with three rooms, is still cheap for Copenhagen standards, at DKK 4,800, which makes it perfect for people with children, who are on a student budget.

Lots of ways to be social

At ØK there are plenty of opportunities to join in on the social life. The bar, ‘Sumpen’ is open on Thursdays and Saturdays, where you can go and meet your cohabitants, play a board game, shoot dart, play foosball, and drink a (cheap) beer, drink or soda.

Then there’s the dorms’ very own, and highly equipped gym, which is open every day. And it’s a lot cheaper than any other gym you’ll find in town.

There’s a basement with 4 music rehearsing spaces, fitted with drum kits and amplifiers, a keyboard and a piano. There’s a gym hall where you can practice karate, dance moves, or start any sort of class for the rest of the dorm if you’d like.

“Pretty much all interests are covered”

There’s an arts and crafts room where you can paint or make pottery, there’s a room for sewing, a darkroom where you can develop your photos, and a children’s room where the kids can play.

There are also a number of groups you can join, such as the music group, which organizes events like the annual ØK-festival. The party-group organizes the bigger parties and the bar-group is the power behind the bar on Thursdays and Saturdays, sometimes themed for things like Halloween, 80’s party or Eurovision.

You also have Øksen, ØK’s very own publication, with articles relating to the dorm and its neighborhood. There’s the film group that shows films on a real cinema screen every Sunday evening, and hosts film-related events, like Oscars night, the sports group which organizes various sport events and training, the arts and crafts group, the children’s group, the sowing group, the computer group, an environmental group, the residents group, just to name a few. Pretty much all interests are covered.

Amenities that just make life a little sweeter

By 2015, plans to set up an eatery inside the premises should have reached its completion, so that the inhabitants can buy their lunch/dinner at the dorm, at student friendly prices.

There’s a big Laundromat, and laundry credits are included in the rent, there’s a big computer/printing room, a study room where you can read in peace, a group room you can book for your study group, a workshop for various projects, and storage rooms (which are quite scarce, and in demand).

There are 2 party-rooms, fitted with a stereo, kitchen and tables and chairs, and 4 guestrooms each with room for 4 people that you can book, there’s a huge terrace with plenty of benches, barbeques and sun loungers, where inhabitants often hang out in the summer, there’s a gated area for playing football or basketball, there´s a playing ground for the kids, there are two outdoors ping pong tables, and a free, gated parking lot, just for the residents.

Nobody’s going to drag you into the social life at ØK, and some initiative is required, but all in all, living in ØK is amazing; the location is good, you get a lot for your rents worth, and there are plenty of opportunities to make friends, get new experiences, and make use of the variety of amenities and facilities. So whether you like your privacy or prefer being social, Øresundskollegiet can be a great home for you during your years of studying in Copenhagen.

Check out the excellent pictures, and take a tour through the dorm below. Photos by Katharina Zuanich, text by Julie Vulpius.

universitypost@adm.ku.dk

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