Lifestyle

Moving to Aarhus

Finding an apartment, and moving to Aarhus

In the year 2008, I decided that I was moving to Aarhus for further studies. I had just finished my baccalaureate and one year of sabbatical, which I had spent working.

Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark, with a population of 260.000 residents, and the preferred place for studies in Jutland. A great deal of young men and woman, move here from all over the western part of Denmark every year, mostly for further studies and new job opportunities.

There are only a few other cities in Jutland that has the same quantity of educational choices as the city of Aarhus, and its well placed in the middle of Jutland, so it makes the perfect choice for the most students to go here.

 

Prepare to pay a large rent

The price of renting an apartment in Aarhus is close to the same as it is in the capitol Copenhagen. So don’t choose Aarhus as a cheaper alternative for Copenhagen.

If you choose to rent an apartment in the outer areas of Aarhus, you should be able to find a room or small student apartment for a price between 2.000 to 3.000 Danish kroner (268 – 402 Euros).

But if you want to live in Aarhus City, you should expect to pay from 3.000 Danish kroner (402 Euros) and up.

I moved from a small village in Western Jutland where the rent was around half of Aarhus, so the prices came as a shock to me. But this is one of the disadvantages of moving to a larger city, where it’s a struggle just to get a medium prices apartment.

Last of all, you have to watch out for scammers when renting a room or apartment in Denmark. Sadly there are people who are taking advantages of the large amount of people seeking an apartment every year. So just a few advices:

  • Never pay up front.
  • Meet in person and visit the apartment.
  • Read the contract carefully.
  • Use your network – Some might know someone who has the perfect apartment for you.

 

Websites that will help you find a room or an apartment in Aarhus:

  • Kollegie8000.dk – The most reliable service for finding a student’s apartment.

 
If there are none available, you can get placed in queue for one. Administrated by the municipality of Aarhus, so this is by far the most reliable.

  • Boligportal.dk – The largest company-owned site, and with a monthly fee.

 
This site is private persons and companies renting out rooms and apartments.

  • 3 other sites that does pretty much the same as Boligportal, but for free:
    Studenterguiden.dk, Lejerbo.dk and Ungdomsboliger.dk

 
Finding a student job to support your finances

If you are looking to find a student job in Denmark, it can be difficult if you don’t speak or understand Danish, but there are places where foreign language and skills can be an asset.

A lot of the companies, who are seeking workforce from international students, put up job postings at schools and educations. So keep your eyes open, and maybe ask some of your friends to be observant for job openings.

If you got a particular skill, it is probably needed somewhere!

UTUMN FAMILY TIME

Jerry Seinfeld once said, that there is no such thing as fun for the whole family. And when I visited my mother and father this weekend, I was inclined to agree with him. Apparently my family had a weekend of great happenings in mind.

When I arrived on Friday evening, I was met with the most weird and rare spectacle. My parents’ driveway was gone, and left was a bare piece of land. They had removed all of their granite paving stones, and it looked terrible. What were they thinking?

So I went into the house with quite a big frown on my face. What was going on? Apparently my parents had planned for a weekend of hard work and “family quality time”, as my mother put it. Neither my two brothers nor me were keen about the situation.

So what happened was – my parents didn’t like their old granite paving stones, and frankly it did look terrible. So they wanted to replace then with something called “græsarmering”. Translated into English it would be called something like “grass armoring”. It’s some kind of paving stone, which allows some of the grass to come out inside the stone. And like this, you can get a more “green” look in your driveway, path system, whatever. It’s actually quite nice – look here.

Yeah, so my weekend of spoiling and relaxing at mom and dad turned out to be something quite different. I grabbed my moms’ old boiler suit and looked like something from River Cottage. But actually, it was quite fun. It was a very different way to spend time with my family, and frankly I was quite proud of the result, when the last paving stone was put on its place.

So maybe Seinfeld is wrong. He definitely is in some cases. Cause my family and I actually had fun – altogether.

What I do in CPH when my little brother visits me

My little brother is 12 years old. Soon he will be a teenager and things might get more difficult. I love to spend time with him, but I must admit that too often we hang around digital devices playing games. In my opinion that does not strengthen my relationship with him. Nor does it add value to his or my life. Instead one should spend time together, exploring, learning and experimenting.

Free activities versus paid ones

It is a fact that most suggested activities by tourist offices are centered around paid ones. Have a look at Visit Copenhagens list of attractions for kids or a similar list from Visit Denmark. All 10 activities from Visit Copenhagen are paid activities. Visit Denmark suggest 10 paid activities and 3 free ones.

little brother spending time

Free activities for kids in Copenhagen

Let us keep things simple. Here are my 5 suggestions of the greatest activities in Copenhagen with kids – and they are all free

1) Go to “Strøget” and enjoy the musicians, comedians and other street artists
2) Enjoy a free dip in the water at Islands Brygge or one of the many other outdoor pools in Copenhagen
3) Take a trip to Bakken Amusement Park – the entrance if for free
4) Eat free tasters in Illum, Magasin or at Torvehallerne
5) Go to one of the outdoor gyms and play around like monkeys

I hope you enjoyed the list. Having fun does not necessarily cost money.

