University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Taking classes with a chronic disease

Photo story — The University Post visited three students, each suffering from a chronic disease. This is what they think.

Birk is studying economics and suffers from Crohn’s disease.

My illness has not inhibited my studies in a big way. I’ve been able to place my hospital visits so I don’t miss the same subject several times in a row. When it comes to studies, I’ve actually had more problems with my allergies”.

"I recently had to admit to myself that my student job was too much for me. Crohn's disease is made worse by stress. Fortunately, they were very flexible on the job, and it was possible to structure the work in a way that I can both work and study without stressing my body."
image: Mattis Løfqvist
"At the hospital they said that I cannot expect to get disability allowance for chronic gastrointestinal disorders, so I am expected to take a student job. But without a high degree of flexibility from my workplace this would not be possible. I've been very lucky with my job, given my situation."
image: Mattis Løfqvist

Louise studies comparative literature and is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

“I feel that people don’t know much about my illness. For example, there are many people who do not know that one of the most common side effects of rheumatoid arthritis is difficulty in concentrating and fatigue.”

"You get so tired of being in pain all the time and having your body constantly on alert. I have fallen asleep several times while sitting reading – even in the middle of a crowded study hall!”
image: Mattis Løfqvist
"I have received sporadic assistance from the University in the form of waivers in connection with exams if I have needed it due to my illness. I feel that so far that this has been enough for me, but I hear that unfortunately, several people find it difficult to get the help they need."
image: Mattis Løfqvist

Kristian studies law and is suffering from a bone disease.

“If you have a disability you are placed in ‘class 1’ in all subjects. This class is always placed in rooms where there is disability access, so this has been a great help. For some lectures, I have to show up to class a quarter of an hour beforehand, so I can be sure to find a place where there is room for the chair.”

"Occasionally the lifts don’t work. It's an old building, and so are they."
image: Mattis Løfqvist
"I'm a big believer in the spirit of the old buildings here, but it is somewhat easier with the accessability when we move out to South Campus, KUA."
image: Mattis Løfqvist