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New internationals angered by housing chaos

The International Office and others from the University of Copenhagen welcomed the last group of over 300 students on Wednesday's orientation meeting. But for those students with accomodation problems, the outlook for the next few weeks is bleak

Plenty of students attended the second international orientation meeting of the semester at the Faculty of Humanities on Wednesday 1st of September.

The auditorium was full up, and an unfortunate handful of students were forced to perch on the steps for the two hour marathon info-session.

But for some homeless international students, information on moose-safaris in Sweden and courses on the Danish Welfare Model was not high on their list of priorities.

See our previous covers of last years housing issues here:
Less housing help for newcomers
Homeless students got soaked
No place to call home in Copenhagen


After the meeting, it emerged that several students at the meeting were angry and concerned about their unsolved housing situation and had attended with the hope of getting help from the international office.

Instead, they were met with this discouraging message from the overworked housing officers: »Things will get better in a few weeks time«.

The University Post spoke to some of the international students facing a housing crisis after the information meeting.

Forced to live in Sweden

For Maria, an international student from Estonia, finding accommodation in Denmark was not an option:

»I have to live in Malmö, Sweden because I could not find an apartment in Denmark«, she says.

But Maria is not the only one dissatisfied with the housing situation.

»The international office was not able to provide us with a housing solution and, therefore, we were forced to find accommodation through the internet. The photos of our apartment online seemed very nice« say two international students from Romania, who prefer to remain anonymous so that they do not make an enemy of their landlord.

Like living in an old hospital

But when they came to Denmark they were astonished by what they saw.

»It looks like an old hospital. Everything is really old and even the light bulbs resemble something from the distant past. We had to buy all new furniture, so it is not easy for us to move now. We have already spent a lot of money on this apartment«

»We do not even have internet access in our apartment and we are studying computer science. How are we supposed to study? It is like studying humanities and having no books,« they continue.

Wait a few weeks

The International Office provides a »direct housing« list, but according to their own presentation at the orientation meeting, this list is more or less worthless at this time of year. The rooms are snapped up instantly by desperate newcomers.

»Things get easier as we get into the semester. There will be lots of rooms on the list in a few weeks,« said a representative for the International Office at the meeting.

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