Host University

Roskilde University

Host Country



SP5, 2016


Bachelor of Journalism and Professional Writing, Bachelor of Arts (International Relations)

BridgetWhy did you choose your host university?

Everyone I’ve met whether it be at home or whilst overseas asks me that question, why Denmark? And honestly I’m not even sure why. I’ve always wanted to do my exchange in Denmark ever since I started researching. I guess I needed to go somewhere I could study the appropriate courses in English but I didn’t want to go an English speaking country like England or America which I felt were a little too close in culture to home (okay yes I know they’re very different to Australia and yes in Denmark they speak English extremely well but this was my thought process). I wanted to be out of my comfort zone a bit. I wanted to immerse myself in a more European culture. Europe was definitely where I wanted to go so I could get the most out of travelling and seeing the world in those six months. And Denmark ticked those boxes plus happiest country on Earth? Why not!

What was the university like?

University lifestyle was quite different for me and my courses anyway. I had to study only international relations subjects because a) Journalism was in Danish and b) they seemed to study subjects in blocks and it makes it difficult to mix courses. You study three courses which are worth very little in terms of credit and complete one self-directed group project worth half your credit for the semester. Instead of assignments over the course of the semester, I (in the field of international relations) only had one exam for each course. So you would only attend a two hour lecture for each course each week (if you could wake up after the night before) and then complete an exam at the end of the course. The exams were either 48 hour take home essay like exams or an oral exam which I found testing having never done an oral exam before.

The group project was probably the most work I had to do in terms of study as it was completely self-directed in the sense you came up with the topic, you decided what you wanted to do and when with your group etc. You then also had to complete an oral exam on your project afterwards. I felt like people were so engaged in their study though especially when there was no testing throughout the course, they genuinely seemed like they wanted to learn. The library was really nice too, similar system to UniSA. It was good! Oh and the social atmosphere at RUC (Roskilde University) was crazy. I don’t know if this is all universities in Europe, but they have such a good social aspect of uni life. Definitely worth getting involved in, I know that’s what I was engaged in most hahah.

BridgetWhat did you gain from your exchange experience and has it changed the way you think or altered your approach to life?

I had the most incredible experience on my exchange. I don’t think I’ve ever had such close friends than those I had there. I’ve met so many people from across Europe and the globe. It’s definitely changed me as a person, I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. In fact, it was so strange coming home when I’ve changed so much and I’ve done so much, yet nothing really changed back home, everything’s the same (almost). I’ve spoken to a few exchange students and they’ve all felt the same. It’s given me so much more confidence in a number of different aspects of my life and I’ve learnt so much about myself too. I’ve come out with a much more informed view of the world and myself.

What accommodation options were available to you?  How affordable was accommodation and would you recommend the same option to others?

I lived on campus which is recommended as getting accommodation outside of the university is quite difficult. Trust me though, although it’s not luxurious or anything, you’ll want to live on campus for the social atmosphere alone. You meet the greatest people and have some epic parties you won’t want to miss. There were three accommodation options on campus – Rockwool, Kolibrien and Korallen. I lived in Korallen which was the more expensive option where you got a slightly larger room with private bathroom and small kitchenette (stove, mini fridge etc.).

In Kolibrien you also had a private room with bathroom but shared kitchen space. Then Rockwool, the cheapest option, was more like an apartment block or share house where you shared an apartment with four other people. Korallen and Kolibrien had more of a student dormitory feel with the halls of rooms and shared common kitchens and lounges. I enjoyed my accommodation. I think it changes semester to semester as to which accommodation is the more social etc., you also have to get lucky with who you’re sharing your exchange with too. We had a really good group of people so it was great fun.

Describe your travel experiences; did you travel locally or to neighbouring countries?

I travelled both locally and to neighbouring countries throughout my exchange. I think I travelled to a total of 12 countries, some more than once. I thought I would see more (I mean I saw a lot) but living in a country, there’s so much to do back home already. You want to hang out with your new friends and have parties at home so I didn’t travel EVERY weekend like maybe I initially thought. I travelled with my new exchange friends on weekend trips, did a week-long trip with ESN to Lapland and even did a free cruise with almost everyone to Norway. At Christmas time, my family visited and we travelled around a bit too. After my exchange, I continued to see more of Europe and travelled to visit these new friends which I think is a major bonus to travelling AFTER your exchange. I wish I had more time to travel, definitely felt my exchange was too short and I’m already planning my trip back next year to visit everyone.

Describe how you adjusted to life in a different country and how you met new people.

Living on campus, I immediately made friends. In fact, I think I had an advantage in the end because I actually had to sleep on the couch of a common room the first night as I didn’t realise you couldn’t collect your keys to your room on the weekend. But this meant I was exposed to people coming in and cooking dinner and immediately met people. Not that I recommend doing that because I really just wanted to shower after a 24-hour flight ugh. But that’s again why I recommend cooking in the common kitchens, not only more space and not stinking your room out, but you meet people! I also attended the Foundation Course RUC ran for international students introducing us to Denmark and RUC. It definitely boasted a lot of social activities as well as informative days. This was super useful in meeting people and making friends. You were always doing something. Always socialising (especially in the first two weeks during the Foundation Course before Uni). 100% recommend going to this if you can.

Can you see any benefits from this exchange to your future career?

Of course! I have developed so many soft skills and have great examples of this now to give.

What advice would you give to a student who was hesitant or considering joining the exchange program?

It might seem daunting at first but you will regret not going, wondering what might have been. Honestly it’s the best thing I have ever done. Your life back home will still be there. You can always get another job. Sure you can travel whenever but this is an experience that’s not available your whole life. Living and studying in another country is so much more fulfilling.

Top tips

Just do everything. Say yes! Be involved. You won’t regret it.