Alexander - Technical University of Denmark

B Chemical & Materials Engineering
Semester 2, 2018

Academic experience

At DTU, I studied courses that matched to the courses I was supposed to be doing back at UQ (so unfortunately no electives). One of my courses, The Biocompatibility of Materials, was a summer course that I did in the August before the semester started. This was quite full on, about eight hours per day, four days per week, but it only lasted three weeks. For most of the courses, instead of a large final exam, they used oral exams to determine whether you know the course materials. I found that this was much more relaxed; it seemed easier to pass, but harder to get really good marks.

Personal experience

The experience was extremely fun, and I made some great friendships with both danes and internationals. I studied danish a bit before I left, to familiarise myself with the language. This was quite helpful and allowed me to read most words and understand what was going on, however even by the end of the of the exchange I couldn't speak danish, as when they realised I wasn't a native speaker they immediately switched to english.

Throughout the trip I did a lot of travelling. The workload was less than UQ's, and I was lucky enough to have Fridays and Mondays off, so I was able to travel a lot. Apart from Denmark, I visited 11 countries across Europe with my friends and saw some really beautiful places.

Accommodation

I stayed on-campus at Hempel Kollegiet. I can highly recommend this accommodation. It is the newest dorm and it is very clean and well-maintained. Half the residents are danes and the other half are internationals, which is a good combination and means that most of the time people are speaking english. My dormmates were really nice and it felt like a big family, especially since every Tuesday we'd cook and eat dinner together.

Costs

Overall, Denmark seemed to have a similar cost-of-living to Australia. Rent was about $780/mo, and food around $300/mo. I didn't eat out often, as cooking food was so much cheaper. You could live here on $8000 for 5 months, however I spent $13000 as I did a lot of travelling. If you are planning on travelling, I would encourage you to book airline tickets at least a month in advance, as the prices can increase significantly.

Challenge

The biggest challenge was probably first getting into my accommodation. I arrived in the summer break, which was quite unorthodox and the accommodation office took a long time to email me where I was staying and how to receive my keys, especially since I was very busy with classes at the time.

Professional Development

One of the things I have learned is how to communicate effectively with ESL people. I also learned time management and how to plan overseas trips as well as managing assessment. I think I have grown a lot throughout this exchange.

Highlight

There were many great times, but my top highlights were travelling to Konstanz for Oktoberfest and paragliding in the Swiss Alps with my friends. I also really loved the whole month of December and how christmas everything was.

Top tips

Go to introduction week and make good friends with your group. That was where I made 80% of my friends for the exchange. Enjoy the summer and fully embrace the culture, it was a blast!