More student testimonials can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/StudentsatSDU
Name: Michael Magee
Home Country: U.K.
Study Programme: Marine Science
Benefits of studying abroad: You need to live in a country for a while before you can really appreciate it. Studying abroad is a way to change the way of thinking you been conditioned to in your home country.
Why did you join the International Brainstormers: When moving to another country a little help is appreciated! The IB programme sounds like it can really make it easier for me to find a job in Demark after my studies. The people involved are well connected with Danish employers and they have already provided some useful pieces of information and advice.
Best experience: From the excitement of arriving in the airport for the first time to welcoming new international students with my newfound local knowledge, my experience in Denmark has been amazing. But the best experience would be my reason for coming here. Everything about studying marine biology here is brilliant. We work practically, with hands on experiments. There are no closed doors creating a relaxed working environment and there is a great feeling around the institute.
There are great opportunities to travel. I’ve been to Norway and Iceland as part of my course, and I will be going to Greenland to do my thesis.
The Danes: After my first week of lectures I went to Friday bar with the Danes in my class. We got drunk! They’ve been my best friends ever since and I love them dearly.
Name: Caitlin O'Brien
Home Country: United States
Study Programme: International Business and Law
Why Denmark: I spent one of my undergraduate semesters in Copenhagen and was immediately impressed with the academic atmosphere I encountered, as well as the broader feeling of the Danish lifestyle. When my semester ended in 2011, I knew it was only a matter of time before I made my way back here.
Outside SDU: I love exploring the city- Odense is filled with cosy cafes and restaurants, beautiful parks and natural areas, and endless hidden gems to discover. If I'm not biking through the city streets, I'm probably running on the path alongside the river that winds through several city parks and the Odense Zoo. I've also become a regular visitor at Brandt's, the art museum in town.
The Danes: Sincere and appreciative. They may not always be the most outwardly expressive people in the world, but I always enjoy my interactions with Danes, young and old. They are agreeable and engaging, and often have a great sense of humour.
Name: Elpida Katsioli
Home Country: Greece
Study Program at SDU: Mechanical Engineering, Erasmus exchange student.
Why SDU: I chose Denmark because I knew that it is a very organized and beautiful country and also because I had the ability to follow courses in English. Some of my fellow students had studied at SDU before me and their comments were quite convincing. I also found some courses which seemed interesting.
The study environment: The professors are really friendly, willing to answer to all your questions and to help you with everything you need. They also try to make the courses more interesting with the use of videos and slides.
International student in Denmark: I think studying abroad is a unique experience that every student should have. You get to know people from all over the world, while you see how it is to be a student at a University in a foreign country, which is very useful for the case that you want to continue your studies on a Masters level. In an international environment I had the chance to learn things I didn't know about other countries and different people. We are going on tours, we are biking, we are having dinners together and visiting the park is something that became a habit during my stay here.
The Danes... Are organized, well shaped and very polite. Everyone speaks English. Even the elderly. Another thing that surprised me is that everyone is using their bike, even women with their children and the weather conditions never seem to be a problem. Finally, all the students are speaking to the professors by using their first name and this seems to be very common here!
Name: Laura Pelzmann
Home Country: Austria
Study Programme: European Studies BSc
Why SDU? That was basically a rather random choice as I wanted to study abroad but didn’t quite know where. I knew that I wanted to study in English at a university without any tuition fees and frankly, as an Austrian, I wanted to live in a country with a coastline as I enjoy living close to the sea very much. Once I found out about Danish universities, I applied and have not regretted this a single moment.
Deciding on a study programme was not that easy for me as I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life at that point. So when I found the European Studies programme which covers many different subjects, such as politics, history and economics, I kind of fell for it. I did not visit SDU before starting to study there, but the homepage and also the friendliness of the people I contacted about studying here was great and I expected an open and international university. I was not disappointed.
- How is the study environment (other students, lectures)?
Compared to what I would have expected at an Austrian university, SDU surprised me with everything being so informal and easy going. I love that it is so easy to ask questions and to engage in discussions. Addressing the professors by their first names creates an atmosphere in which one is comfortable to study. As for other students, I have never experienced any major issues, people are nice and it is easy to develop a circle of friends.
Best experience so far: Probably realizing that not knowing what exactly I want to do after my studies is completely okay. I always thought that I needed some kind of plan, be done with studying as fast as possible and start working, but at some point last year I just knew that I could just try to do what I like best, keep doing that and know that eventually I will find the path for me. Studying at SDU generally helped me become more relaxed about my future as studying here opens many opportunities.
The Danes: To me, Danes are very open people that like to get to know you as a newcomer. I have never had any problems asking somebody for direction. Of course, it is easier if you try in Danish, but generally, Danes don’t mind speaking English and due to their kindness it is not hard to get around at all. Furthermore, I do believe that Danes are not as focused on planning things; the culture seems to be more flexible and spontaneous.
What characterizes Denmark in 3 words is: Hygge – bikes – tolerance
Name: Chris Warmenhoven
Home Country: Netherlands
Study Programme: Robotics
Why SDU? At a student back home I met someone from SDU. I was looking for a master degree and he told me about robotics. The combination of courses offered was very much in common with my interests. I could not find a study like this in the Netherlands. So I choose the University of Southern Denmark.
Studying in Denmark: The teachers are very skilled and helpful. The lectures are top quality and the classes are not bigger than 30 students. There are many international students at the SDU, so it’s easy to meet and hang out. The Danes speak pretty good English so it’s not too hard to communicate with them.
In school my best experience is our robo-lab. This is a hall filled with robots and gadgets. At the moment we are required to program a system which uses a conveyor belt and a robot arm that has to sort objects, in this case (in Denmark of course!) Lego bricks.
While working in an international environment you learn to cooperate with people from different nationalities who have different values and work-attitudes. I think this is a good experience.
Name: Alexander Scheibel
Home Country: Germany
Study Programme: Business, Culture & Languages
Why SDU? Denmark is a country not many people talk about, but it’s a leading country in many different indices, for example is among the Top Ten countries in the Global Competitiveness Index and in Ease of Doing Business Index. So I figured there is something to be learned.
Moreover, Denmark most of the time comes across as a laid-back country and offers, if the sun comes out, some really beautiful places to visit.
The study environment: It is just as I expected it to be, I think all my teachers know my name and I like that. Furthermore the small groups allow us to get to know almost everybody in the classes, which in my opinion raises the level of discussions.
I’ll have to mention the Monday Café, which international students frequently visit on Mondays – obviously! Other than that every once in a while I go out with my friends for a beer or two or we gather together and watch football games. There is lots to do, I kind of need an additional day per week!
Studying abroad: Well I have been fortunate to live abroad several times now, but every place is unique and teaches you to adapt to certain differences and allows you to feel confident in an unknown environment. This time around I sure learned how to cook, as well as letting girls know they have beautiful eyes in Danish! And I have shared so many memorable experiences with some great folks out here.
The Danes: They are pretty reserved until they go out at night. Wow, they go nuts after the clock strikes eight!!