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Join a kollektiv

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As the only international writer for Delfin, the specific angle I should take on the theme of HOME was almost predetermined – how can you, as a student from abroad, feel at home in a foreign country?

This article is *not* about how to integrate into Danish society. But simply about one simple hack on how to find a home away from home. This advice has no basis, more reliable, than my own, meandering experience. I will dispense this advice. Now.

So what is it? Learn Danish? Nope. Learn to love the 8-month-long autumn? Also nope. Make rye bread the foundation of your diet? Actually, this one wouldn’t hurt. But that’s not it either.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future – joining a ‘kollektiv’ would be it. Kollektiv is essentially, a shared apartment between a group of young people, typically four or more. Sometimes a kollektiv has a theme, sometimes it doesn’t. This issue actually has a piece on a kollektiv from Viborgvej, comprised mainly of people who went to Egmont Højskolen. Go check it out!

You might say – how’s that different from a dorm? It is much more intimate. Not only do you share a place, but you are also responsible for it. You have skin in the game. When you have skin in the game, you suddenly develop a shared sense of… home. After all, what is a home?

Home is returning from school to find your mom in the kitchen listening to the radio and drinking coffee. Home is having dinner together, home is cooking dinner together! Home is joining your sibling on the sofa mid-movie and instantly getting sucked into the plot. That’s a kollektiv! Only no one is going to tell you off for a messy room. You have to do the dishes though.

Another remarkable element is that people in a kollektiv are often not tied to one another in their day-to-day life, meaning each individual has their own network of friends and activities they like to do. And they will love to introduce you! After all, maintaining a thriving space takes a specific kind of person. A kind and open person. Which other characteristics will you add to this mix?

So how do you find one? Patience is a requisite for all great things in life. The easiest way is to discover that someone you know lives in a kollektiv and wait until a spot opens. Facebook also works.

There’s a reason why sitcoms are so popular. Friends, HIMYM, TBBT. Notice any patterns? And trust me when I tell you that real life is more fun, wild, and memorable than any sitcom. Want to experience it?

Join a kollektiv.

By sashapustota