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Student life

Review: Studentergården — where you never need to leave the building

Dorms Disclosed — The old, traditional, Studentergården in the Nørrebro district has a grassroots resident democracy, a tavern, and will soon have its be own pottery room.

The Studentergården in the Nørrebro district has almost 100 years of history, and you can feel it.

The 130 residents divide themselves into eleven kitchens with names like ‘barbarian’ and ‘abortion’ and fight it out in a so-called ‘yard feud’ – one of the many traditions that cohorts of new residents continue year after year.

Studentergården:

Address: Tagensvej 15, 2200 Copenhagen

www.studentergaarden.dk

Monthly rent: DKK 2,300

Average age: 25

Application process: A motivation letter of application assessed by the ruling Gårdstyret body. You must be enrolled on a longer higher education programme and have passed at least 60 ECTS credits.

 

A lot of energy in a very small space

The Studentergården (‘student yard’ or ‘student farm’) is much more than a place to live. If you want to, you can actually live your entire life at the dormitory – at least for as long as you are still a student.

»We joke about the fact that you never have to go outside its walls. There’s the Porteren, our tavern, where you can drink beer every Thursday. There is also a food club five times a week, a car guild, a running club, and all sorts of other things. So you might as well just drop all your other friends. OK, I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone, but there’s a lot of energy in the very small space here,« says Pernille Aavild, who is a chairperson or ‘Older’ at the location.

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

For the monthly rent of about DKK 2,300 you get your own room, but otherwise everything else is shared. You share a kitchen, shower, and toilet with you corridor, and have access to a communal courtyard and a wide range of rooms in common, which, in addition to the Porteren tavern, includes a bike shop, costume room and own brewery.

»There are quiet periods in May, June, December and January, where you need the peace and quiet to study for your exams. Then you are suddenly reminded that you are a student,« Gustav Munk Sigsgaard laughs.

»But apart from this it is almost a party every weekend. We have three big annual parties: The Danish ‘Fastelavn’, the chestnut party and the New Year’s Party. Apart from this, there is often open house on the corridors where they invite you to a party, or the ‘Tour de Chambre’ or ‘dinners’ for newcomers in the kitchen.«

The party room at Studentergården.
image: Foto: Anna Trads Viemose.
You share a kitchen, toilet and bathroom in the Studentergården, but the room is for yourself.
image: Foto: Anna Trads Viemose.
There are 130 residents across 11 kitchens in the dormitory.
image: Foto: Anna Trads Viemose.

Yard rule, yard day and yard tax

Pernille Aavild and Gustav Munk Sigsgaard are both on the ‘yard committee’ Gårdstyret body, which is the democratic decision-making body of the dormitory. As an ‘Older’, she is chairperson of the Gårdstyret, while he, in his role as yard head of order, upholds the Studentergården’s internal rules. Apart from the two, the Gårdstyret body consists of a grants yard head, a network yard head, and a finance yard head. But all the residents have a say in the running of the Studentergården.

Dorms Disclosed

Reviews by student residents of their own dorms and residence halls.

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.

Twice a year, there is a ‘yard day’ – »our day for celebrating democracy«, Pernille Aavild calls it – where big and not so big decisions are taken together.

»Democratic decisions are made about everything,« Pernille Aavild explains. We have just voted a ceramics room for the residence hall and a new draught beer dispenser. Some of your rent is pooled via a so-called ‘yard tax’ that is used to finance the many social events for the residents.

The most recent big decision was that the motivation letters to apply for a room at the residence hall place have to be anonymous. And it is, of course, the Gårdstyret body that will assess your application if you send one, according to Pernille Aavild:

»We assess the applications so we don’t just get people from the same degree programme, and that there is diversity in both study programmes and interests. But it’s just as much us getting the feeling that you really want to be a part of the place and the way we live together.«

[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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