England | Dining and Shopping

By Michelle Lin

Things to know about living in London: chains for shopping and eating: While there are many one-of-a-kind restaurants and shops in London, knowing more about the chains in this city are definitely helpful if you’re studying abroad here. These chains are where you’ll find yourself shopping and eating in your daily lives, and also offer an illuminating look into British life. Here’s some more information on where you should buy shampoo and eggs, and where to kick your sushi craving.  


Drugstores: Superdrug and Boots 

Superdrug is better for beauty and body care products, while Boots is better for medicine, as their pharmacists will give you really helpful medical advice based on your situtation, and which medicines you should take. In addition, you can get your flu shot at Boots, which costs 12 pounds. Both are also great to explore skincare products that aren’t available in the United States. Some interesting things that I’ve learned is that the British word for acetametaphin is paracetomal, and drugstores here do not sell facial washes with benzoyl peroxide.  

Supermarkets: Tesco, Sainsbury, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer  

Tesco, Sainsbury, Waitrose, and Marks & Spencer are the major chain grocery stores. Waitrose and Marks & Spencer are more expensive than Tesco and Sainsbury, but has a larger selection of products and fresher produce. There is also Tesco Metro and Sainsbury’s Local, which are smaller versions of the grocery stores. These are good for buying snacks, drinks, or non-perishables, but not as great for fresh produce. All of these stores have meal deals, where you get a sandwich, drink, and either chips or candy for a fixed price of around 3 to 4 pounds. These are widely popular in England, and worth trying for the British experience. Marks & Spencer has a lot of unique products, including many food items that are great to give as gifts, and a lot of ingredients that are great for cooking. While it is more expensive and specialized, I’d definitely recommend checking out their products in order to try items that aren’t available in the US.  


While I love many restaurants and chains in London, some of the best places to get great food for cheaper is markets and farmers’ markets. These markets offer a large variety of ethnic food, are great for trying new foods. My favorites have been the duck burger in Brick Lane Market, and the Indian food at Bloomsbury’s farmers market.  

Food: Nando’s, Wasabi, Leon, Pret a Manger 

Nando’s is probably the most famous British chain, and for a good reason- they’re known for their legendary peri-peri flame grilled chicken, with delicious sides, for a reasonable price. My go-to order is a fourth chicken with two sides, which costs 7.45 pounds. You can choose the sauce for your chicken to be cooked in (my favorite is medium), and my favorite sides are corn on the cob and mashed potatos. Nando’s is famous for their numerous delicious sauces that you can dip your chicken and sides in, and you can grab the bottles of sauces to bring to your table. One of my favorite things about Nando’s is that it’s the only restaurant I’ve seen in London with an ice machine.  

Wasabi is the most established sushi chain in London, serving both sushi and bento boxes with dishes such as yakisoba and chicken katsu curry. The sushi isn’t amazing, but good enough for the price and convenience, and fulfills my cravings for sushi.  

Leon is a healthy fast food joint, that serves the food usually right as you order it. I’m not a huge fan of their chicken burgers, but I do really like their chicken nuggets. This restaurant makes healthy food more accessible, and is a great alternative to stopping at McDonald’s when you want food quickly.  

Pret a Manger serves sandwiches, coffee, juices, soups, and pastries- it essentially has options for both a meal or a snack, and is widely popular in London. There seems to be one on each block. Some are only take-out locations, but others have eat-in options as well.  

Coffee: Pret a Manger, Nero Coffee, Costa Coffee 

The most popular and widespread coffee chains are Pret a Manger, Nero Coffee, and Costa Coffee. Although all of these chains don’t do iced coffee like the ones I’m used to in the US, they all make great flat whites and offer a variety of pastries as well. In addition, Starbucks is also widely popular here, with locations everywhere as well.  

Michelle Lin studied in London, England in 2018: http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/united_kingdom_england/Pages/default.aspx

England | Best Day Trips from London

By Michelle Lin

While I absolutely love and enjoy the city of London, I would definitely recommend taking day trips outside of London- the English countryside truly cannot be missed, and it is refreshing to get away from the hustle and bustle of London. Not only are the trains super easy to access from the King’s Cross station in London, but the train journey itself is breathtaking, because of the picturesque views of rolling green hills and so many sheep. London is not representative of the rest of England, and these day trips are easy and rewarding ways to see more of this country. England has a great transportation system, with trains that are fast, clean, and new, and I’d definitely recommend everyone to take advantage of this and travel within the UK through the trains. Train tickets can be bought on trainline.eu in advance, which is recommended in order to get a cheaper price. However, for spontaneous trips, tickets can be bought in the train stations as well.  


