DTU Campus Village
|The Containers, Container A-Z|
|Location||Kongens Lyngby, Denmark|
|Owner||Technical University of Denmark|
DTU Campus Village is an international student housing complex found on campus at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). The University, located in the municipality of Kongens Lyngby, Denmark, is a top-third ranking technical school in Europe, attracting more than 700 international students a year. Campus Village houses up to 224 students, most staying a duration of a semester or an academic year. The 'Village' is made up of many identical red constructions, each labelled with a letter of the alphabet, and each housing up to nine students. These are arranged in rows, and they are most often called the "Containers", by both residents and non-residents. Within the village there exists an environment of collaborative learning and cultural learning, characteristic of ERASMUS and similar international student programs. Residents come from many different backgrounds and countries. The Village culture that develops among the students is unique, and it enhances cultural learning and promotes collaborative community-living.
DTU Campus Village was constructed in the summer of 2001, and was opened as an international student dormitory starting in fall 2001. The cluster of container units were placed on a lot with the address 330 Elektrovej. Despite having a single campus address, Building 330 (Campus Village) is not a yellow-brick construction like other campus buildings. It is instead made up of many one-story structures resembling shipping containers, painted red like the DTU logo. International students have been housed in these "Containers" since the fall semester of 2001. The Danish accommodations officers at the International Office of DTU, as well as international-residents, call Campus Village by its nickname, the "Containers."
Campus Village is located in the southwest quadrant (kvadrant 3) of the DTU Campus, in between Elektrovej and Fysikvej. The campus—formerly an airfield (Lundtofte Flyveplads)—lies on the plain of Lundtoftesletten in northeastern Lyngby. Over 220 of the international students hosted each semester choose to stay in Campus Village for convenience, to be near lecture halls, professors, and the social scene. Classrooms, administration buildings, library, computer labs, and the student bar are all found on campus, within 800m (2600 ft). Downtown Lyngby is 2 km (1.3 mi) away.
Students can buy monthly travel card for public transportation to go to downtown Lyngby or to Copenhagen. Cheap, used bikes are a popular alternative. Because the Copenhagen area has an extensive cycle-path system, students are advised to invest in a used bicycle. Students are known to travel by bike in all weathers to downtown Lyngby, or as far as to Jutland. Nearby destinations for weekend sightseeing include Copenhagen, Lyngby Deer Park, Bakken amusement park, Frederiksborg Castle, and Kronborg Castle.
Exchange Programs and ERASMUS
Student residents staying in Campus Village can be participants of exchange or bilateral-agreement programs between DTU and their home university. Many of the European students receive scholarships through the ERASMUS program, short for the European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students. Established in 1987 as a major part of the Lifelong Learning Programme 2007–2013 of the European Union, it is a higher education initiative that encourages and supports study abroad. When a student completes courses at one of the 2199 participating institutions from 31 countries, the student is guaranteed to receive equivalent credit for the period abroad upon return to the home university. ERASMUS students do not pay extra tuition fees to the hosting university, and they are eligible for living expenses grants. ERASMUS also helps arrange accommodation leasing, sub-leasing, and swaps, between students from different countries. Students are also able to exchange tips based on past experiences abroad.
The different types of study abroad programs, ERASMUS or not, generally last a semester to two semesters (fall, spring, or both).
Reason to study abroad
Campus Village residents study engineering or science, as DTU is a technical university. The twenty-four DTU Msc (Master of Science) program offer a variety of English-tutored classes in mathematics, science, computer science, environmental science, technology, and engineering. Students at Campus Village can have different levels of education completed at their home university; some come to DTU as undergraduates to gain general competence in engineering, and others are in the process of writing their master theses or working on graduate research at DTU. A universal reason for study abroad, often more important than the technical education, is expansion of world view. Students hope to learn about cultures and languages different from their own. "Container life," where students come from all regions and perspectives or the world, allows students to experience different cultures and attitudes.
A mix of languages is present at Campus Village. While some students with common nationalities talk to each other in their native languages, many students make an effort to learn another language. Many international students hope to learn English by studying in Denmark, as most Danes speak English since a young age, and by popular culture influence, Danish English has a similar accent to American English. Some Campus Village residents manage to learn phrases from an additional foreign language like French or Portuguese through living with native speakers of those languages. Some students attend a class at night to learn Danish.
Cultural Learning Experience
Most Campus Village residents are university-age students in their undergraduate or graduate years, who leave their home country to gain a deeper and wider understanding of other cultures. There is enthusiasm towards sharing of cultural beliefs and trends. Through interaction with each other—cooking together, cleaning together, talking, playing games, and watching films—students come to understand cultural differences and similarities.
Some students choose DTU as a study abroad destination because of its flexible graduate program. The programs offer a wide range of advanced technical courses. DTU has official co-operation agreements with major technical universities of the world such as the Beijing Polytechnic University and the University of Illinois, making credit transfer easy for students studying abroad.
Students at DTU Campus Village collaborate to make each other's time abroad a memorable learning experience. "Container life" is the term most often used by present and past residents to describe the campus experience. Daily container life is highlighted by several student-organized events, such as dinners, dances, BBQ in the Village, and group travels.
Cooking together and sharing food are popular activities through which residents bond. Some Containers regularly cook together, and some Containers assign shifts so that one or two will cook for many. Students in a container often shop for groceries at a Fakta, Netto, or other discount stores in Lyngby. Some Containers save money by keeping a food fund together. Because of the diversity in the background of the students, Container dinners will involve cultural dishes, as well as dishes that are a mix of several cultural tastes. Past dinner events held include
- International Dinner – a potluck, where each resident or some of the residents volunteer a dish of their country
- Italian Dinner
- Sushi Night
- Moroccan Dinner
- Polish Vodka Night – Village-wide famous event during which Polish Vodka is served, as well as Pączki.
International students with off-campus housing often visit Campus Village to visit and participate in these dinners.
International students studying in Denmark are generally not offered aid to cover the cost of living expenses such as meals, accommodation, transport, books, or materials. Because they find that food items, like most everything else, are more expensive compared to in their home countries, group meals are also a way to save money on groceries.
Students from the Containers sometimes travel together on weekends and holidays. Weekend trips may be to Copenhagen, or to other major cities of Denmark: Roskilde, Odense, etc. Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway, and Finland are also relatively close destinations. Popular cities to visit outside Scandinavia include Berlin, Amsterdam, Prague, and Brussels. Some European students have cars to travel in. Non-European students may travel together, using the Eurail discount pass to travel by train.
The Buddy Programme
Foreign exchange students at DTU have the option to have a Danish Buddy through the university's student association, in order to get better acquainted with the campus, campus life, and Danish culture. The Polyteknisk Forening (student association, or PF) sponsors the Buddy Programme, which is led by student coordinators. Buddies are Danish students who volunteer to help international students adapt to studying and living in Denmark. In exchange for their guidance and friendship, Buddies gain more insight in the life of exchange students, as well as the culture of foreign students. The Buddy Programme offers organized group events for Buddies and international students, including cultural dinners, a trip to Malmoe, Sweden, a Danish Christmas or Easter Dinner, and ice skating. The Buddies are encouraged to meet weekly to talk with their students. The meetings sometimes take place during International Night at the Cellar Bar on campus, making it an environment for social and cultural exchange on Tuesdays.
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