||Marketing and Communication
Why did you choose your host university?
I was fascinated by the Danish culture and way of life having seen videos and heard personal anecdotes about Denmark. Aarhus University is also highly ranked for Business, which was a contributing factor to selection.
What was the university like?
Classes were fairly sized and had a really good professor to student ratio. Professors and students alike spoke proficient English and were accommodating to international students. Assessment focused on collaborating with a team which was a good way to get to know your classmates.
What did you gain from your exchange experience and has it changed the way you think or altered your approach to life?
My exchange experience vastly altered my approach to life. I experienced for the first time life from a European outlook. In this way, I learnt that life to me is less about thinking prospectively and more about the here and the now. I found that I am caring less about material possessions and more about personal experiences.
What accommodation options were available to you? How affordable was accommodation and would you recommend the same option to others?
I lived in a shared house with 8 other students (not including 4 in the basement level who had separate living quarters). The rent was affordable and in the very scenic bourgeois “Trøjborg” district of Aarhus. This was very conveniently placed for myself as it was only a 2-minute bike ride from the communication school and about a 6-minute downhill cycle to the city centre. I would highly recommend for students to opt for shared house accommodation. This is where I made most of my closest friends and it was a sharing and social household.
Describe your travel experiences; did you travel locally or to neighbouring countries?
Throughout my time I was lucky to travel around some of Europe. Apart from many trips to Aarhus’ larger brother, Copenhagen, I visited neighbouring Sweden, seeing Helsingborg, Gothenburg, Malmo, Lund and Stockholm. In addition, I also visited Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, Prague, Vienna, London and Edinburgh. However, my highlight is undoubtedly my voyage around Iceland. This was with 5 of my housemates and we rented a van to travel and sleep in and completed the full ring-route of the Island. This was one ticked off the bucket list for sure. We saw the Northern Lights, beautiful waterfalls, glaciers, geysers and the incredibly unique Icelandic landscape. This will be a trip I will remember for the rest of my life!
Describe how you adjusted to life in a different country and how you met new people.
Adjusting to life in Denmark was not particularly difficult. This is mainly due to the fact that all Danes have a high level of English proficiency. Therefore, it is not imperative for you to learn Danish (although I would recommend anyway to give it a go). Whilst Danes have a reputation for being quite reserved, generally once you get a few Carlsberg’s in them, they’ll share their life story with you. I found that most of my closest friends were also international students on exchange, who came from France, Austria, Germany, Northern Ireland, Lebanon and the US. In this way it is a very multicultural collection of people and therefore it is interesting to learn about their culture and lives.
The university arranged myriad events for the international students, which was a good way to meet people. This included the introduction week which placed each student into a group. I remained friends throughout the exchange with my whole group. Also, every Tuesday night at the Studenterhus (the local uni bar) there was an international students’ night. This was a great time to meet other exchange students and meet up with your friends (and get cheap beer by becoming a member).
Can you see any benefits from this exchange to your future career?
Undoubtedly this gave me a broader perspective in terms of career thinking. It gave me a more international perspective on business. I could easily see myself working abroad in the future.
What advice would you give to a student who was hesitant or considering joining the exchange program?
Go for it! You’ve got nothing to lose but missed opportunities and experiences that you will never forget. You get largely helped out by the uni and gov. with funding and have the opportunity to meet new people and lifelong friends.
Stay in a shared house accommodation. This is best way to get close to people. Be open minded and never say no to a chance to go out, travel and meet new people.