Brighton is a downright adorable little town by the seaside in southern London, and is the home of the YouTuber Zoella. I really missed the oceans of California, so seeing the ocean here was really nice, even though it was very different. Other than walking on the pier and enjoying the ocean, the city center of Brighton has a lot of really cute and unique boutique shops, selling anything from vintage silk shirts from the 1980s to handmade jewelry to quirky clocks made out of vinyls. Another cool place to go is the Royal Pavilion, a palace inspired by Indian architecture. Since it’s by the sea, Brighton has great and cheap fish and chips. Overall, Brighton has a really relaxed seaside vibe, and is cute and small enough to enjoy and explore for a day trip.  


Bath is a beautiful English village, and looks like the English countryside straight from the movies. The city center has lovely architecture, and heralds the Roman Baths, ancient remains of the outdoor baths that the Romans used to have. Outside of the city center is a river that runs through the town admist much greenery, as well as old churchs and bridges. There are also many smaller towns nearby that are worth exploring for an hour or two- Trowbridge and Frome are around a twenty minute train ride away.  


Canterbury is another quaint and cute English village that reminded me of Bath. This town is most well known for the Canterbury Cathedral and the Canterbury Tales by Chaucer. The Canterbury Cathedral is one of the oldest Christian sites in England, and historically the site for many Christian pilgrims. This church is huge, with many different sections inside, and an underground crypt. I found the crypt to be the most interesting part, because of its dark hallways and small rooms that surround a larger gathering area. Other parts to explore other than the city center of Canterbury is Westgate Parks- this is a super peaceful and large park with a river running through it, and a great place to relax and soak in all of the beauty.  

Lastly, although I have personally not been yet, Cambridge and Oxford are both great and popular destinations for day trips, especially due to their historic and prestigious universities. So far in my program, I’ve really enjoyed seeing more of England through its different towns and areas. I have learned a lot, and not just how much cheaper groceries are outside of London, and hope to explore more of the United Kingdom in the future. 

Michelle Lin studied in London, England in 2018: http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/united_kingdom_england/Pages/default.aspx

England | Roommate Interview

By Michelle Lin

Amapola Garcia-Gomez is a fourth year transfer student at UCSD, majoring in sociology, and is one of my flatmates here in London. Her are some of her thoughts on her study abroad experience in the UC Center London Program. 

Q: Why did you choose your program? 
A: I wasn’t accepted to my first program which was Ireland, so I committed to this program because I really wanted to go to London for a semester. The reason that I chose London is very cliche, but I always wanted to go to London. I see London as a stepping stone in my life, because if I can make it to London, I can make it to anywhere in the world. 

Q: What challenges did you consider? 
A: One of the challenges I faced was being a first-generation university student, which created more insecurity in my decision to go abroad, because no one in my family has ever gone abroad or been to Europe. I felt liberated, and I felt like I broke the chain- my family has never had the money to travel outside of the Americas. Going abroad was a way for me to break that mindset in not letting fear hold you back. 

Q: What has some of your favorite memories of studying abroad been so far? 
A: Building friendships with people would be my best memories, especially with our flatmates, because during our first weeks here, we went everywhere together. We didn’t know where we were going, but we were going together. 

Q: What do you like about London? 
A: I like European history, so I like all of the history this city has. I love the more countryside parts of London, since it reminds me of Jane Austen. I love the transportation here, especially the Underground Tube station- there’s endless possibilities of getting around. 

Q: How would you compare your classes here as opposed at UCSD? 
A: Taking classes here are more independent study versus on campus, where you’re constantly being told to do this. You have more freedom here than staying on an actual campus.

Q: What are some of the cultural differences between London and Los Angeles? 
A: The people’s attitudes towards life is different- they’re always in a rush. There’s always a need for coffee and tea. Their portion sizes are smaller, their food has a lot less sugar. They really like beans, and freshly cooked meals. They have a lot more sit down restaurants than opposed to fast food restaurants, but even fast food restaurants seem healthier and fresher.

Q: What restaurants would you recommend in London? 
A: For Indian food, I’d definitely recommend Punjab, because although it’s a bit pricey, it’s far better than Dishoom, which is another really well-known Indian restaurant. I like Wasabi for sushi, which is a chain in the UK. If you really want good quality chicken that melts off the bone, I would recommend the Chicken Shop. Another chicken restaurant is Nando’s, which is a bit cheaper and has more variety.

Q: What areas and sights would you recommend in London? 
A: I would definitely recommend Hampton Court Palace, the Soho area, Chinatown, and the touristy sites including the London Eye and the London Bridge. For museums, I like the National Gallery, the National History Museum, the British Museum, and the Soane Museum.

