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UTS International Profile

Since the beginning of  February, after spending the summer in Sri Lanka and India, I have been living in Copenhagen, and studying at the University of Copehnagen, Denmark, on exchange.

Finding home

When I arrived, in clothes more appropriate to Goa than to Scandinavia, I immediately caught a train to the city and wandered around, somewhat uselessly, trying to find my Kollegium (residential college).  I found the cool new modern one – Tietgen – I found the university’s main campus, I seemed to find anything but my place.  Finally, giving up, I jumped into a cab, who could at least  ask strangers in Danish where we were going.

So, the sun was beginning to set on this beautifully Baltic day and I arrived at my college … only to find that my residential contract didn’t start for a few days yet!  I dropped my bags off at the rooms of some random, but awesome, American mates I made on my way to the College, and, in a panic, I called Sarah, my awesome friend from Australia, who would also be my roommate in college.

She told me of a “Generator Hostel” in town which had a few rooms to spare, and off I was!  A bit of negotiation with the lady at the front desk and I was put in a 6 bed dorm that was empty, a private room for a fraction of the price!

A few days later, after the contract started, after a tour around the college by this massive creeper of an Argus Filch type character – our college’s caretaker, I got to see my room.

When you walk in the door, there is an awesome modern kitchen/living area filled with top class appliances and wonderful things.  Everything built-in seems to be great quality.  Everything that is replaceable seems to be Ikea.  There is lots of light, and the place looks really promising!

My room is a little spartan, a snug single bed, a small desk and a dresser, that is it.  No ceiling lights, just a lamp – quite dark, but quite big.  Good enough for me, especially after my time in the subcontinent.  One thing though, the lack of light has me studying much more in the common areas than in my room.

My roommates are spectacular:

  • Sarah – my awesome friend from Australia
  • Paul – a tank American both from New Jersey and Texas
  • Nanna – a Signalhuset veteran who is Danish

We cook and eat and party together, and we are a really great bunch!

The University

University of Copenhagen

Image via Wikipedia

I am a student at Copenhagen University, an old university built right into the centre of the city.  Where UTS has it’s ’70’s brutalist tower, CPH U has its more than 100 year old buildings, and annexes where we study.

This semester I am studying three subjects, each taught in a seminar style (do lots of readings before class, discuss and apply them in class – no “lecture” to give you all the info if you are lazy).

The first is World Trade Organisation, easily my favorite class so far.  The professor has practical experience in the WTO, and is extremely dynamic and inspiring.  WTO law is different to most international law – its cases make it exciting! And, the cherry on top, each week we moot the case we read, giving us an even greater insight into the reasoning and judgments.

The second class is States of Emergency, Emergency Powers and Liberal Democracy.  This class is intense – three hour lectures after reading approximately 150 pages a week, each week dealing with many models and at least a few examples of the application of these models.  Although it is quite a hectic subject, it is also extremely fascinating.

Finally, I also study Rights of the Child in International Law.  This class, like most basic international law classes, is quite obtuse.  It teaches us why we have the conventions we do, how people are still breaching them, and why we can’t do anything about it.  It is a little depressing and filled with cultural relativism, but I hope that once we got onto the topics that have been litigated – namely Child Soldiers, that the subject will improve.

I’ll keep you all posted!

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