Krisztina, who lives and studies in Roskilde, has been kind enough to share with us and with all of you her survival guide to the city!
So, if you are a newcomer to Roskilde, definitely check out this article!
In case you want to hear more about Krisztina's studies and experience at the Roskilde University, then give it a read here.
Since you found yourself on this page, it means you are thinking to apply or have already applied for one of Roskilde’s universities:
Great, you are a student now, but where will you live?
On the Roskilde Kommune's webpage you can find some general information about accommodation, but there are different sources where you can search for a place to stay.
Most of the student housing is offered and managed by RIU Roskilde.
It is free to apply for housing through their website and you can have access to over 10.000 housing units. Regardless if you apply for a one- or two-person studio flat with own kitchen and bathroom, you will be placed on a waiting list. The waiting time depends on various factors, the primary one being seniority (how long you have been on a waiting list).
To increase the chances of being offered a place to live, it is important that you apply for housing well in advance of your moving to Denmark.
Check out the FAQ section of RIU's website for more information.
Even though universities here do not offer their own housing facilities, they provide support and guidance in your search. See their recommendations here:
Looking for accommodation on Facebook groups is also a good strategy that can pay off. Check out the following groups:
- Internationals in Roskilde - Housing (English)
- Housing in Roskilde (English)
- Houses for rent in Roskilde (English)
- Accommodation in Copenhagen, Taastrup and Roskilde (English)
- Boligruppen - Roskilde hjaelper hinanden (Danish)
In case you want to extend your search for housing, there are several paid accommodation websites that you can come upon through a quick google search. To see a list of such websites, take a look at the article Survival Guide to Student Accommodation in Denmark.
As there is a lot of competition when it comes to student housing in Roskilde, you might want to widen your horizons a bit…. literally. To make sure you find a place to stay, also consider looking for accommodation inside and around Copenhagen and do not limit yourself to Roskilde area only. In my experience, many people still commute from Copenhagen or nearby villages and areas.
Congrats, you found a home in/around Roskilde. The real adventure begins now: moving here.
Chances are that your earliest memories from this wonderful journey will revolve around the city hall. This a very important bureaucratic place and kind of a starting point for everyone who will have a registered address in Roskilde (paperwork, can’t wait!).
The city hall is really close to the city center and rather easy to find. It has free WiFi (I went there for my first couple of days when I didn’t yet have WiFi), computers that are free to use and a comfortable sitting area with chairs; they even offer free tea and hot chocolate.
After you receive your residence permit and other documentation from SIRI in Copenhagen, the city hall is where you go to, in order to register yourself for the NemID (MitID)(secure login key-card for citizen’s services). For this, you will need to have a witness present with you, who is a Danish citizen and has been living there for a while (I asked an acquaintance of mine from the town/uni, who is very willing to help newcomers).
Furthermore, they will ask you to choose a doctor. You can choose any, but if you don’t know any (because why would you when you just arrived, lol), you can just say you would like one who is the closest to you, or whether you prefer a male/female doctor, for instance.
Right next to the city hall, there is also a Jobcenter. I have never been there, but this will be more relevant once you have lived in Denmark for some time.
Learning Danish in Roskilde
If you want to get to know the local language, you can take Danish lessons next to your studies. Some possibilities are:
- Enrol in Clavis language school (this is the one I’m a student of)
- Consider classes in FVU, which is free adult education where you can improve certain Danish skills (reading, writing, etc.). Pay attention that there are some requirements to enrol.
- Join the BeLocal organization for Danish lessons or for free speaking practice.
Cool places to visit
Even though it's not that big a town, Roskilde certainly has some cool places worth visiting.
If you’re in for touristy sights, check out these areas:
- Roskilde Cathedral and city center area with the main street
- Viking Ship Museum and harbor area
- RagnaRock Museum and Musicon area
If you want to hang out with your buddies or if you want to firstly find some, here are some great places for internationals:
- INSP - it’s a place with its own concept, which also has events in English
- Gimle and/or Raven- it’s a volunteer run café; a lot of internationals volunteer here and anyone can be part of it
- Library - it has an English section and also events in English, such as pub quiz, dinner nights (Halloween, Chinese New Year), board game day, etc.
- Be Local - an organization who plans various events for internationals
- Musicon - a creative area for arts and events
The cheapest and most affordable places to eat are the usual pizza and kebab places you can find on any corner. There are also street food options, such as Lene's Street Food and Spicy India.
The rest of the restaurants aren’t really particularly affordable for students, but you can always find something in the mall of Ro’s Torv or on the main walking street of Algade, from burgers to Indian or Thai food.
Like I've mentioned before, the town is small, so I bike everywhere (there are a couple of bike shops downtown and you can buy a cheap second hand bike for around 2000 DKK at basically any of them, for instance Cykelkaelderen) and I rarely use public transport.
There is a bus station next to the main train station, from where most of the buses run. On the few occasions I take a bus, I use the apps Rejseplanen and Rejsekort (or DSB for trains) to see the prices and the schedule as well as to buy a ticket.
Volunteering in Roskilde
The Raven at Gimle: Café run by an international team of volunteers, you can sign up to work as a bartender, or to help out when there is an event going on;
Roskilde Festival (hopefully in a non-corona future): The biggest music festival of the country looking for volunteers in all sorts of areas all year round.
Explore other volunteering positions: A more generic website where you can look for volunteering opportunities based on theme/interest and location. Usually NGOs and charitable organisations look for occasional volunteers in all sorts of areas.
Other useful links
For RUC students (English):
- International Students at Roskilde University : not too active, but still useful (example: I found my job here through and advertisement someone put up)
- RUC Choir
- RUC Sports
- Critical Edge Alliance - CEA Club Collective
- Garden Club
- Sustainability Club
- Used Course Books (each department/course has its own): HIB books and SIB books
Random Free Stuff and Give Away (Danish):
- Gratis Ting Roskilde: for example I used it to give away some sweets I got as a gift but wasn’t gonna eat
Secondhand /Used Stuff Buy and Sell (Danish):
- Secondhand Roskilde
- Roskilde kob og salg
- Roskilde kob salg et vaerelse lejlighed hus
- Til salg i Roskilde
- Roskilde brugte ting saelges
Do you feel more prepared to start your student life in Roskilde? If there's anything else you wish to see in this local survival guide, let us know!
Once again, shoutout to Krisztina from Roskilde for writing this article! 🤩
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