Student dorms in Denmark

I stayed in a student dorm whilst on exchange. This is organised through CBS and they have a big list of dorms that you can choose from. My advice is to do your research on each dorm as you have to put an order of 1-7 on accommodation and it is very competitive so ensure that you are confident in your top 3 choices. I stayed in Svenevej, which I absolutely loved, but there are a few things to be aware of. The Svanevej photos shown on CBS are NOT what the rooms actually looked like. The photos that are used are from the permanent residents that live in the accommodation and the student rooms are a lot more basic and not furnished in this way so do not make your decision based on this. I paid extra for a bigger dorm room and I HIGHLY recommend doing this. In the scheme of things you do not pay that much extra and it is so nice having the extra space.

Enjoying drinks and food on our Svanevej rooftop

Enjoying drinks and food on our Svanevej rooftop

My dorm room was so much bigger then the smaller ones and I absolutely loved it. It was like having a small studio apartment with my own little kitchen and bathroom. There are only 2 big rooms in Svanevej so be quick with requesting them. My room was 113 and was in the corner of the dorm so I had no noise from the street or the staircase.

Svanevej is in the Norrebro neighbourhood, which is an up and coming neighbourhood of Copenhagen. My favourite area of norrebro is just 5-10mins walking distance from Svanevej. Be aware that this is a very multicultural neighbourhood. I always felt 100% safe day and night, but a lot of people in Copenhagen say it is very “dodgy.” I was very nervous about this initially but I loved the area. So many young people live around Norrebro and Jaegesborgade is an amazing street that is right nearby. There are supermarkets right next to the dorm as well as a bus and train line within a 5 minute walk. I absolutely loved the dorm, we had our own common room and shared kitchen although everyone had their own kitchenettes anyway. This is a much smaller dorm than the others listed so it is not much of a “party” dorm, which I preferred. We also had a huge rooftop terrace which was great for BBQs and drinks.

Copenhagen – the happiest city in the world

The Amazing Botanical Garden

The Amazing Botanical Garden

Copenhagen was voted the happiest city in the world. And once you visit there it all becomes clear as to why. Copenhagen is an amazing city full of life and colour, and the Danes are arguably the most beautiful people in the world. Everyone in Copenhagen rides a bike rain, hail or shine. I arrived in winter and I believed that the city was equally as beautiful in the snow, however you definitely don’t get the full experience of Copenhagen until the sun comes out.

Everyone is relaxed and easy going in Copenhagen. And I loved just reading a book in the park or having a cider by the lineup of colourful boats in Nyhavn. (It is legal to drink in public in Denmark). I did not get to explore much further then Copenhagen but I did hear wonderful things about the country. However, arguably Copenhagen is the best city in Denmark so definitely try and do your exchange here.

A lot of people say that Copenhagen is a very expensive city. I believe that it was very relative to Australia. Expect to pay anywhere between $15-$30 when you eat out and more for drinks. The only thing I noticed that was way more expensive was coffee. A cup of coffee will cost anywhere between $6-$8. People that were on exchange from cities in Europe that have lower costs were very shocked about the price of things, I really didn’t notice any difference from the price of items in Brisbane.

Copenhagen Business School? Simply amazing!

CBS Fredericksburg Campus

CBS Fredericksburg Campus

 

 I chose Copenhagen Business School for exchange as a previous exchange student recommended it to me. I was originally looking at universities in the UK and America, but I was told that I just had to apply for CBS as my first choice. I am so glad that I did and I cannot imagine having done exchange anywhere else, it was the best experience of my life!

 My first impression of CBS was utterly amazed. The university is split over four modern buildings, each features amazing architectures and all with their own cafeterias, lecture rooms and class rooms. All of the campuses are within walking distance which made going to university extremely convenient. The main campus at Solbjerg Plads is incredible and features a beautiful library and 2 huge cafeterias. My impression of CBS only got better as the exchange went on. From their supportive buddy program, to the exchange office, there is always someone to help you settle in. There exchange activities during the first 2 weeks were so great and helped in making the transition a lot easier. CBS is renowned for being one of the best universities in Denmark, and it far exceeded any of my expectations.

An English countryside experience

England is not a cheap place. The cost of food is almost the same as in Brisbane except instead of paying 8 dollars for a burger you’re paying 8 pounds. Always try and do a weekly shop to keep the price of food down. All up I was away from home for 7 months. I saved 9 thousand dollars and also had fortnightly centrelink payments. This was plenty! I was lucky enough to travel a lot while being away and it got me through that time period, although I still gave myself a weekly budget to ensure I got to do as much as possible. I had two types of payment methods. I made sure I had a credit card incase of any emergencies and I also had a Commonwealth Bank travel card, which acted like a savings/debt card. I had no issues with either of those.