Q: What do you miss from America? 
A: I miss Mexican food and spices a lot, although I had some good Mexican food in Dublin. I also miss soda, since the soda here doesn’t taste exactly like the ones in America. I miss my siblings, and shows that I can’t watch in the UK.

Q: What has been the challenge of studying abroad? 
A: Money and financial stability, and communication with financial aid. I think this is a very important aspect to consider when thinking about studying abroad, especially considering how expensive London is. I’d say to make sure you have more than you need before you leave, and to figure out how much you need.

Q: What moment has really stood out during your study abroad experience? 
A: Sitting in Russell Square on the grass with my back against the tree. I sat down in a break between my classes, and I listened to a song that I always listened to when I was dreaming about being somewhere else before I knew I was going to study abroad, and realizing where I was now while I listened to it, and how I was able to accomplish my dream.

Michelle Lin studied in London, England in 2018: http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/united_kingdom_england/Pages/default.aspx

England | Studies

By Michelle Lin

While social media posts may not show it, studying abroad does include studying! Here’s some insights into the classes I’m taking in the Arts, Politics, Society & Space program. Because this program is a UC Center program and not affiliated with any British university, all of our classes are taken at the London ACCENT center with various lecturers. Class is only a five minute walk away from the apartments, which is absolutely lovely. Each class takes place once a week, for three hours each, so I have a total of 12 hours of class a week.  

All of our classes point toward providing us with a greater understanding of London. Through my classes, I am broadening my horizons and learning so much more about multiple aspects of England. These are classes are extremely different from the giant lectures at UCLA that I’m used to. Because there’s around twenty-five students in each class, it feels more like a liberal arts or private university. We do a lot of group work, activities, and class participation, and attendance is mandatory. All classes are essay and presentation based, so I’m glad to get a break from midterms and exams.  

Comparative Media 

This class centers around a comparison between the UK media and the US media, and the professor is followed by Barack Obama on Twitter! It’s a very interactive class, with a lot of class discussions and debates.  

Britain and the EU  

Although this is the class I find most challenging, it is also my favorite class, since I’ve always wanted to learn more about the European Union and Brexit. Every lecture is extremely interesting, as we get more of an insight into the history of the EU and the complexity of this institution. After we learn something, we immediately do worksheets, which really ingrains the lesson into my head. In addition, we will attend two lectures at the London School of Economics in order to learn more about issues related to the European Union. This class is very timely with the upcoming date of the Brexit, and I’m grateful to be able to learn about this issue in the country that it so greatly affects.  

London Museums 

This class mostly takes place at different museums, where guest lecturers (usually past curators of the museum) teach us through a tour around the museum. This includes extremely famous museums such as the British Museum and the National Gallery, as well as lesser well-known museums, such as the Sir John Soane museum. I really enjoy being able to go to museums during class, and learning about not only art history, but the politics and logistics of museum curation.  

Society & Space 

This is the core class of the program which every student takes, where we learn about the development of the city of London through different historical periods. Half of the lectures are in the classroom, while the other half are walking tours around different areas of London. Last week, we walked around the East End of London, learning about both the history that took place and what is happening there in the present day. In addition, we occasionally visit museums for this class as well. I love how much I’ve been able to learn in these classes, and how much they contribute to a holistic understanding of London. One of the aspects of London that drew me to study abroad here was its rich history and culture, and being able to learn and explore more of this city through my classes has been truly a surreal and exceptional experience. 

Michelle Lin studied in London, England in 2018:http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/united_kingdom_england/Pages/default.aspx

Denmark | Why I Decided to Study Abroad

By Chloe Zgorzelski 

Two flights and one long travel day later, I have made it home to Los Angeles! I still can’t believe my time studying and living in Copenhagen has come to an end and winter quarter at UCLA begins in a little less than a week. 

Since I am often asked why I decided to study abroad, in particular, why I chose the city of Copenhagen, I decided it would only be fitting to wrap up my posts about my exchange adventure reflecting on my time across the pond. I chose to study abroad because I wanted to learn from, be exposed to, and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for a culture that is different from my own. When I became a UCLA Bruin almost three years ago, I knew studying abroad was one of those unique university experiences that I had to take advantage of. Not only would this opportunity enrich my educational career, but I was confident it would diversify and broaden my worldview in ways I could not even fathom.  

I started planning during my freshman year, setting up meetings with the counselors in the UCLA IEO office and researching many different programs throughout Europe. For a long time, my heart was set on completing a program in either Spain or Italy. Yet, when I discovered UCEAP’s program at University of Copenhagen in Denmark, I knew it was the perfect fit for me.  

