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How to pick up an international student in Copenhagen

Try out these scenarios if you want to meet nice international girls and guys in Copenhagen

Copenhagen seems to be teeming with good-looking guys and girls, and a good portion of them are international students.

So here is our service to you: the University Post’s tips on how to pick up, chat up, or at least meet, hopefully even seduce, a cute international date in Copenhagen.

We believe in equal opportunities. So it is a guide for all: Danes and non-Danes, girls and guys, newcomers and seasoned Copenhageners.

Many international students are dying to meet someone. But being new in the city, they are afraid to make the first move. Some of them may even copy the Danish reserve that they observe on the street, and project the look of someone who is already taken. But this is often just a facade.

So no matter what nationality you are, do yourself and your international prospect a favour and get going!

1. Laid back canal tour six pack trick

The Japanese tourists do it bundled up. The Americans do it wearing identical t-shirts. But you can do it too. Take a tour around the canal. Most people doing it are tourists or internationals.

Hot tip: Bring a six-pack of Carls Special brew.
So: As you get on the boat, find someone good looking to sit next to, and offer them a beer.

There you go, you don’t need any more advice!

Find your ride here

2. Shared tables at book-café

Paludan is a trendy cafe/bookstore where students and professionals go to relax and read a book. More importantly, this book-cafe is located right across the street from the International Office. This of course means recently arrived cuties hang around in the area and many of them often find their way to Paludan. They are open to new connections and need help to find their way around the city – this is where you enter the picture.

Make sure you walk straight upstairs in Paludan where the atmosphere is more intimate and the noise level is lower. The cafe is often crowded and it is often necessary to share one of the big tables. You may want to give yourself an excuse with a book at first before making your move. Bring your own book. Oh, and better not ‘Medieval Logic’ or ‘A Lover’s Guide to the Kama Sutra’.

Paludan’s webpage

3. Yoga class warm down

As in any other sports class, you first have to ‘spot the international’. Greeting people before class starts, is a good way to find out. While bending or stretching during class you shouldn’t make your move. Afterwards, however, when all that yoga has loosened up your bodies and people are relieved it is over – that’s when you kick in. Talk to them about yoga, or ask them up front where they are from. If the chemistry is there, you can always swing by the couches for a cup of ginger and lemon tea.

Yogamudra offers different yoga classes in Danish and in English.

This applies to dance, meditation and you name it. Check out a list of dance studios here

4. Public transport weather talk

Being enroute on a public bus hardly seems as the most obvious place to pick up internationals. And just identifiying them can be a real task. So picking up in the bus, metro or train is more of a lottery than strategy.

However, the moves are easy. Find a spot next to someone that looks interesting, smile and see how they respond. Positive? Go for it, and strike up a conversation on the ever classic topic: the weather. Both Danes and internationals loves to criticize the unfortunate Danish climate so you can’t go wrong here.

Next natural move is to ask them whether they would ‘like to meet up for something specific, like ‘a walk’ or a ‘cup of coffee’ or whatever it is that you have found a common interest in. Then ask for their phone number, so you can co-ordinate when it will happen.

Metro and bus lines that connect university campuses with the centre are the places to be for this tactic.

You actually don’t need this link, which is the best schedule of s-trains and metros in Copenhagen. You should, of course, be using the strategy all the time, whenever you are going to any destination.

5. Studenterhuset chat up

This next tip is a no-brainer. The Studenterhuset café is not just good for cheap coffee and long opening hours. Studenterhuset also has a nice bar – and lots of international students.

This makes for an easy target. Students here are typically new in town, curious and don’t really know anybody yet. The people they are chatting to have known them about two days longer than you have.

Here is Studenterhuset’s programme.

6. Be lost or help the lost

There are two ways to do this and they are both brilliant.

Help a lost tourist or international who can’t find their way around the winding streets of city centre. You can spot them either by a confused, pondering gaze, or eyes squinting at their smartphone’s google maps app. Why not be a sport and offer a guiding hand? Even take them to their destination – a rarely seen gesture in Copenhagen. Perfect time to break the ice and check out chemistry. And if all fails, you did a good deed.

