Written by Beth Robinson
Tietgenkollegiet was an enormous part of my time as an exchange student in Denmark – the defining experience in many ways. It is such a unique place I often find it difficult to communicate to others just how special it is.
For one thing, the facilities are unbelievable. Before I left for exchange I was warned by many people that I should be prepared to buy my own plates and utensils when I arrived at the dorm. I got to Tietgen and found not only did our kitchen have all the cups and plates you could ever require, but it also came equipped with a juicer and a fine food processor.
I can’t say the gym saw much of me in my time at Tietgen but I suppose that is an impressive offering for those who are into that sort of thing. For me, my greatest joy in terms of the facilities on offer at Tietgen was a room in the basement of the building called the ‘Bytterum’: A furniture and clothes recycling room for the residents. I treated that place like it was the Cave of Ali Baba, or my own personal Ikea. I may have only been at Tietgen for a few months, but my room was furnished like I’d been there for years. And I must say, it really made that basic exchange room feel like a home.
More than the facilities, however, the greatest aspect of life at Tietgen is of course the social atmosphere of the dorm. Typically, when on exchange you will spend the majority of your time living and hanging out with other exchange students. This is not a bad thing of course but some exchange students will express regret they weren’t able socialize more with local students. In Tietgen this is no issue. You are well and truly amongst the natives. You may study their ways and customs to your hearts content – for instance discovering what ‘hygge’ is, the many traditions surrounding Christmas, or observing the tremendous amounts of rye bread the Danes consume in any given week. Not only do you meet authentic Copenhageners, you also get to meet students from all across Denmark. If you are very lucky, you may even come across those rare and special Danes, the Jutlanders.
Everyone finds different things to love the most about Tietgen. For some, it’s the beautiful architecture. For others, it’s the parties and social events. For me it was watching and becoming deeply invested in Danish children’s television programs. Or more accurately, watching Danish television with people I rapidly came to see as some of the most wonderful friends I could ever hope to make.
No matter what kind of person you are, or what your interests may be, your experience at Tietgen is likely to be unspeakably brilliant. If you are lucky enough to get in, I know your time there will be amazing.