As a student who actively pursues opportunities that encourage personal growth, I was drawn to Denmark’s excellent educational system, emphasis on living sustainably, and unique blend of tradition and modernity in architecture, art, and culture. Denmark is consistently rated one of the happiest countries in the world, a fact that I felt was compatible with my optimistic outlook and positive demeanor. I also admired the Danes focus on utilizing education as a means to create innovative, real-world solutions, an emphasis I believed would satiate my desire to be challenged academically and collaborate with others. Moreover, I discovered the program would allow me to enroll in and complete upper division coursework through the University’s renowned Psychology Department. Not only would this supplement the strong educational foundations that UCLA has fostered in me, but it would also allow me to stay on track to graduating with a double major in 2020. 

As the first UCLA student to submit an application for this program way back in October 2017, there is no doubt that I had been looking forward to this experience for a long time. The time I spent and the experiences I had in Denmark prompted immense personal growth and allowed me to foster deeper global connections. Not only have I embraced an attitude of ‘hygge’, a Danish term that embodies warmth and coziness, but I also feel I have become more mindful. I am more intentional about taking the time to slow down and appreciate, enjoy, and experience the present, a skill that often gets lost in our increasingly fast paced world. My interactions with the Danes reinforced my belief that life should be lived with authenticity and intentionality. I also feel I have become more independent, self-reliant, and confident in myself as a result of my time in Copenhagen.  

It was always my desire to share what I have learned from my experiences abroad with others and to use my newfound knowledge and cross-cultural understanding to make a positive and tangible impact within my community. Here’s hoping that 2019 brings more opportunities to travel, live well, and learn abroad! 


xo Chloe 

Chloe Zgorzelski studied in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2018: http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/denmark/Pages/univ_of_copenhagen.aspx

Denmark | Christmas Markets

By Chloe Zgorzelski 

If you have ever wanted to experience what it feels like to walk around in a snow globe, then you must visit Copenhagen during the Christmas season. Copenhagen is a genuine Christmas city. The festive decorations that adorn every windowsill and the twinkly lights that illuminate the city streets make it nearly impossible not to get into the holiday spirit. I love Christmas time in Copenhagen. It’s like stepping into a Hallmark movie, where hot cocoa sipping, crackling fire, and “hygge” rules all. While Gløgg and Æbleskiver, sporadic snowfalls, sunsets before 3:30 PM, and the time spent with friends and family are some of my favorite memories from this yuletide season, it’s the many Christmas Markets, Lucia i Kajak Event, and Christmas at Tivoli that made my December in Denmark one I’ll always remember.

Christmas Markets  

The best place to soak up the festive atmosphere is at one of Copenhagen’s Christmas markets. Starting in mid-November, cozy holiday marketplaces begin to pop up throughout the city. My favorite markets, like the Christmas market at Nyhavn harbor, the Visit Carlsberg Christmas Market, and the Christmas Market at Højbro Plads, exude old school Christmas charm. Each boasts a plethora of wooden market stalls decorated for the holiday season, offering a variety of traditional Scandinavian Christmas delicacies and distinctly Danish gifts. If you are looking for a more unconventional holiday fair, the Freetown Christiania Christmas Market features many unique, handcrafted items and is definitely worth a visit! During the first weekend of December, I also had the opportunity to visit the Hans Christian Andersen Christmas Market in the city of Odense, Denmark. Odense, the third largest city in Denmark, is the hometown of fairytale poet Hans Christian Andersen. Every year, the city constructs an old-fashioned Christmas market complete with traditional decorations, a farmer’s market, and lots of local entertainment inspired by the infamous author.  

Lucia i Kajak 

One of the most unique ways the Danes celebrate the holiday season is with their annual Santa Lucia Kayak Parade. Saint Lucy’s Day is a commonly celebrated holiday throughout Scandinavia. It’s all about commemorating and finding a way to bring light to their long, dark winters. While there are many events in Copenhagen that celebrate Saint Lucy, the Lucia i Kajak event is one of the most special. Every year, hundreds of people decorate kayaks and paddleboards with garland, fairy lights, Christmas trees, candles, elves, and reindeer, and travel throughout the canals of Copenhagen singing Christmas carols and spreading holiday cheer. I was able to follow the entire parade from the pier and it was truly one of the most beautiful and spectacular sights I had ever seen

Christmas at Tivoli 

Christmas at Tivoli is absolutely magical. The historic gardens boast their own Christmas Market full of decorated wooden houses, snow-covered trees, festive ornaments, and glittering Christmas lights. Visitors can watch candy makers create old-fashioned lollipops and decorate honningkagehjerter cookies among the Christmas elves or “nissen”. To everyone’s delight there is a large Christmas tree in the center of the park with miniature trains that run around it and through present boxes inspired by the architecture of some of Copenhagen’s most recognizable buildings. There is also a brand-new projection light show on the façade of the iconic Tivoli Concert Hall as well as a Nutcracker themed version of the Tivoli Illuminations water show. I visited the gardens multiple times throughout the holiday season, and I even spent Christmas day in the park with my family! We had a great time riding the rides, looking at all of the different products being sold at the market stalls, and watching the special Christmas fireworks spectacular. The absolute best part about spending Christmas in Copenhagen? Getting to see snow for the first time ever!!