The other – slightly more manipulative – method is to pretend to get lost and ask people for directions. The cute ones, that is. Of course you won’t know who is international or who is not when you ask. But hey, love transcends nationalities, right? This is the perfect excuse to talk to whomever your eye desires.

Hot extra tip: For some reason, international students are always asking for directions outside central campus Nørregade 10. This is where:

View Larger Map

7. Adjust bench press at the gym

Some people go to the gym to get a serious workout. They are in it full-on-to-max and you better not disturb. Others like to walk around, lift a few weights, chill out a bit, run a little, read the days paper – and maybe meet a new person! These people will often be internationals who are open and out-there. Talk to them – they can help you adjust the bench press, show you the yoga mats or point you in the direction of the cold water. Once the ice is broken, and it easily is when you do sports, you take it from there.

There are loads of internationals in next to Vesterport station.

8. Library chatting

Most people go to the library alone but that doesn’t mean that they want to be left alone. Talk about books, anything. Quickly move on to inviting someone for a coffee or a cigarette break? Just do it!

Now, you might wonder why not any library? The “Black Diamond” (Kongelige Bibliotek- Royal Library) or the Main Central Library (hovedbiblioteket) have the biggest selections of literature in foreign languages. That’s why.

Also, they both have distinct, neat, cafés where you can share a coffee or a Danish ryebread sandwich.

In addition, these libraries occasionally offer cultural happenings catering to an international crowd. Sometimes they are free, most of the time cheaply priced.

Opening hours of the Royal Library

9. Go to cooking class

Cooking is not just a couples’ activity. It’s for people who like to cook. Do it alone, or do it with a friend. You will notice your cute international immediately. Lend a hand for cutting the onions or offer to keep his or her sauce hot and smooth.

No need to be worried if your only cooking experience is boiling pasta. It is cute to look hopeless but it is not to give up trying. Cooking classes offer you the advantage of always have a reason to ask a cute girl or guy for help. She or he will passionately explain you the perfect way to melt chocolate and slip you her phone number by the end of the class.

Here’s Meyer’s Madhus webpage, they offer numerous cooking classes for beginners.

10. The Queue Supermarket

You’ve seen it in movies, you heard about it from friends. And yes – the old supermarket pick-up is still going strong.

You may not find them in front of the ‘herrings’, ‘frikadeller’ or liquorice, but even internationals have to grocery shop. Hopefully you can spot them as they search for kimchi, pastrami, or cassava. Ask them about their local cuisine or suggest them one of yours.

Strategically place yourself in the queues at the supermarket, and try striking up a conversation while waiting. Netto seems to have the longest queues, and this is in itself a good start up conversation topic, so long as you keep it light-hearted. If you live close to a student dorm, try out the Netto here.

11. Exchange languages

Language exchange is good for two purposes – getting to know new people, and less importantly, learning a language. In all university campuses the walls are covered with language exchange offers, proposing to meet up over a coffee in order to help each other learn languages. It is a lot like blind dating, so inviting the person to your place at the first meeting is not the best idea. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain because maybe your next ‘French teacher’ will also teach you the ‘language of love’.

Check out MyLanguageExchange here.

So now is the time to present our bonus tip. This is actually our best piece of advice, and is the newsroom’s choice:

Bonus tip: Do your own thing and meet people doing it

We’ll say it again, just to let it sink in: Do your own thing and meet people doing it.

This has the advantage of authenticity, and assures that you are at the top of your game when chatting about the activity at hand. Each activity has its particular best moves.

Several cultural institutions and sports clubs offer activities and events catering for an international (and Danish of course) crowd. The offers are varied and so are the crowd that they attract. Just find an event that suits your interests – it will be much easier to strike up conversation about a topic you have genuine interest and knowledge of.

So that is it!

If you are into friendship, check out our Top 10 tips on how to meet friends in Copenhagen.

Any further suggestions? Be free to comment below this article!

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