1165 København K
Tlf: 35 32 28 98 (mon-thurs)
Our student reviewer likes the Sofiegården student residence hall so much, she threatens to slow down her studies so she can stay livng there
Christianshavn – a small village in the very centre of Copenhagen. This is the area with boats on the channels, Christiania, and small houses in narrow streets. It has a homely atmosphere with village fools, drunks, and hipster Copenhageners living side by side.
Besides places to get a good cup of coffee, Christianshavn offers a ton of cultural activities, which are easily integrated into your everyday life.
If you want to get away you conveniently located right by the metro and some busses, which makes it cheap and easy to get back home, once you regret ever having left.
I live in front of the community centre where citizens from the area have cheap coffee, learn to play the guitar or draw naked people. Lying in bed at night I hear people sitting outside talking, glasses clinking, and laughter filling the air. As a background to this I can often hear a guitar from another room or some girls singing along to old Spice Girls songs. And then there’s the smell of a well-toasted sandwich, just as you thought you weren’t hungry.
Waking up early in my dorm room is so quiet you forget that you are in the very heart of Copenhagen. The street is quiet as well as the hallway. Talking makes it seem like you are part of the only conversation in the world. This even though more than 150 students live here.
At Sofiegården there are co-habitations, two- and three-roomed apartments, and rooms like mine, which is around 25m2 with a door to my French balcony. And no, a French balcony is not actually a balcony but a door you open and then sit inside and spy on people on the street. Be aware that people bust you playing Big Brother if your soundtrack is too loud.
Waking up, I can do as I please. I do not have to get dressed in order to go into the kitchen and I do not have to wait for anyone to be done taking a shower – I am the only one using it. This means that the only thing stopping me from constantly walking around naked and taking long showers is if I am running late, or thinking about the amount of water I am using.
Then I act like a responsible student, thinking about the environment, before I go have a princess-worthy breakfast. Going from paying an average rent in Copenhagen to only 2600 kroners a month makes me feel richer than I am, which I intend to use fully, living like a baron. At the moment I have my own gym and table tennis-room as well, as I have yet to meet anyone there. I would not mind being the sharing kind of baron though.
Besides having a room, which will be known in history for the room where I surprised everyone and became a professional table tennis player, there is plenty of ways to be active at Sofiegården. There’s a gym full of equipment, and now the village-sentiments appears again; you can join a group of residents once a week to go play badminton at the local school. It’s free and if you don’t like badminton you are free to suggest any other sport.
Spending a warm evening in the big court with wine and cigarettes you will meet people with the same idea, whereas the rooftop terrace always is rather empty. You can also just cross the court and sit with your feet in the channels.
If you prefer staying inside you can do everything from watching TV or reading a newspaper in the fireplace lounge, go crafting in the atelier or wood workshop, attend a movie night, study in the reading room or grow tomatoes in the hothouse.
If you have a project, a birthday party or whatever you need a kitchen and dinner party room for you can book The Red Room, or the banquet hall. All in all, you are free to do as you please. You don’t have any duties unless you have signed up for them. Here it is easy to live with other people around, yet stay out for days or spend an entire Sunday watching TV-shows, without feeling just slightly bad.
If too lazy to organize a party yourself, you can just sign up for the events that Sofiegården plans. This weekend there was the first Friday-bar of the semester and in a few days there will be a get-together-dinner to welcome new residents. Meeting people here is fairly easy, as you can simply use the variety of common rooms in your everyday life.
Residents here study many different subjects, but it is normal to study a longer education, as you need at least two years left in order to even get the room. To make this difficult there is a waiting list, which is approximately three years long, so you either need to be a lot slower than the government wants you to be, or study something that takes forever.
My plan is to combine these two possibilities, because even if I have just moved in, I am already confident that Sofiegården will have to kick me out when time comes.
See the gallery below. Photos and photo captions by Alexander Kostrov.
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