vi ses næste indlæg… xo Chloe 

Chloe Zgorzelski studied in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2018: http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/denmarkk/Pages/univ_of_copenhagen.aspx

Denmark | Academics

By Chloe Zgorzelski 

It’s the most wonderful month of the year – December! I’m so excited to experience all of the wonderful Danish Christmas Markets, experience the magic of Tivoli at Christmas, eat some delicious Æbleskiver, and celebrate the holidays with my family. But for students all around the world, including myself, the holiday season always goes hand in hand with the culmination of another academic semester and, of course, finals. So, in the spirit of finals season, I figured I would give you a quick peek into the world of academia at the University of Copenhagen, by highlighting three unique aspects that make university life in Denmark different than university life at home in California. 

#1 – Courses 

As an exchange student at the University of Copenhagen, you have the ability to enroll in a wide range of courses taught in English that span a variety of different disciplines and subjects. Some of the most popular disciplines at the university are environmental studies, health sciences, economics, and political science. While most of the courses offered are at the upper-division undergraduate level, students do have the ability to enroll in master’s level coursework. The university also offers a selection of Danish Culture Courses, which are classes highlighting various facets of Danish Culture, like Nordic Mythology or Danish Architecture, designed specifically with exchange students in mindClasses at the University of Copenhagen usually meet less times per week, for an extended period of time, rather than multiple times a week in shorter intervals, as is typical of the UC system. My social psychology course, for example, only meets once a week on Mondays from 3-6pm. My professor divides our class time into mini-sections and gives us one or two 10 minute “brain breaks in between, as is typical of most classes at the university. 


Courses here also carry an extremely high number of units. Even though I am only enrolled in two classes, I am considered a full-time student at the University of Copenhagen as both of my courses are each worth 15 ECTS points which is the equivalent to 24 UC Units. This has been adjustment for me, but this schedule has allowed me to use the rest of my week to travel, to volunteer at Studenterhuset, and enjoy all that Copenhagen has to offer! FUN FACT: All classes start exactly fifteen minutes after the official course start time, as per Danish tradition. Before cellphones and reliable watches, the Danes relied on the clocktowers around the city to indicate the time of day. Therefore, when the clock chimed at the hour, they understood that it was time for them to start making their way to class and they had about fifteen minutes to get there.  


#2 – Campus 

The University of Copenhagen is integrated into the city on four different campuses, each specializing in different disciplines: North Campus – Health & Medical Science, South Campus – Humanities, Law & Theology, City Campus – Social Sciences, and Fredericksburg Campus – Agriculture, Forestry & Veterinary. While I have been able to visit and see all four of the campuses during my time here, I have only had class on two out of the four. My psychology class meets at City Campus and both my Danish Language Course and Architecture courses met on South Campus.  

#3 – Assignments 

Students at the University of Copenhagen do not receive homework assignments, take midterm exams, or even typically complete papers throughout the semester. Rather, they complete a lot of reading throughout the semester, participate in group work, and are expected to spend a considerable amount of time outside of class processing and thinking critically about the class material in preparation for the lengthy final exam requirements. In both of the courses I was enrolled in this semester, I was required to complete an active participation assignment. This assignment is not graded, but is a prerequisite that, upon completion, makes you eligible to complete the final exam. For my Social Psychology class, my active participation consisted of a 20-30-minute group presentation, presented in front of the class, on one of the readings assigned to us. For Danish Architecture, I was required to write a 2-3-page synopsis introducing and outlining my final paper topic. My finals for both of these classes take the form of lengthy analytical papers. For the past couple of weeks, I have been working on a 15-20-page research paper on the relationship between health and architecture for my Danish Architecture Class. Next weekend, I will complete a 72-hour written exam for Social Psychology, which means I will be given a paper topic on Friday and I will have 72 hours to write, edit, and turn in my assignment.  

