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Moving in the time of the pandemic. A brief survival guide.

As the pandemic turned a year, some of the students that moved to Aarhus last year have some experience in moving during the restrictions. So why not share them with you all, that maybe are now struggling in trying to answer your thousands questions on “can I move there?” “should I isolate myself?” “how can I buy food if I arrive and have to go straight away in isolation?” but first of all, “how do I reach Aarhus!?”

Moved to Denmark in August 2020

Don’t worry, I’ve been there, and I’m now here trying to help you out! 😊 I moved to Aarhus in August 2020, and I clearly remember all those troubled months after I accepted my offer to when I actually moved. Troubled because every day my first question was actually “yeah ok, but can I actually go there?!” definitely not a nice morning coffee! So I did myself a bit of research and I can now share with you a bit of my knowledge… and hey, don’t worry! Everything will be alright in the end, and you’ll happily enjoy Aarhus, the city of smiles! 😊 And what is it that they say? If it’s not fine, then it’s not the end. First of all, my suggestion is to weekly check this website: Requirements regarding test and isolation when entering Denmark (coronasmitte.dk) as the rules are updated and indicated here and may be different according to the country you are coming from, that is why if you confront yourself with other newcomers, maybe you can hear different things: just check the website and see which case applies to you, this is the only way to avoid surprises at the arrival!

Finally in Denmark – getting to Aarhus

After having figured out the rules that apply to you, if you arrive to Denmark by plane, you will probably arrive to either Copenhagen or Billund. Easy peasy if you arrive to Billund (for what I know): there is a bus (912X) that connects Billund Airport to Aarhus, you can buy the ticket on board and the timetable of the bus can be found here: X Busser | Køreplaner (midttrafik.dk). If you arrive to Copenhagen then my first general suggestion is to book a way of reaching Aarhus in advance, as it may be cheaper. But yes, the first question when maybe you thought of doing this may have been “but if I have to take a corona test as soon as I land, how can I know in advance how much time that will take?” the easiest solution would be booking a transport which is at least an hour (make also two) after landing, you know: delays, the queue, the test, orientating in the big airport… Don’t rush and take it slowly to avoid surprises, and in order to be sure book something that leaves after a few hours if you can. The queue for the fast test at Copenhagen airport, when I landed in March was pretty fast, but I know people that spent more time and ended up not catching a way-too-optimist-in-time train. Also, remember to check here Travel safely through Copenhagen Airport (cph.dk) under “test upon arrival” in order to be aware on the modalities for when you’ll arrive!

From Copenhagen Airport (Københavns Lufthavn) I have experienced two ways of travelling to Aarhus: via train or via Flixbus. Now, Flixbus is usually the cheapest choice, but as the pandemic started they do not always have many rides left, try to check if on the day you are planning to move there is a Flixbus on a time that would allow you to catch it. Flixbus depart directly from KBH airport (the bus stop should be outside a door near the train tickets machines, as things may have changed since I have been there: signs are usually trustable, otherwise the good old “stop and ask” 😊). If on the website you can’t find any route from the airport to Aarhus, just double check if from the city of Copenhagen there may be one, in that case you can still book that and reach the city via train or the metro line, cheap and easy, as usually the Flixbus stop in the city is near the station, I would suggest taking a train for one stop to “København H”, the main train station, otherwise the metro line directed to “Vanløse” stop at Kongens Nytorv in the city centre, where you can take the M3 that stops at KøbenhavnH. If you are not lucky with Flixbus, hey don’t worry, not always that means you have to go the expensive way! DSB, the train company, allows you to buy cheaper “orange tickets” 😊. Mind that you have to book in advance because the orange tickets are very attractive, and again, remember to take a bit of time from the landing and the departure of the train. The train leaves again directly from the airport, as you’ll be at the airport it will be very easy to find it there are just two platforms, one usually have trains for Sweden (Malmö), so the other platform is yours! Just double check that the train you are about to take is the one you booked and pass through AarhusH, and off you go to Aarhus! In the unfortunate case you can’t find any Flixbus or orange tickets, or sadly you miss what you booked before: you can always buy a train ticket from the airport, it will not be cheap though as normal prices are around 400-600 kr.

What about isolation?

Now, after all this talking about how to reach Aarhus, the question is what to do after you arrived IF according to the restrictions you have to go into self-isolation. If you have some doubts about for example picking up the keys of the place you’re going to live: just send an email to ask, they will let you know about times and modalities (also regarded the fact that you are to go to isolation). Also, of course you’ll need food for the days you’ll spend in isolation! What has been suggested to me last year was to buy groceries on nemlig.com. Otherwise, Wolt is highly used in Aarhus, and delivers food from many restaurants, just check if it delivers to your address, and you can always order a delicious meal that will be delivered to your door with the “no contact delivery” modality!

Then, if you have an unfurnished apartment/room, of course you will need a bed, at least! First quick tip: pack an inflatable mattress in your luggage (with a small air pump 😉) you never know what may happen, and at least you’ll have an almost comfortable solution for the first night/s 😉 Now on the more permanent solutions: Ikea offers a delivery service and can bring your order to your address, but mind that you are not the only one moving so usually it’s busy, again: try checking in advance for having the delivery when you prefer, plus, when the start of the semester is approaching, usually there is the “klar til studiestart?” page on the Ikea website.They know a lot of students will need basic furniture so they may have some discounts!

There is also the Danish brand Jysk – where you can also order furniture, sheets etc from. I haven’t tried it myself, but I know other students have used it. (See Radka’s blogpost here) If you prefer going cheaper: try checking some Facebook groups: if you’re moving into a Kollegie for example, most likely there will be the dedicated Facebook group and people leaving may need to sell their furniture, maybe you can arrange a no contact delivery or have someone that will buy it for you and leave what you need in front of your door! The same for other Facebook groups, but beware of scams like always when buying used from a private. Otherwise, there is also REUSE - Aarhus! a centre with various second-hand items, furniture included (and sometimes even for free!), but in this case you’ll have to wait for the end of the isolationas you have to go there yourself! Also, something I didn’t know before randomly entering: Søstrene Grene is a shop famous among Danes, and I found out it may be very useful when looking for some cheap decoration for the house. You might want to look into it when you’ll walk through the city, just to give a personal touch to an empty space, everyone needs to feel warm and welcomed by its own new nest 😊

Now, I hope I solved some of the doubts you had, as this is all I can recall for moving in the time of the pandemic according to my own experience. For more general information about the pandemic, for example restrictions implemented in Aarhus (hey, you will definitely wander through the city, also in case of isolation, sooner or later!) always check this website: corona | covid-19 (coronasmitte.dk), it’s constantly updated and usually gives all the answer needed. One last suggestion: when in doubt Hermione would say “go to the library”, I say: “just check the website, and if you can’t find it, ask!”, always check official website, they have the correct information and read carefully. Otherwise, try asking one of the Ambassador on UniBuddy, someone will help you out, maybe just by putting you in the right direction! 😊 Mind that the AU website also have a very good page to prepare you for the arrival with plenty of suggestions: Students coming to AU!

Now just sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight to the city of smiles! We are waiting for you! 😊