As an international student, navigating a new environment can be difficult. For Farah El Saadi, she’s had to get used to the different transportation that Denmark has to offer like bikes, taxis, and public buses.
El Saadi is a student at the Danish School of Media and Journalism, who takes two buses due to the distance between her residence and the school. “It takes around 35 to 40 minutes to get there,” said El Saadi. It takes her two bus rides and a short walk to get to school.
Hannah Duran-Wright is another student from the Danish School of Media and Journalism who chooses to take the bus. “It usually takes me about 10 minutes to get to school on the bus. I have tried walking to school, and it takes about 25 minutes to get to DMJX,” said Duran Wright.
The public buses provide them a quicker way to school, but also give them other problems to look out for. El Saadi said the running hours for the bus leave her with a limited time to get to class as well as staying out long to study.
“It leaves so early. I wake up about three hours before my class starts because of the bus,” said El Saadi. “The last bus home during the week is midnight, so I can’t study at school or in cafes for too long because I have to make it back.”
Taking the bus can lead people to find alternatives when unpredictable things happen like delays, weather and more. “Sometimes late and unforeseen circumstances can cause you to arrive at your location later,” said Duran-Wright.
With all of Denmark back to being in-person, public transportation has taken a big switch. Midttrafik, one of the major bus networks in the Central Denmark region, that many students and Danish citizens use.
The Midttrafik network of buses and light rail is extensive, with two tram lines and several bus routes carrying passengers around Aarhus and the region. A variety of ticket options are available based on travel frequency and journey length and can be purchased via Midttrafik’s app or online shop.
For anybody who is already trying to get used to life in a new city and its culture, making sense of something like this can be daunting. This was the case for Leslie Ostronic, who came to Denmark from the USA. She said: “I tried to use the bus app and got overwhelmed, as there wasn’t a tutorial in English”.
Ostronic quickly turned to cycling like many of her fellow students, but knows public transport is still a viable alternative: “Commuting on a bike sounded like a fun way to get immersed in the Danish culture. I know the bus is there if I need it, but it’s nice to have the freedom to cycle wherever and whenever I want” she said.
Cycling is a huge part of life in Denmark, with nine out of ten Danes owning a bicycle and most children learning to ride one before starting school. As many exchange students in Aarhus only stay for one semester, purchasing one can be an expensive option. On average, the cost of a used bike in Aarhus listed on Facebook Marketplace is between 400 and 800DKK, not including the cost of a helmet, lock, or any future repairs.
Alternatively, companies such as Swapfiets, which has a base in Aarhus, offer a membership scheme, allowing people to own a bike for a set monthly fee, but without buying it outright. Repairs are included in the cost and carried out within 48 hours of being reported.
All in all, with schools coming back full force in-person, students have been able to find reliable transportation to travel around the city. There are multiple options around the city for students and people to get wherever they need to go.