Looking forward to the successful completion another semester   

vi ses næste indlæg! xo Chloe 

Chloe Zgorzelski studied in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2018: http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/denmark/Pages/univ_of_copenhagen.aspx

Denmark | Copenhagen Adventures

By Chloe Zgorzelski 

It’s hard to believe that as I write I only have a little over a month left in Copenhagen! As soon as I got back from Fall Break a few weeks ago, I knew that time would start to fly extremely quickly – so I sat down and made a little list of all the things I knew I wanted to accomplish before I leave Copenhagen at the end of December. I also made it a personal goal to do (at least) one Copenhagen thing a day – which can mean anything from taking a day to go hunting for “trolls” in the forests in the outskirts of Copenhagen to something as little as taking a study break to eat a Danish hot dog. During my little three-week break from traveling, I really made an effort to stick to this goal. Here are five of my favorite things I have done during the past three weeks…… 

# 1 – Troll Hunting: Looking for the Six Hidden Giants in the forests of Outer Copenhagen 

A few weeks ago, I finally checked off one of my must-do’s while in Copenhagen – troll hunting! Before I arrived in Copenhagen, I saw a video about an artist named Thomas Dambo who had created “six hidden giants” out of scrap wood, that currently live and hide in the forests outskirting Copenhagen. He created them in an effort to bring art out of the museum while simultaneously encouraging local Copenhageners to explore the beautiful and often overlooked nature spots in their own backyard. As soon as I decided I was studying abroad in Copenhagen, I knew I had to find some of these trolls. So, on a sunny, mid-October Wednesday, a few of my friends and I grabbed our bikes and embarked on a treasure hunt to find some of Copenhagen’s most unique and loveable open-air sculptures. To start we took the B line of the S train all the way to Høje Taastrup (the location of Teddy Friendly) and then rode our bikes through the pastures and open fields past fluffy cows, sheep, horses and other wildlife on our way to find the other trolls.  In the span of a few hours, we were able to find four out of the six giants: Teddy Friendly (#6), Thomas on the Mountain (#5) Little Tilde (#4), and Oscar Under the Bridge (#3). So far, this has been my favorite Copenhagen adventure.  

# 2 – A Visit to Botanisk have 

The University of Copenhagen’s Botanical Garden is only located about a fiveminute walk away from my dorm and it is beautiful – especially in the Fall, when the leaves are turning, and the air is a bit crisper. The garden serves research, educational, and recreational purposes, as it is a part of the Natural History Museum of Denmark and the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Science. During my visit, I got to explore their new exhibit: The Butterfly House, as well as the infamous Palm House. Each of the garden’s glasshouses featured a wide array of exotic plant life and mimicked the various climates in which these plants grow best. My favorite part of my visit was having the opportunity to climb up the staircase in the Palm House to the upper observatory deck, so I could see the plant’s (and an awesome view of Copenhagen) from a different perspective.   

# 3 Cherish Exhibition at the Marble Church 

My favorite church in all of Copenhagen, hands down, is the Marble Church. It is located in the middle of the Frederiksstaden area, complementing both Amalienborg Castle and The Opera. I love that as you walk around the city you can see its copper green dome peeking out from behind various city buildings from almost anywhere you stand. During the month of October and the first few weeks of November, the church featured a special art installation entitled “Cherish”, designed to start a conversation about climate change and the impact it has on our seasons. Over 15,000 paper flowers floated on the inside of the church’s dome and it was truly a spectacular sight to see.  

# 4 – Bike Riding to Two of Copenhagen’s Coolest Parks: Superkilen + Tårnlegepladsen in Fælledparken 

Ever since my architecture professor presented a lecture on landscape architecture and the various parks and green spaces in Copenhagen, I had been dying to go visit two of the parks he discussed: Superkilen and Tårnlegepladsen. Superkilen park is located in the neighborhood of Nørrebro, only about 10 minutes away from my dorm. Nørrebro is one of the most diverse areas of Copenhagen and the park reflects and embraces this diversity. Many of the neighborhood’s inhabitants were consulted during the park’s development regarding what kind of features they would like to see included. Therefore, it is divided into three main areas: The Red Square, The Black Market, and The Green Park. Each of these areas is filled with objects and park equipment that is representative and inspired by the countries around the world that the neighborhood’s inhabitants are from. Among many things found in the park, you can find an octopus slide sculpture from Japan, a fountain from Morocco, and an old doughnut shop sign from the United States. Tarnlegepladsen is perhaps the cutest park I have ever seen. All of the play equipment is modelled after famous Copenhagen Monuments, such as the Round Tower, City Hall, the Marble Church, and the Church of Our Saviour Spiral. I was lucky enough to have a few hours of free time one morning, so I seized the opportunity, grabbed my bike and was lucky enough to grab a couple of photos before all the little kids arrived.  

