Nadia - University of Copenhagen

B Science
Semester 1, 2019
Best 6 months of my life

Academic experience

I studied Social Behaviour, Marine Mammal Evolution and Danish Cinema. It was quite easy to sign on as you received emails from all the faculties from the courses you chose on your pre-approved study. Then you just had to pick the courses you wanted to do and email back the registration form. The system there was very different with a -2 to 12 scale with a two being a pass. We also had to do oral exams which was probably the hardest part of the course but the teachers were very helpful and made the exam as smooth as possible. None of the course work was compulsory meaning if you missed a class you didn’t have to source a medical certificate which was very good. Another good thing about their system is that they only had one assessment at the end of your course so you weren’t swamped with course work the whole exchange. Both my science courses had an oral exam at the end with social behaviour also having a small assignment and Danish cinema was just an assignment. I loved my science courses as I got to do things I had never done before such as watch a porpoise and seal dissection, experiment with chickens, visit a marine mammal research centre and see a seal and porpoises in the wild. Danish cinema was interesting as you got to learn a bit about the Danish culture and watch Danish films after class. Overall the subjects in Denmark were very interesting and I enjoyed the course work a lot.

Personal experience

I made lots of friends on exchange from many different places such as Canada, America, Norway, Switzerland and of course some Australians. Many of these friends I still speak to and see today. Due to the relaxed course load I was able to travel a lot in my 6 months going to over 10 different countries. Some highlights include; seeing the northern lights in finland, playing in the snow in a remote cabin in Norway, eating all the pasta in Italy, drinking sangria in Spain and much more. One of the benefits of studying in Europe is how easy it to travel to different countries for a relatively cheap price. It is also really cool to be able to experience a proper winter and see real snow. I didn’t learn Danish because everyone spoke English but I did make a few Danish friends who I still communicate with. I would definitely say that over the past 6 months I have experienced so much that I would never been able to do had I not gone on exchange.


I lived off Campus at a place called Basecamp but it was very close to both the south campus and science campus. The best thing about living at Basecamp was that is was filled with exchange students so you got to meet so many people who are just as nervous to start exchange as you are. It was also so close to university, only a 10 minute cycle away. Advice I would give to future students is to not book your housing through the housing foundation that UQ advises. This is because it is so much cheaper to find the accommodation yourself, so go through the Basecamp website yourself and book your room to save money!


My accommodation was around $7000 with bond which is quite a lot but an unavoidable cost. I hardly spent any money on transport as I rode my bicycle everywhere. I highly recommend getting a bicycle from swapfiets for about $33 a month, it saves you so much money and it is so easy to get to most places by bicycle in Copenhagen. Unfortunately Copenhagen is a very expensive city so I recommend cooking your own food as much as possible. Eating out is very expensive but if you want to do something different I recommend having picnics in the many parks around the city, it is a cheap and fun way to spend time with your friends. Not including my accommodation I probably spent about $6000-$7000 on my exchange, but I travelled a lot so other people could probably do it much cheaper.


The biggest challenge was definitely budgeting. When I first got there I spent a lot of money on stupid stuff I didn’t need. I overcame this by cooking food for myself, cycling everywhere and spending money on things that mattered. I did spend a lot of money on traveling to other countries but I really feel like it was worth it as I got to explore Europe.

Professional Development

One of the major things I learnt on exchange was how to be more outgoing and talk to people. Going to a different country where you know no one is quite scary but I learnt quickly that everyone else was feeling the same so it was much easier to talk to people. This will help me in the future when doing job interviews and that sort of thing. Travelling alone I also had to learn how to be more organised and independent.


It was really hard to pick one highlight of my whole experience. I loved making new friends and going on many adventures with them. I also loved travelling to different places but my favourites would definitely be seeing snow in Norway, going wine tasting in Spain and eating pierogis in Poland.

Top tips

My top tips for people considering going on exchange to Copenhagen would be to pack light. You will buy so much stuff whilst on exchange especially winter clothes so be sure to pack a light bag so you don’t go over your weight limit on the way home. I also really recommend getting a bicycle as Copenhagen is such a bike friendly city and not only will you will save so much money but its also really fun. My last piece of advice is to save as much money as possible before exchange. The more money you have saved for exchange the more travel you will be able to do. Obviously you can have fun with limited funds but you get to experience so much more with extra money.