Yvonne - Copenhagen Business School

Bachelor of Commerce
Semester 1, 2018

Academic experience

While at CBS I completed all general electives towards my Bachelor of Commerce (Business Information Systems major). I studied Communicating Across Cultures, Consumer Behavior and Qualitative Methods (completely online course), Visual Communication and Danish Integrated Skills. At CBS most courses have one 100% assessment, which although seems daunting at first I found it made for a much easier workload than at UQ. For my assessments I had a 48 hour take home essay, 2 and 3 week take home essays, and an oral exam (15 minute interview with the lecturer). I found contact hours pretty similar to at UQ and I attended university 2-3 days a week. Subjects all run for different times and you can take full semester courses or half semester (quarter) courses, however this is more of an indication, as the actual dates will vary between courses.

Personal experience

Living in Copenhagen was one of the most amazing experiences and I would definitely recommend Denmark to future exchange students! Denmark (or anywhere in Scandinavia really) is a great option if you want to experience European culture without worrying about the language barrier, as almost all Danes are fluent in English. I made four trips around Europe and went on the Tour of Denmark organized by the CBS exchange crew during the Semester and then travelled for a month afterwards, which I found to be a good balance between exploring Europe and enjoying my time in Copenhagen. I found the Tour of Denmark a good way to see around Denmark, if you haven’t planned to do this on your own. Even though it’s tempting to go away every weekend while in Europe it can start to get pretty expensive and I also found some of my favourite memories were from my time spent in Copenhagen.

Accommodation

I lived in the student residence Nimbusparken, which was awesome! Rooms were all individual with individual bathrooms and there were shared kitchens of 10-12 people. I found the communal kitchen great as it gave a good space to meet and spend time with other students. I would definitely recommend living in a student residence as it’s a great way to meet other exchange students and there’s always someone around to do things with. CBS isn’t a single campus like UQ but is several buildings spread throughout Frederiksberg, a suburb located around 15 minutes to the city by bike, so most of the student accommodation is around this area. I didn’t find the application process too difficult as long as you were logged on around the time it opened however I’ve heard its much more competitive is the fall semester (Semester 2) than in spring (Semester 1).

Costs

Denmark is known for being expensive however I found it manageable. The most expensive thing to budget for is accommodation. Supermarket prices are quite similar if you shop at the right places – Netto, Fakta, Lidl, Rema 1000 and Aldi are great budget supermarkets. Eating out is pretty expensive so I tried to avoid that, and you’ll start getting used to paying ~$8 for coffee. Public transport prices are similar to Australia ($2-$3 for a journey) however the best way to get around is definitely by bike, I paid 850dkk (~$180) for my bike and got the same back when I sold it so it was essentially free. 

I opened up at Citbank account for the exchange and found this was a great option for my semester and also travelling, it is free to set up, no international transaction or ATM withdrawal fees and has a better exchange rate than many travel cards.

Professional Development

Living in a different country and meeting people from so many different backgrounds definitely taught me to be open minded and have a more global mindset. You learn to adapt to living in a completely new environment. Additionally CBS offers many networking and professional events and opportunities if you are interested in this during your time there.

Highlight

My whole semester was amazing so it’s hard to pick a highlight. I really enjoyed the first few weeks and meeting everyone and attending the organized social activities. Also, the Distortion music festival at the beginning of June was awesome and if you volunteer for a shift you get a free ticket!

Top tips

• Bike riding can seem pretty scary at first however it’s the cheapest option, and huge part of Copenhagen culture. It takes a bit to get used to and Danish bike riders can be pretty aggressive but just remember to stick to the right side of the bike lane and learn the hand signals. There are heaps of Facebook pages where you can buy/sell your bike, and this is much cheaper than buying one from a bike shop.
• Also, the public transport is amazing, especially the metro which comes every few minutes 24/7. You should get a Rejsekort (“Go-card”) or there is also a monthly pass option if you will be catching lots of public transport. 
• Get a buddy! It is super helpful to have someone pick you up from the airport and to ask and questions to if you need while you are settling in.
• I would also recommend the introductory social packages for the first 2 weeks and Danish Crash course and it’s a really awesome way to meet people and have different social activities organized for you.

GO ON EXCHANGE! I loved my semester at CBS and would definitely recommend it, but wherever you end up I’m sure you’ll have the most amazing experience.