Summary of the Social Weeks for International Exchange Students
The Social Week is the best way to meet all the international students and of course make new friends. Especially if you didn’t get the chance to be in CBS accommodation. I personally wasn’t in a student accommodation during my first or second semester and the introduction week has been a very helpful start and made me meet most of my CBS friends.
The various activities is also a good introduction to the danish culture and will make you more familiar with the city of Copenhagen. This is not a week to miss ! Let me convince you with a little insight as to what you can expect.
If you are already annoyed by the Danes or feel homesick, Comedy night is the best remedy. Even if the Danes don’t seem to be the funniest people on earth at first sight, I’m sure these ones will make you at least smile ! The show is led by four comedians and is mainly constructed on the interactions with the audience, like questions-answers on nationalities, Copenhagen, etc. The main point is to help you get over the culture shock (by making fun of it), and there are of course many clichés about the Danes, their beautiful language and weather. Don’t worry, you will also get the chance to laugh about stereotypical Danish associations like sex and alcohol. The comedians are very good at what they do and create a real link with the audience by remembering people’s names and make fun of some of the spectators (the front raw is to be avoided for the more reserved ;) ) . I really enjoyed that night and had a great laugh because many of the jokes were perfect for what we all as exchange students were going through at the time.
Your skepticism towards this activity is totally understandable. I was on the brink of not going but it actually turned to be the funniest event of the week ! Just give yourself the chance to discover typical danish folk dancing. The event started off with some professionals wearing traditional clothes, showing us the choreography and then it was our turn. You learn the steps all together as a group, then in couples, and then finally in random groups of six people. It is a lot of fun to see the different reactions people having, depending of nationality, to danish folklore. I particularly enjoyed this activity because the dance in itself is very simple – the tough part is to be synchronized as a group! I also loved the fact that the music was delivered by a real orchestra!
Boat Tour / Vesterbro Guided Tour
The boat tour was a very relaxed event. I really enjoyed discovering the city from another angle. Copenhagen is a city where it seems water is everywhere, so it just felt natural to see it from the water. I really liked the guide who really put in an effort with his humorous comments and I learnt many interesting historical facts on the city that I still remember now, that I always share on to my friends or family visiting. It is also a great event for some down time to converse and get to know the other exchange students who are (literally) in the same boat as you.
In the Spring semester, you will instead enjoy a guided tour of the Vesterbro area. The tour is lead through the Meatpacking district. This area, which used to be the butchers’ place, has been reconverted into an edgy neighboorhood with an excellent nightlife scene. I never imagined going to this part of the city before, so that was a very nice discovery. Even though I really enjoyed it, when we went the weather was cold, dark and rainy, which took away some of the fun.
This relaxing event can also be funny if dark humour is your thing. They show us a Danish movie, ”Blinkende lygter” (2000), which about some bandits who are on the run but at the same time are trying to start a new life by opening a restaurant in the middle of Jutland. The movie really got me in the Danish mood ! Eventhough I don’t think the movie is the best publicity for the danish countryside, I always kept it in my mind during my exploration of Denmark. It also made me discover the Danish humour and helped me to have a better perception of the Danish mindset.
Buddy Dinner followed by the Lake Party
My buddy dinners, both times, were very nice. The first time we had dinner in the Åboulevard dorm, we started dinner as a group of eight people and ended the dinner with drinking in a group of 20, before we all headed to the party together ! For my second dinner, my buddy and his team made delicious fajitas at their place. It was very hygge ! The Lake party is organized in a very nice white house overlooking the lakes between the Nørreport and Nørrebro areas. The area has a totally unique charm which I love! Although the atmosphere of the party going on inside is nice, I spent most of my night outside on the terrace by the lake, where many others sat with a drink in their hands, just conversing.
The Welcome Dinner is the last activity and the celebration of the end of the two introduction weeks. The evening takes place in a club, a tiny bit outside the city centre. Eventhough it is still accessible by bike, I still had not yet acquired the the skill to be both drunk and safe on my bike, so went for the option of the bus. We firstly enjoyed a buffet which was quiet tasty and also enjoyable for vegetarians and other vegans. After the dinner, some live perfomers played some music. Eventhoug the singers were not always the most energizing people, I think all in all they did a nice performance and this was a nice intro to the DJ who then continues the party afterwards. This party was a good way to begin the night as most of people head to a club after.
This dinner is a bit like a gala dinner (so you get to dress up!) and is the best way to celebrate the end of the Introduction Weeks.
I really felt that I was starting tick off most of my Danish experiences already during the Social Week ! I have many amazing memories from it, so if you’re still contemplating whether you should sign up for it, my advice is – don’t hesitate and just go for it