Rhys - Technical University of Denmark

B Engineering (Hons) & M Engineering
Semester 2, 2016

Academic experience

The courses I studied at DTU:

  • 12104 Modelling of Environmental Processes and Technologies-Covering CHEE3007,
  • 28852 Risk Assessment in Chemical and Biochemical Industry-Covering CHEE4002,
  • Both 28420 Separation Processes and 28121 Chemical Unit Operations Laboratory-Covering CHEE3004, and
  • 28140 Introduction to Chemical Reaction Engineering-Covering CHEE3005.

What I enjoyed most about these courses and the way they were taught, was the focus on teamwork throughout, even when there was individual assessment only. The main challenges this then brought was making sure you had an adequate social network so that the particularly difficult problems were not overwhelming. However, this was not a difficult challenge to overcome, as the learning environment already fostered students to come together.

Personal experience

Exchange to DTU was personally something I'll never forget, due to the people I met, the places I visited, and the independence I gained.
I saw DTU as a multiculturally focused place to live, with people from all over the world eating, studying, and living together. Making friends with people from Singapore, Spain, France, India, America, UK, Italy, Turkey, Cyprus, China and of course Denmark was an amazing experience in itself. It enabled me to have a glimpse into how life is for a wide variety of students all over the world, widening my world view substantially.
Adding to this, was the amazing places I got to see around Copenhagen and Europe. It was truly eye-opening seeing how people seemingly lived so differently, but when it came down to it, were all living life much the same. This is something I never really thought about while living in Brisbane.

To top it off, as a university student that lives at home, it was liberating to be completely independent for the first time in my life.


I lived on campus at Campus Village. What I enjoyed most about my accommodation was that it is designed for international/exchange students only. And as such, everyone there is looking to make friends and is in the same boat as you; in a new country and commonly experiencing true independence for the first time. Furthermore, the accommodation involves a shared kitchen, meaning you get exposed to a nice spread of different foods and have a regular, easy way to catch up with your fellow students.

I would personally recommend living on campus, as I frequently heard horror stories from students living in houses or apartments away from university encountering problems with their accommodation and the annoyance of travelling to and from uni, especially in the rain.

The two options available to me at the time were Campus Village, where you live with international/exchange students only, sharing a kitchen, bathrooms/toilets, and other facilities, or Kampsax, where one international/exchange student lives with a bunch of Danes. The advantage of Kampsax is you get your own bathroom, but the disadvantage is the potential of less exposure to different cultures. I personally preferred Campus Village, as I spent a lot of my time in group work with Danes anyway, and would interact with them going shopping, out drinking, etc. Therefore I was glad I had the additional exposure to other cultures as well as the Danes.


Overall I spent $10,000 AUD over the course of my exchange (not including flights to and from Australia), which was noticeably less than I expected when I budgeted 15k. This was primarily due to the cost of living being a lot lower than I anticipated, and by taking advantage of cheap flights whenever they became available. Furthermore, by properly planning out my assessment, I was able to go travelling throughout the semester, not just before/after the semester or during the mid-semester break. This meant cheaper flights and accommodation as it wasn't during a peak time.

In terms of cost of living, food was roughly the same as in Brisbane, with some food slightly more expensive, and others cheaper. The first thing you will notice is pork is a big thing in Denmark and is, therefore, a lot cheaper. Chicken, on the other hand, was usually a lot more expensive.

Public transport was quite expensive, especially if you didn't have a Rejekort (read: GoCard), so make the most of the amazing cycling culture of Denmark! Buy or rent a bike, they're quite cheap secondhand and DTU holds a few bike repair and maintenance sessions through the semester. Public transport in Copenhagen is designed to accommodate bicycles, so if you don't feel like riding all the way to Copenhagen from DTU, catch the train in then ride around the city!
Owning a bike saved me lots of time when going shopping, getting to and from classes and the like. Furthermore, there are bike racks all over DTU and Copenhagen, so as long as you have a bike chain you'll have somewhere to park.

As for entertainment, buying anything at restaurants, bars, cinemas, cafes, etc, is extremely expensive...sometimes up to three times Brisbane prices. Therefore make the most of the cheap prices at shops and head to parks, and utilize student bars, coffee machines, and the facilities around DTU.

Rent at Campus Village cost 3000 DKK a month, which was roughly $600 AUD at the time. This included all utilities, such as water, electricity, and internet was campus-wide if you had an ethernet cable/router.

Professional development and employability 

Personal independence is the main one, knowing I can rely on myself has contributed a lot to my self-confidence. Furthermore, my ability to plan and organize has improved substantially, due to having to juggle assessment and cramming as much travel as I could.


Once or twice a week I would get together with everyone from my dorm, and we would cook something together. This meant we all got to experience a wide variety of different foods, along with the added advantage of a few drinks, card games and getting a good laugh out of each others' idiosyncrasies.
Aside from socializing, another highlight of exchange would, of course, be the travel, the cultures, and the independence. It is an amazing feeling when no matter how many trips you go on, you know there are still so many places you still want to see.

Top tips

Plan. Ask. Don't just follow tour guides.
Some of the best places I went to involved researching that little bit deeper and asking people about their experiences directly, helping me to bypass the tourist traps and allow me to actually see the culture of the country I was visiting.
While it was fun to get on a plane or a train and just explore a city without any forethought, it usually meant that I was not making the most out of my time, and missing places I would have otherwise loved to have seen.

Rhys - Technical University of Denmark