Using Copenhagen to Make New (Entrepreneurial) Friends

When I moved to Copenhagen almost a year ago, I barely knew anyone. I had a single acquaintance, whom I had never met in person, and my girlfriend (who was living with me).

But now, less than a year later, Copenhagen has become my city. It is the place where I know the most people, despite growing up in the southern part of Fuen and studying for two years in Aarhus.

So how did this come to be?

Copenhagen is an amazing city when it comes to meeting new people.

Not only because there are so many participatory events for people with all sorts of varied interests, but because there is such a large number of people in the city that you can arrange almost any kind of event and still draw a crowd.

Of course, I’ve had the great pleasure of hosting a few events myself.

One of the first things I did in Copenhagen was initiate a monthly meet-up for owners of online stores. 15 people came to my first meeting and I got to know all of them. A few of them have now become close friends that I see a few times every month. Since then, we have stopped holding our meet-up events every month and have settled for doing so just once in a while.

I also co-arranged quite a few 24-hour “work-a-thons.” The purpose of these being to sit together and work through the entire day, and sometimes even through the night. I’ve made quite a few friends at these events as well, as many people are drawn to the prospect of being able to work through the weekend in a space where the phone won’t be ringing all the time. To clarify, for some people, working over the weekend sounds like a form of torture, but for entrepreneurial people, it’s the best.

Last week, I had nine people from the “online marketing” community at my home, where I provided them with food (as they had paid around 50 DKK (~$8.85) to participate). I ended up having to ask them to leave at midnight, at which point everyone had been here for 6 hours and I needed to get some sleep.

Another great way to meet people is by writing to an interesting person and asking them out for coffee or a burger. I simply write them an email telling them that I think what they do is interesting and ask them out to get to know each other. I haven’t received a single “no” through this method yet, and I’ve made quite a few new friends through it (some of which who have accomplished way more in their businesses than I have).

Can this be Done in Other Cities

If you live anywhere outside of Copenhagen, you probably think I am underestimating the rest of Denmark.

And I just might be.

I know this approach works in certain other parts of Denmark as well. I used some of these same techniques in Aarhus too and I know Søren Skriver has made tons of friends in Aalborg by just asking around. Emil Eriksen moved to Malmö for his business recently and now knows more Swedes than I will get to know in a lifetime.

In my experience, it’s just much easier in Copenhagen due to the critical mass of interesting people we have here.

I work with lawyers all over Denmark through JUF.dk, but most of my best collaborations are located here in Copenhagen. My proximity makes it easy for me to say hello to them and create the personal relations that I value so much in my business.

If you want to meet new people in Copenhagen, I suggest giving Meetup.com a visit. I’ve used it to arrange a number of my meet-ups with great success.

Also, consider joining the various events places like RocketLabs host. I recently participated in “Kings of Scaling” through RocketLabs and met a few new people, as seen in the picture below.

Making new friends is easy if you’re not afraid of reaching out!

Folkekøkken here we come

So we did something wonderful last week with a couple of friends, and I really want to advertise it. We ate at a public “Folkekøkken” which can probably best be translated with “Soup Kitchen”, though the target audience is not primarily homeless or poor.

The concept is simple: cheap food aimed at busy families. This time we ate at the Café Rouge on Nørrebro, which is communally owned, and we paid 50 kroner per adult and 30 kroner per child for a simple, delicious meal of roast, different salads, roast potatoes and sauce. We sat outside in the sunshine with our friends and their children, and after an hour of relaxed eating, we went home to tuck the baby in. No grocery shopping, no cooking, no dishwashing. And a bit of much needed quality time with old friends and some sun .

I will recommend Copenhagens different Folkekøkken’s to anyone.It’s really great. And if you have kids, they’ll be busy playing with all the other children and having a blast. And it seems, that there are many more, than I knew. So as a little service to my numerous readers (hi mom!), I’ll give you a short list of some of the most established and well known:

Café Le Rouge, every Tuesday 17.30 – 20.30. 50 kroner adult/30 kroner child.

Café N, Blågårdsgade, every Friday from 17. Vegetarian. 39 kroner.

Korsgadehallen Nørrebro, every Tuesday, veg and non-veg. 50 kroner/25 kroner for children.

Ungdomshuset Dortheavej, Kbh NV. Every Thursday. Vegab, 20 kroner.

Kraftwerket Valby. Every Tuesday from 19. 20 kroner.

When it comes to cheap eating out, I guess I can be very satisfied with living on Nørrebro! Cooking yourself is so yesterday, folkekøkken here we come.