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Dorms Disclosed: Østerbro Kollegiet

The perfect mix of privacy and proximity to others. Student reviewer likes living in the converted parking garage

For most people, a parking garage does not conjure up a ”homey” feeling. At Østerbro Kollegiet, residents contest that. Converted from a parking garage to a dormitory in 2005, the structure now provides 150 international students with single or shared rooms. The building itself may be an eyesore in the beautiful and posh neighborhood of Østerbro, however the inside tells a different story.

Photo: Alessandro Genovese

Private and communal spaces

The dormitory provides a perfect mix of privacy and proximity to others. Dorm rooms are equipped with a kitchenette and a bathroom and though the space may seem small (17-26 square meters) the large windows in each room make them appear much larger. The dormitory also has bike parking and laundry facilities, the later not free to use.

Photo: Alessandro Genovese

While residents have the option to seek privacy in their own rooms, communal spaces draw students out to cook together and enjoy a beer or two…or three. On each of the five floors there is a kitchen with large wooden tables and plenty of chairs.

Photo: Alessandro Genovese

Floors often plan dinners together, eat together, drink together and CLEAN together. A weekly schedule is devised to ensure that the cleaning part happens. As recommended by the dormitory assistants on the first day, cleaning in a group can be fun!

Photo: Alessandro Genovese

International vibe

If you are looking for a place to practice your Danish, Østerbro Kollegiet is not for you. Students are much more likely to learn Spanish, Italian, or Japanese. Apart from two Danish speaking dormitory assistants, all residents are international students.

Arriving from all over the world, students are eager to meet one another and form bonds with future travel buddies. Doors are often kept open to encourage people to drop in and introduce themselves. Everyone is in the same boat.

Moving to a new country is scary but an international residence helps to make the transition fun and effortless. The diversity of the residence fits the bill for a true exchange student experience, however if you came to meet Danish students you’ll have to do so outside the walls of the kollegiet.

Shhh, you’re in Østerbro!

The location of the dormitory provides as many pros as it does cons. Østerbro is quiet and calm. The streets are inhabited with strollers and expensive suits, not a student ghetto by any means.

The location may be off-putting for those in search of a party four nights a week or for those who struggle with the concept of noise restrictions, however by metro or bike, students can be in the centre of town in less than half an hour. Suddenly the distance doesn’t seem too great and the pros to quiet Østerbro become evident. Returning home after a night out is both safe and peaceful. Unlike the streets of Nørrebro or the Meatpacking district, you are guaranteed a good night’s sleep.

Another pro to the family-oriented neighborhood is that there are over five grocery stores within walking distance, a gym, large parks and even a beach. The neighborhood was build for families to enjoy. At Østerbro Kollegiet, students take advantage of it.

Hygge?

The question must be asked; can hygge be found in an old parking garage? Yes!

It may be difficult to find inside the stark white dorm rooms, however it is in abundance if students are willing to do a bit of climbing. The roof terrace is truly the pièce de résistance. It is complete with picnic tables, flowers and a million dollar view of the sunrise for those who wake up early or get in late.

Photo: Alessandro Genovese

Dinners, drinks and cozy blankets are often brought up to the roof and although strict rules keep noise at a minimum, it is a small price to pay. The roof is a meeting place for new friends and the panoramic view provides a constant reminder of the beauty of Copenhagen, their new home.

Want to see more? Check out the full gallery by our photographer Alessandro Genovese below.

universitypost@adm.ku.dk

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