#5 – Watching the Changing of the Guard at Amelianborg Palace 

Amelianborg is Copenhagen’s Royal Palace. For a portion of the year, Denmark’s royal family actually lives and resides inside. The palace is famous for its Royal Guard, called Den Kongelige Livgarde. Every day you can experience the changing of the guards, as they march from the military barracks on Gothersgade, past Rosenborg Castle, through the streets of Copenhagen to Amalienborg, where the changing of the guard occurs daily at 12:00 noon. Throughout my time in Copenhagen, I had seen the royal guard pass through the streets on multiple occasions, as I am often studying at various café’s and libraries within city center but had never seen the procession all the way through. So, l took a moment to finally go and watch it in its entirety and it was really cool to see! Unlike the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, Denmark’s procession is very immersive. There is no gate blocking your view and there is no giant crowd. You really get to see it happen the way it was intended.   


Chloe Zgorzelski studied in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2018: http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/denmark/Pages/univ_of_copenhagen.aspx

Denmark | Student Life at UCPH

By Chloe Zgorzelski 

Academics are an important component of university life, but an equally integral, and sometimes overlooked component of the college experience is student life. Student life at my home university, UCLA, usually revolves around my housing community, the various clubs I am involved in, and is often easily facilitated in part because of the way the campus is set-up.  At the University of Copenhagen (UCPH), student life is quite different. The university is spread across four separate campuses throughout the city, student housing is scattered in various neighborhoods, and most students only have class once or twice a week – meaning the amount of time they spend on campus is limited. While this may sound daunting, there are definitely still ways that any student on exchange in Copenhagen can become an actively involved participant in student life at the university. Here are three resources that I have utilized to help my adjustment and make Copenhagen feel a little bit more like home… 


Studenterhuset (pronounced “Stu-den-ter-hus-el”) is exactly what it sounds like, directly translating to “student house”. Located in the heart of central Copenhagen, right next to the iconic Rundetårn (or Round Tower), Studenterhuset is a place run by students, for students. Alongside a small group of paid staff, student volunteers from all across Copenhagen work together to keep the house and café running while creating an environment that promotes community and togetherness. Students from all subjects and faculties are encouraged to come together at Studenterhuset, and many do to meet up in study groups, hang out with friends, and join in on the various events that happen each and every day of the week. Some of my favorite Studenterhuset events have been Swing Dance Tuesdays, Quiz Night, Karaoke Fridays, Community Kitchen, and the annual Halloween Party! Fun Fact: all UCPH students are automatically members of the house, and are eligible to receive discounts on beverages, snacks, and entry fees on concert nights.  

At Studenterhuset, there are over 200 volunteers that work at the bar from approximately 40 nationalities – and I am one of them! I signed up to volunteer at the house at the end of August and had my first day of training in September. I volunteer at Studenterhuset three times a month (15 hours total) and I, like all other volunteers, get “paid” in vouchers that we can use in the café for free coffee, snacks, and meals at the community kitchen. Initially, I was really nervous about the prospect of volunteering here. I had no previous experience working in the food industry and no real understanding of all of the nuances of coffee – seriously, before this I was the girl who always had to ask her friends what to order every time I went to a coffee shop. But I am SO glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and became a volunteer here. Not only is this a great way to meet people, both behind and in front of the bar – but my volunteer experience here has made me feel a part of a larger community in Copenhagen and makes me feel like I am making a positive contribution to my campus community.  

UCPH Mentorship Program 

All international students who apply to the University of Copenhagen are encouraged by the university to sign up/request a mentor through the UCPH Mentor/Buddy Programme. The university has eleven different mentor/buddy programs spread across the six different faculties. The program was created to help create a social network for international students and UCPH students through different activities planned during the semester. As a participant in the program, you are matched with a UCPH student who shares your major as well as a group of UCPH students and other mentees. Your mentor will help you settle in during your exchange in Denmark and give you an introduction to student life in Copenhagen. 

My mentor’s name is Clara and she is awesome! She is a fourth-year psychology student at UCPH who just finished a semester abroad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – so she can definitely empathize with what it is like to be an exchange student in a foreign country.  Clara and I try to meet up at least once a month to catch up and discuss Copenhagen, whether that means grabbing chocolate banana pancakes at the café around the corner from city campus or going on an excursion to the Royal Theater to watch their morning ballet practice. Clara is just one of the amazing people I have met through my UCPH Psychology Mentor/Mentee Group. Throughout my time in Copenhagen, it has been really nice to be a part of a group like this that facilitates different excursions – like walking tours in Nørrebro and day trips to Christiansborg Palace – and helps you get to know fellow exchange students within my educational faculty.  

UCEAP Student-specific activities 

Our UCEAP Copenhagen-side Advisors Katrine and Julie, also work hard to make us UCEAP students feel at home in Denmark. Throughout the semester, they plan social events, like the all-UCEAP Welcome/Orientation Dinner, Walking Tour of Copenhagen, and Common Dinner at Absalon, that are really fun and help facilitate interaction between all of the UCEAP exchange students during our time here. 

