Advice on housing
1) Commuting can be a big deal. I lived in an “international kollegium” in Bronshoj – about a 25 minutes commute to downtown Copenhagen (see my location here). At first, 25 minutes did not sound too bad – during my internship last summer, I commuted 1.5 hours each way to work :O). I really tried to take advantage of my commute time by doing homework, reading books, and writing this blog.
But after a while, it starts to wear on you. 25 minutes sounds okay, but not on days that you want to travel into town more than once. In addition, there are often parties, shows and get-togethers that you want to attend later at night, which sometimes require traveling on the unpredictable night-buses. If commuting is not your thing, you should strongly consider living in a DRC (Residential Community) or a Living Learning Community. I have friends in both of those, and many of them can hop out of bed and walk to school every morning.
2) International? You should really seek “immersion” while abroad – you’ve lived with Americans your entire life, and being in Copenhagen gives you lots of opportunities to meet and socialize with locals. Housing does impact this, but maybe not to the extent that you think. I met some cool students from Italy, the UK, and Denmark in my kollegium, but DIS offers so many other opportunities to meet internationals – like visiting families and the buddy system. If you have initiative, you’ll find lots of friends and friends-of-friends who are not American, regardless of where you live.
3) People make a difference. At the end of the day, it’s not where you live, but whom you live with. I could be living in the middle of the desert with my best friends and still end up having an amazing time. Your room-mates and hall-mates can be a crap shoot, especially in a new country with new people. Cross your fingers.