Friday, May 23, 2014

Tempest in a Håndtaske

Having a wallet stolen is always disconcerting, and almost always comes with a host of inconveniences.

Such has been the case for me since I had my wallet stolen while walking around Magasin du Nord near Kongens Nytorv about a month ago.

I did all of the standard things as soon as I realized it was gone: cancelled my bank cards and ordered new ones, called the police to report the theft, etc.  What I wasn't expecting was that I would later have issues when I showed up for the Studieprøve...

As is also the case with the Prove i Dansk 3, you're told to show up to the exam with photo identification, so that you can prove that you are the person that they have listed as signed up for the exam.  What they don't quite make clear is that you're also supposed to be proving that you are a legal resident.

This is all well and good if you're an EU citizen, as you're allowed to live in Denmark just by virtue of living in the EU.  But for those of us who are not from an EU country, our status as legal resident isn't proven just by showing a passport.

I showed up to the exam with my passport, completely unconcerned.  There were two censors in our testing room, and the one who checked my legitimation insisted that I needed to prove my residency. Luckily, the other censor was actually my teacher from modules 3 and 4, so she vouched for me, but I was told that I needed to be sure to bring proof of residency to the next two parts of the exam.

Okay, fine, fair enough.

Off I went yesterday, to see what I could do about getting myself a new residency card before June 4th.  The people I spoke to at the State Administration were very nice, and I filled out my form and ordered my new card without any issue.

Well... almost without any issue.

The thing is... according to the woman I spoke to, the cards are made by a different company, and so the State Administration can't really predict how soon my new card will come.

She said it will take anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months.

So... As you might expect, I had to go to the office at Studieskolen to explain the issue, and see what I can bring with me to prove that I'm allowed to be here.  It seems that this isn't an issue that comes up very often, as the chances of having a residence card stolen right around the same time as an exam are pretty damn slim.

As of right now, I still don't have an answer.  The women in the office at Studieskolen are looking into the issue, contacting an "expert," trying to figure out the solution.

So, that's today's little bit of advice - If you're not an EU citizen, bring your residence card.

Better safe than sorry.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Studieprøven - How to Prepare

Under two weeks until the first part of the Studieprøve exam, and I'm feeling surprisingly calm.

My grades on the practice exams have been steadily improving, and I'm feeling pretty good about it.  I still have the most issues with the listening and dictation portion of the exam, but that part isn't until next month, so I've got a bit more time.

Today, I had a comment on a previous post from someone who is studying for the exam on her own, asking for suggestions for books or other resources to buy online.  We didn't actually use any books this module, so here are my two suggestion for anyone looking for ways to help study for the Studieprøve:

1.  Read the newspaper.  We spend a lot of time in class reading through recent news articles about topics from Danish and European politics, to climate change, to Greenland, and more.  Not only does this help with building vocabulary, but it also gives a lot of context that can be included in both the written and oral portions of the exam.

2. Practice, practice, practice.  Nearly every day in class, we practice for the exam with one or more portions from previous exams.  It's really helpful to get a feel for the layout and timing of the exam.  For example, similar to the PD3 exam, there is a reading portion in which we're given a pamphlet and asked to scan through it and find short answers.  Easy enough, but we're only given 25 minutes for this portion of the Studieprøve, so it's important to practice scanning and knowing how much time to take for each question.  If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you'll find examples of the various sections of the exam from previous years.  SOOOOOO important to take advantage of these and keep yourself strictly to the time allowed for each section.

Hopefully those tips are helpful to those of you heading into the exams soon.  I'd love you hear how it went for all of you when you're done.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


You're not crazy, there has, in fact, been a marked decrease in post frequency.

So, here's the latest:

I sent out a job application last weekend on a whim, expecting that, like generally happens, I would either not hear back, or would get an email saying that hundreds of people had applied for the position, and that I was not one of the ones chosen for an interview.

To my extreme surprise, I got an email back the following work day asking to set up a time for a phone interview.  The phone interview went fantastically well.  I'm not generally a cocky person, but when the call ended, I was 99% sure that I'd be asked to come in for an in-person interview.

And I was.

The interview took place two days ago, and I'm not quite as optimistic as I was after the phone interview.  I wish I could say that I nailed it, but I was nervous.  I think I'm better at sounding confident on the phone than in person.  Must be all those years in radio, never seeing the faces of the people I was talking to.  It's so difficult to know for sure with these things, and they did mention that they would be continuing to do interviews with other candidates throughout the rest of the week, before calling a few people in for a final interview.  

At the moment, school is the backup plan.  If I'm not offered this job, I'll go ahead and sign up for that supplementary Spanish course that I'd need to take to bump my foreign language from B-level to A-level, and hope that that helps me to land a spot in one of the 3 programs that I'm still waiting to hear back from.

And finally, yesterday was my birthday.  The Big 3-3, if that's a thing.  As is traditional here in Denmark, I brought cake to class with me.  Then last night, my husband and I went out for a nice meal at Madklubben, followed by cocktails at a new-ish place called Strøm, which quickly became my favorite local bar.  It's a cocktail bar with a pub feel.  It's unpretentious, laid back, plays good music.  It's 100% my kind of place.

So, that's the latest.  The Studieprøve is coming up quickly, so look out for updates.