Emmaliese - University of Copenhagen

B Science/Business Management
Semester 2, 2018

Academic experience

I took courses from the Economics and Biology faculties. The courses I took were Microeconomy 3, Science of Behaviour Change and Applied Marine Biology. In the science department, the semester is split into two blocks and you only complete two science courses at a time. In the Economic Faculty, semesters are structured the same as at UQ, that is, completing four subjects at a time. 

I really enjoyed how KU focusses on independent learning more than UQ. They do not ask you to complete weekly quizzes or tasks. Often your final grade is based on just the final exam or essay, which works quite well when you are an exchange student and want to focus on enjoying the semester. 

A challenging aspect of their academic system was oral exams. These seemed quite daunting at first, as I have never done anything similar at UQ, but the professors were helpful and they made sure it's quite a relaxed environment. 

I also did a pre-semester course in the Danish language which I highly recommend as it is offered to International students for free. It's a really nice way to make friends before the semester begins and gives you a chance to get a feel for the city.

Personal experience

Copenhagen is such an amazing and beautiful city to live in, there is constantly so much going on. I absolutely loved living in the city and made such close friendships with people from all around the world. I travelled a lot of Denmark, but I also made sure to explore Denmark and Copenhagen as much as possible. There are so many brilliant museums and castles scattered throughout Copenhagen and the surrounding cities. Living in Copenhagen taught me to really make the most of each and every day.

Accommodation

I lived in student accommodation called Østerbro Kollegiet. I highly recommend this kollegiet. It was a little pricey, but it had such a great atmosphere and was in a really good location. As it is 100% international students living here, everyone is super friendly and eager to make friends. 

It is in an ideal location for studying at both North and City campuses. I registered for this accommodation through the housing foundation, which is an association affiliated with the university. It was not an easy process, but it was definitely worth persevering.

Costs

Copenhagen is renowned for being quite expensive, however, if you budget and do your research it doesn't necessarily have to be so. Rent was quite expensive but there are cheaper options available These often fill up very quickly or can be hard to find, so you need to be very organised. 
The cheapest way to travel around the city is by bike, public transport can be quite expensive. The city is designed for cycling and it is how most people get around. There are many facebook groups where you can buy a bike second hand (aim for around 600-700dkk) and then you can sell it at the end of your exchange for the same price. 

There are multiple cheap options for grocery shopping. Netto, Fakta, Rema 1000 and Lidl are very reasonably priced. I could do my weekly grocery shopping for around $30-50aud. 
Eating out is generally quite expensive, but often there are communal dining events which only cost around 20dkk (about $5) or restaurants aimed at students. Using Facebook is a good way to find these events.

Challenge

One of the biggest challenges of the whole experience was leaving my friends and family back home and getting on the plane. However, I had a mentor that was assigned by the economics faculty and she was really helpful in the process of settling in and everyone at my residence was super friendly; so as soon as I arrived this was no longer a problem.

Professional Development

My exchange taught me how to effectively manage myself in an unfamiliar environment. It was often very helpful to be organised, but flexibility and open-mindedness were very important.

Highlight

The two main highlights of my exchange were becoming such good friends with so many wonderful people and living in the beautiful city that is Copenhagen. I also did a lot of travelling throughout Europe which was fabulous, but being so comfortable in a foreign country and being able to call Copenhagen home was a beautiful feeling.

Top tips

One of my biggest tips is to not waste one day. I think that after a few months go by you can begin to feel quite comfortable and might not necessarily explore the city as much as you used to, but there is so much to see in Copenhagen and events happening constantly. Every single weekend can be filled with something exciting.