Absalon is a beautiful church, turned community center in Copenhagen’s Vesterbro neighborhood that hosts dinners for the local community every night of the week. Fun Fact: it was started by the man who founded the Flying Tiger Stores! 

They also post regularly in the UCEAP Copenhagen Facebook page about different events that are happening locally, so I always have new ideas of fun things to do each week. If it weren’t for their posts, I would have never have known about La Glace – the oldest Conditori (and the best cake place!) in all of Copenhagen! See pictures below for proof. 

There are many more ways to get involved in student life at the University of Copenhagen, from KSI – the University’s Sports Association to their various cultural and social associations. I would encourage every student who comes to the University of Copenhagen on exchange to try something new and get connected with the vibrant campus community here.  

Chloe Zgorzelski studied in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2018: http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/denmark/Pages/univ_of_copenhagen.aspx

Denmark | Tivoli Gardens

By Chloe Zgorzelski

If you know me, you know that I absolutely love Disneyland. I’ve been a proud annual passholder since I was three and some of my most cherished childhood and high school memories have occurred within the gates of that theme park. When I decided to study abroad a little over a year ago, I was honestly a little sad that I was going to have to go five months without a single visit to the “happiest place on earth”. But thankfully, Copenhagen provided a solution to my problem: Tivoli Gardens. 

Tivoli Gardens (a.k.a. Tivoli) is an amusement park or ‘pleasure garden,’ as the Europeans like to call it, located right smack in the middle of the city of Copenhagen. Tivoli opened 175 years ago on August 15th, 1843, making it the second-oldest operating theme park in the world. It is also the most visited theme park in all of Scandinavia.  


Recently, Tivoli Gardens was actually named one of Time magazine’s “best spots on the planet”. So knowing I would be living in Copenhagen for the rest of the year, I decided to purchase an annual entrance pass to Tivoli. The pass I bought only costs 350 DKK [approx. $53 USD] and gives me unlimited entrance into the park for a whole calendar year. With this pass, I have the opportunity to experience each of the park’s four distinct seasons [Summer, Halloween, Christmas, Winter] and go as often as I would like. As a student living in Copenhagen during the Fall, I think the pass is worth it, especially since I have and will get to experience three out of the four Tivoli seasons during my time here! 

#1 Celebrating Tivoli’s 175th Anniversary 

This summer, Tivoli celebrated their 175th birthday, which means it was an incredibly special time to visit the park. The Summer Concert Series, Tivoli Youth Guard Performances, and of course the special food offerings were fun to experience. Every Saturday, Tivoli had a firework show (which I could actually hear all the way from my dorm on nights I wasn’t able to go watch them in the park). They also debuted the Tivoli Illuminations water show and even had a special 175th anniversary parade – complete with a Walt Disney World it’s a small world float! 

#2 Meeting Rasmus Klump

Rasmus Klump is a Danish comic strip series for children created by Danish Couple, Carla and Vilhelm Hansen, in 1951. The series tells the story of a bear cub named Rasmus Klump and his friends as well as the many adventures they have around the world on board his ship, Mary. In short, Rasmus Klump is to Tivoli Gardens what Mickey Mouse is to Disneyland.  Every day he puts on various shows on the different stages located within the garden and it is so adorable to see all of the children gather around to watch him, smiling and giggling throughout the program. 

#3 Halloween Time! 

Nothing screams Halloween is here like haunted houses, scarecrows, pumpkin carving, caramel apples and glogg! Halloween isn’t a super big deal in Copenhagen, but Tivoli sure does know how to celebrate spooky season right. The park undergoes a three-week closure in preparation for the Halloween festivities and then reopens with a brand new Halloween-themed Rasmus Klump show, new rides, a pop-up Fall/Halloween market, a special horror-inspired Tivoli Illuminations and decorations throughout the park that are sure to put you in the Halloween spirit! 

So far, I’ve visited Tivoli about five or six times. Since my classes at the University of Copenhagen only meet once or twice a week, I have plenty of free time to go to the park and make the most of my pass. Sometimes I’ll go to walk around for a bit or go to grab some lunch/a quick snack. I’ve even gone and brought my homework along with me! It’s a nice change of scenery as well as a relaxing and magical place to get your homework done. I’m looking forward to experiencing the wonder and whimsy of Tivoli’s Christmas season in just a few short weeks! I’ll be sure to update this post with photos as soon as the gardens open back up again for the holiday season and Christmas Market.  


Chloe Zgorzelski studied in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2018: http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/denmark/Pages/univ_of_copenhagen.aspx