England isn’t known for its sunshine so make sure you always pack an umbrella. I’d also look into credit cards, as they are an easy way to pay for things online eg. Flights for a weekend getaway! Make sure you also invest in travel insurance, better to have it than to not.

I would highly and wholeheartedly recommend student exchange to anyone and everyone. It’s not about what it does for you academically but more so how it helps you change and develop as a person. I have always said travel makes you a better person. It helps you see the world differently, teaching you tolerance, acceptance and allowing you to put yourself out there and connect with new and exciting people. It also helps with organisational skills and management both of which are great things to learn before entering the work force.

I have only been home for 5 days and already I know I will look back on my exchange experience and think it was one of the best things I ever did. Bath Spa University is a perfect choice if you want to have an English countryside experience. The location is amazing and the people of Bath are lovely and always willing to help if need be. While on exchange I got to visit some amazing places in and around the UK and Europe but it’s the amazing friends that I made at my time at BSU that made it what it was. I know I will stay in contact with these people for many years to come. If you are thinking of going on exchange do it, you won’t regret it.

The rolling green fields of Bath Spa University

On the evening of the 28/12/14 I flew to England for what became one of the best experiences of my life. I was lucky enough to gain a position at Bath Spa University, which is located in Bath, situated in the Somerset district of England. Bath Spa excited me because it was close enough to London (1.5 hours by train) and also Bristol (20 minutes by train) however Bath itself was very much a large country town surrounded by rolling green hills and charming old cottages. Bath is a Roman city and has been heritage listed. It’s a beautiful place to explore and has just the right amount of excitement without feeling like you are in the big city.

The Bath Spa Campus is still one of my favourite places to date. Surrounding the buildings are lush green fields with cows and sheep and a lake and river run alongside the campus, there is even their very own castle! I always felt blown away by its natural beauty and history.

I opted to live on campus and I would highly recommend it despite the difference in cost to home stay. I lived in a building, which provided en-suite living. It was only a touch more expensive than the accommodation providing shared bathrooms and I’m glad I paid it! My room was lovely and big, with large windows and a decent sized cupboard. I liked that I had the extra privacy due to having my own bathroom. The room came with a single bed, desk and 2 chairs. I had to provide my own linen, towels ect. I shared the kitchen with 10 other students. We all had our own areas and cupboards. I also purchased my own kitchen utensils and did my own weekly grocery shop.

At QUT I study media and communications. I decided I’d enroll in an exchange minor so I had more flexibility regarding subjects and institutions. While at BSU I completed copywriting and text editing, professional writing and stardom and celebrity. I found that the workload at BSU was nothing compared to QUT. Bath Spa was much more relaxed. Bath Spa University is known for creativity, students are able to study creative writing, dance, drama and musical theatre just to name a few. It also has a strong learning disability program.

Sights and Culture

Hello again! For the first few weeks as the term was beginning, the weather was quite pleasant for Autumn. There were even some full days days of sunshine, which I have now learned occurs only so often. Most days are overcast and if the sun comes out, it’s only for a few hours.

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Regent Street

One of the most recognisable streets in London is Regent Street, which runs in a curve and is perpendicular to Oxford Street. Both streets are the shopping central street in London. On the weekends, the footpaths are packed with people. This even applies to  most days. Surprisingly, fast fashion stores pop up once or twice along the same street due to it’s popularity. Topshop, H&M and Zara has the largest influx of customers. There is a store called Primark, which I like to see as the the UK version of Cotton On but on a much larger scale.

One of my favourite things about London, is it’s abundance of parks. Here is one from Hyde Park, the largest park in the city.

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Swans in Hyde Park

Not to mention, there are many museums and art galleries to visit and most are free admission.

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Roy Lichtenstein’s Whaam! at Tate Modern

The view from Tate Modern overlooks the Thames River, where you can see the Millennium  Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral.

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View from the Tate Modern cafe

One afternoon, I visited The Royal Academy of Arts in Piccadilly to view Ai Weiwei’s exhibition. Ai Weiwei is an influential artist from China, who works are activist in style and has a deep effect on him. From the earthquake in Japan to his arrest and censored life, his artwork speak volumes.

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Ai Weiwei exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts

Thanks for reading!

