Living Arrangement & University Classes

Posted: September 25, 2010 in Categorized
Tags: ,

So I thought I’d take the time to describe my living arrangement and classes.

I live in Nørrebro, which is northwest of the Copenhagen City Center and one of the 10 main districts of Copenhagen. It is known for being very multi-ethnic and I would say that it has the highest concentration of non-ethnic Danes in all of Copenhagen. The largest minority groups are from the middle-East or Arabian background, representing countries such as Iran and Pakistan. Nørrebro has fairly cheap housing with lots of cafes, bars, and shops. I love living in Nørrebro because it’s like getting the best of both worlds by giving me the perfect chance to observe immigrants and Danish interaction. I live with four Danish roommates, which consists of two men and two women. The flat that I live in is very spacious and has a nice view of the park across the street.

A Map of the Major Districts

So far my classes at the University of Copenhagen are going really well. Although, I am on a research grant, I am still required to take a full course load, which is the equivalent of 30ECTS. So far, I am taking:

  1. Health Systems in Nordic Countries: Focuses on policy and comparative analysis of the Nordic Countries.
  2. Medical Anthropology I: Focuses on understanding the social and cultural analyses of health.
  3. Gender, Sexuality and HIV/AIDS in Low Income Countries (mainly Africa): Risk behaviours, prevention, policy and intervention strategies:    I start this class on Wednesday, Sept. 29. It is focused on prevention, policy and interventions strategies in low-incomes countries.

Semesters are divided into Block 1 and Block 2, so Health Systems in Nordic Countries and Medical Anthropology I are just in Block 1 while the Gender, Sexuality and HIV/AIDS class will take place in Block 1 and Block 2.   In Block 2, another course will be added, Medical Anthropology II: Bio-sociality and Biological Citizenship – Anthropology and the “New” Biology.

As far as the University experience, I encountered a problem with understanding how the “system” works in the Public Health Department. In some departments you have to register for exams separately from  registering for the course.  Although this is completely different from my U.S. college experience, I figured it can’t be that difficult to figure out.  However, most of the websites have not been fully translated into English  and I would have liked help with how to register for exams from the administrative level.  It was very confusing and a bit frustrating at times, when you’re told that if you don’t register for exams you won’t get credit, but no one really tells you HOW to register for exams.   Luckily, I found a Danish student to help me out. I think the main problem is that most things are in Danish (a lot of stuff still needs to be translated in English for non-speaking Danish students) at the University, so it evokes this feeling of I have to understand Danish in order to gain access and because I don’t understand Danish my access has been denied. I completely understand why everything is in Danish, because Danish is the native tongue (so I’m not complaining).    I think the Public Health Department is in a transitional stage for welcoming non-Danish speaking students (also, the core courses are not offered in English, just the elective courses are offered for the fall semester, which I was aware of before I came). However, this is just one of the problems and is not deterministic or indicative of my whole experience at the University. Overall, I really like the apartment I am living in and I love my classes. The classes are challenging in their own way and will either help me gain or enhance my skills related to my research project.

The living room area of my apartment.


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