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How to write an application for a cool residence hall in Copenhagen

Dorms — Be fun, drop the clichés, and just apply! Here are the University Post's six tips on how to get a place in one of Copenhagen's elite residence halls.

Do you dream of saying goodbye to your one-room flat out in the middle of suburb nowhere? Or are you simply just looking for a place to live in Copenhagen? Are you longing for food clubs, communal baths and the traditional Scandinavian ‘Tour de Chambre’ theme party during weekends? Then you probably belong at one of the elite dorms or residence halls that need a motivated letter of application.

The Copenhagen housing market can, unfortunately, be a bit of a jungle. Supply and demand, and all that. And how do you write an application that convinces one of the elite residence halls to make them choose you?

Luckily, we have your back. Here are six tips on how to write the perfect application that will get you through the eye of a needle at one of Copenhagen’s coveted residence halls.

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

1. Make sure all the formalities are in order

Before you get started with the application itself, make sure you have all the facts. Just like you – technically – can fail your bachelor’s project if you reference the wrong text by Bourdieu, then you need to know the formal requirements when you apply for a residence hall. Some residence halls only accept applications on A4 paper, others only let you in if you have a Danish grade-point average of more than seven.

You need to have all of this in complete order – otherwise you risk your application going directly into the trash. Many residence halls operate with tight application deadlines. This means you could risk spending another six months stuck in your one-room flat with your ex just because you missed the deadline by 24-hours.

Tip: If you send an application to the Elers Kollegiet dorm, for God’s sake don’t start it off with a »Dear Studentergården dorm«. This happens surprisingly often and is the worst sin in a round of applications.

2. Drop the clichés

Do you ‘like travelling’? Are you ‘passionate about sustainability’? Do you like being part of a ‘binding community’? Then you are probably like 87 per cent of all students who apply for one of the residence halls that need a motivated application letter. But this does not mean that you need to spell it out. Certainly not word for word, anyhow.

We are all basic bitches in this world, but when it comes to applications, you need to stand out from the crowd. Drop all the clichés about you respecting a closed door and how you enjoying cleaning communal kitchens. If your application is identical to 30 other people, it will probably end up in the pile of rejects.

READ ALSO: Student housing in Copenhagen: The guide

3. Put yourself in the residents’ place

Now that we are talking about binding communities, in the dormitories, the quest for ‘community’ is like the search for the Holy Grail. You are welcome to write this down in bold letters in your notebook. This means you must be able to convince an assessment committee that you want to do something with this community – or that you have at least thought about the fact that your life at the dormitory is more than about you.

It is often other residents that assess your application. All your excellent points about how you are the king of juggling, beer bowling, or knitting sweaters needs to have added value. This means that the other residents need to know that you are a team player who, for example, would like to organise one of the wild Danish traditional Tour De Chambre parties and tidy up the next day. In other words: You need to do something for others.

4. Be hilarious

If you haven’t been acquainted with the genre before, it may be horrifying to have to write an application for a student dorm. Are you supposed to be fun? Serious? Show that you have mastered your life and one of the big problems that the world faces? There is no template for the perfect application, but it often helps to be hilarious. Easy peasy, or what?

Be authentic with your own strange sense of humour: You might find it fun to, like a chameleon, twist your personality into a buffet. But you can score just as many points using self irony to show a flowchart over your failed path in life (both of these thing have been done).

Maybe you are hit by existential doubt: Are you, actually, fun? You might not be, but play with that tiny speck of humour you still have left from when you were in diapers, and it’s all going to be OK. Another solution is to be honest. The most important thing is that people can sense who you are, and that you would do anything to get into your preferred dorm.

READ ALSO: Copenhagen dorms which need a motivated application letter

5. Spend the extra time

Dorm applications work just like any other applications: The more time you spend on them, the better they get. If you want to jump ahead of 100 other students in the queue, you will get far with a well-worked application.

Sit down and think carefully about what you want to say with your application and what format supports it. Are you really good at origami, or writing songs? Emo poems maybe? Use it!

It may seem overwhelming in a busy workday with heavy syllabus tomes and student jobs. But make it a priority to spend the extra time and energy on your application. Think about how much you gain from getting in!

READ ALSO: Student housing reviews: Dorms and residences in Copenhagen

6. Just apply!

Student reviews of residence halls

In the University Post Dorms Disclosed series, student residents write a review their own dorms and residence halls in English.

Here is an overview of all the Copenhagen residence halls, collegiums and dormitories.

Before you get second thoughts, remember the last and most important piece of advice: Just apply! It’s priceless and in all sorts of ways life-changing to live at one of the good residence halls. You will never regret it, and if you do, you can just move again.

Jump in at the deep end, and don’t lose heart if your first application fails. For many people, it takes two or three rounds of applications to get in. In the end, you are, of course, much more than an application on an A4 piece of paper, so make sure you make this A4 unforgettable!

Good luck!

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