University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Here is your typical day

You really want to read your book. But you always end up messing around on the net, a survey on students’ daily life indicates

Students report that they spend too much time surfing around on the web. In an ideal world, they would much prefer to spend their time reading books, and this includes reading for fun and reading for study.

This is one of the conclusions that can be drawn from a University Post survey of Danish and international students’ daily routines ‘Your typical day’.

The survey first asked students to state how much time they actually spent on typical activities. The survey then asked students to evaluate whether they would prefer to spend more time, or less time, on them.

See a gallery with graphs and tables showing your typical day here.

Wishful thinking

A massive 120 out of 233 wished they spent less time surfing, blogging and playing games on the web. Only 19 people wished they had more time for it.

In contrast to web surfing, only five respondents wished they spent less time ‘reading, mostly for fun’, with 120 wishing that they had more time for it. Academic reading is also on students’ wishful thinking list: Here 80 respondents wish they spent more time, while 30 wished for less.

Students’ wishful thinking includes the category ‘Hobbies, leisure activities and volunteer work’, where 115 wish for more time. Only 13 wish they spent less time on it.

Read article: Time is not well spent, students report

Living in different time zones

So what does a typical day look like? A typical Danish student reports getting up between 7 and 8, with international exchange students taking a longer sleep-in to between 8 and 9. Danish students spend between 45 minutes and one hour getting themselves ready before leaving. International students, exchange and full degree, manage to keep it down to just 45 minutes.

Whether this means that Danish students spend more minutes preening themselves in front of the mirror is open to interpretation.

After going through the day’s activities, our students collapse, exhausted, on their beds. Danish students some time between 11 and midnight, international students one hour later.

Read article: Lectures? No, I am a humanities student

Lunch pack beats canteen

There are not large differences between Danish and international students. But if there is one significant trend, it is that international students who are here to take a full degree, are closer in their habits to Danish students than students who are here for a shorter stay on exchange.

Student jobs are a good example of this. Danish students spend far more time (1-2 hrs) on student jobs than international full degree students and exchange students (none). Maybe this is just the effect of jobs for international students being harder to find.

Only one out of every five students, Danish and international, eat at the university canteens. Most students prefer a lunch pack: 70 per cent of Danish students, more than 50 per cent of internationals. A future survey could find out whether the lunch pack is popular because of the expense of the canteens, or because students judge their own food to be better.

Gender is just same same

What about gender differences?

Female students spend marginally longer getting ready in the morning than their male student colleagues. And female students are more self-critical about their use of time. This is one way of interpreting the fact that relatively more female respondents wish to spend more, or wish to spend less time on different categories.

Apart from this, the two sexes are hard to distinguish in the categories we have chosen for the survey.


Surprisingly – for surveys where you tick of how much time you spend on different activities consecutively – it all adds up. Students ticked off an average of 24 hours a day.

But for those who did more than their 24, a comment from one of our respondents offers a ready explanation.

»I know I ended up with more than 24 hours of activity. But I multitask!«

Stay in the know about news and events happening in Copenhagen by signing up for the University Post’s weekly newsletter here.