Stephanie - Copenhagen Business School

B Business Management/Commerce
Semester 2, 2018
Living in Copenhagen and immersing myself in the Danish culture was more fun than I would have ever imagined

Academic experience

I studied four subjects at CBS: Asian Economic and Organisational Competitiveness, Global Strategic Management, Fashion Entrepreneurship and Business Development, and International Commercial Law. These were all super engaging and I would recommend them to anyone studying Business Management.

CBS has a different approach to learning and assessment than UQ. The smaller classrooms mean that you are in a more relaxed class environment and discussion is encouraged amongst students, which was daunting at first but it really meant that you are able engage in the courses. Having 100% assessment pieces allows you to travel and enjoy your time on exchange, as for instance, I sat two exams and completed two assignments throughout the semester.

I would hold off on buying textbooks unless you really need them, as they are mainly used as a reference.

Personal experience

My exchange semester in Copenhagen really was an incredible and unique experience. The city is an incredible mix of old and new and is very cool. The Danes are very relaxed and kind and were lovely to live around.

Having to focus on university and making friends in a completely foreign city really helped develop my independency and confidence in day to day life. CBS is a highly regarded university and the student culture there was fantastic to be able to immerse myself in. I met some incredible people from all over the globe and have friendships and connections now that I can see lasting for many more years.

I'd also recommend taking part in the introduction week offered by the CBS exchange crew as you do some great activities, as well as the organised trip around Denmark which was a great way to see a few more Danish cities and to meet more exchange students at the beginning of the semester.

Accommodation

I lived in Porcelaenshaven residence (more easily referred to as PH) for the semester which I loved. I would really recommend applying to student accomodation through CBS as it's a great way to meet exchange students from all around the world and who are all in the same position as you. Everyone has their own bedroom and kitchen space which is great for when you feel like some down time. I was lucky enough to share my bathroom with a girl from Germany who turned out to be one of my best friends and we would cook together and leave our doors open so that we were able to chat throughout the day and night. It makes being away from home a lot easier when you are living with other students who are feeling the same way as you.

Costs

Scandinavia is expensive and Copenhagen is no exception and you have to adjust to that. While dining out is more expensive than home, grocery shopping and clothes shopping is comparable, and drinks are slightly cheaper. Although with all the great bakery food and cooking in the dorms with your friends, you don't feel like you're missing out on not eating out all the time. And the higher costs definitely balance out, meaning that you live in a very clean, safe city with a high quality of life.

Getting a bike is a huge money saver, I went through Swapfiets which is a bike hire company. As a student, you are only charged 150dkk/month (roughly $30/month) and all servicing is taken care of buy their team, otherwise you can buy a second hand bike. A monthly transport card is also great value, as is a rejsekort card and you can buy these at any metro stop.

Student accomodation is reasonably priced and information will be sent to you regarding prices. For its location, safety and close proximity to other students, I definitely think the accomodation is great value for money.

Challenge

The biggest challenge would have been the written language barrier, as mostly everything is in Danish. This is easily overcome as the Danes are for the most part fluent in English and very approachable and happy to help.

Professional Development

I grew to understand different cultures and how to address differences between them and my own. I built on my knowledge of how to communicate with others when there were barriers in place, such as language or culture. Exchange also opened my eyes to global issues that I was previously unaware of, and cemented my desire to work in an international environment.

Highlight

Living in Copenhagen and immersing myself in the Danish culture was more fun than I would have ever imagined. Travelling around other parts of Europe and the UK was also incredible, and I think it was amazing that I got to experience it all with a new group of lifelong friends. I particularly loved being able to travel to other parts of Scandinavia.

Top tips

Take every single opportunity you can and don't pass up on anything if you can help it. The semester flies by and before you know it you'll be home, so use your time to meet new people, try new things and develop your own skills. CBS is incredible and such a forward thinking university, so go to events and join clubs with your friends to get the most out of your time there.

The time you have will fly by and if you can apply for a year long exchange, I would recommend that as none of us were ready to leave when the time came to go home. Otherwise, take advantage of the time between semesters and travel around Europe for a bit!

Apply for your residency permit as early as possible (especially if you're wishing to travel before the semester start) as it can often take a couple of months to book in for an appointment and process the application.

Don't be afraid if you don't know anyone else going to Copenhagen or to CBS.  Not many other students organise to go with people from home so everyone arrives looking to make new friends and it is so easy to do!