Say ‘yes’ to everything about Scotland

One of my favorite view at Scotland

One of my favorite view at Scotland

Before I left, I was concerned I wouldn’t understand anyone’s accents! And listening to Ewan McGregor wasn’t enough preparation! At first I felt like I was really rude not understanding anyone but after a few days it kicked in, and if anything I have now come home saying new slang words that my friends don’t understand and saying Aye and Wee before just about everything! I cannot find the words to say how much I truly loved my time in Scotland. It is a county full of history and culture, the people are just amazing and I have made some unforgettable friends from all over the country.

The Study Abroad program has given me an opportunity to develop my skills in Journalism and expand my knowledge of world news and stories. I have never had so much fun and never felt so confident and excited about my chosen career path. Suddenly I am more aware of the world around me, I was able to travel, meet amazing people and see some incredible places! I would encourage any students embarking on their overseas exchange to say yes to everything, really open up and put yourself out there, be willing to try haggis and Black Pudding despite the ingredients, get involved with everything the university has to offer and over all experience everything you possibly can.

£1 berries and unit issues at Strathclyde

I had issues in my first few weeks trying to figure out classes. I had enrolled into Journalism 2 which I had presumed would get me full credits at home, however when I attended my first class no-one else came in, not even to the tutorial. I went to speak to the head of department and he told me that this class wasn’t running until the following semester. All of a sudden I didn’t have enough classes to get me direct credits and I wasn’t sure what to do. Professor Higgins (HoD) then suggested taking on an Honours Course if I was prepared for the workload, and so I did. In the end I was enrolled into Journalism 1, Journalism and Politics and America in the 1920s. Of these three subjects, not only had I fulfilled my credit point expectations but was also taking two honours courses. Journalism wasn’t a huge Bachelor at Strathclyde, the university is mostly known for its Business and Engineering Degrees. I only had a total of 12 people in my Journalism classes and maybe 9 in my Honours classes. This was a surprise to me, however this allowed me to meet more people and truly build an awesome relationship with my Professor and classmates. The classes were fantastic and I really enjoyed learning about Scottish and British Media and Politics. In fact, because of this class I have become more interested in perusing Political Journalism. I wish I had thanked my Professor for inspiring me in such a way!

I was unaware that there was an on-campus living option for exchange students, so I went about searching for my own flat prior to leaving. I found a flat for £280 a month, which was pretty reasonable I thought! I was 5 miles from the university, but in truth it was only about 20 minutes walk. I shared my flat with a 23-year-old guy named Luke who studied Engineering. Luke ended up becoming my best friend and a person I will genuinely miss! Glasgow was incredibly affordable, not only my rent but also general living! Luke constantly laughed at me when I got excited about £1 berries and vegetables. Furthermore, the affordability of socializing and events was incredible! I have never experienced nightlife like Glasgow! It was phenomenal and affordable! I managed to go to 5 live bands, all of which cost under £20!!! It is easy to see that I took advantage of social opportunities! I had been saving for almost two years and tucking everything away so whilst abroad I made sure I did everything! Any opportunity presented to me I took up, and now I have no regrets! I went on the Ski Trip to Val Thorens in France and it was by far the greatest experience of my life and I cannot thank the SUSC Team enough! Overall, I did spend a lot of money but I have not come home broke and as I said before I do not regret a single thing!

Strathclyde: a university on a hill?

The two Canadian girls I met

The two Canadian girls I met

I left for my exchange in the middle of August 2012. I had chosen to attend the University of Strathclyde so that I could experience something a little bit different. Truth be told, I had never considered living in Scotland, sure I wanted to visit but living there was a whole new concept to me, if anything my real inspiration to go to Scotland was thanks to Ewan McGregor and the cute Highland Cows. When I applied and was accepted I was suddenly hit by this fear thinking why had I chosen a city so far out from anywhere I had ever heard of! I was nervous and excited when I left Australia. When I got to Glasgow, it was cold and grey even during summer, just what I had expected!

The University was spread out over a massive hill, and I had no clue where all of the classes were! But I entered The Union and met a girl who gave me all the information I needed and told me about Freshers Week, I assumed this would be similar to O Week at home, I was wrong! Freshers was a week filled with parties and shenanigans! Dress Up Parties, Club Sign Up, Djs, Performances, Fairs! I decided to get involved in every social element of the week and surely enough met some of the other Exchange Students. I made friends with some incredible girls in this week. The two Canadian Glaslowgirls I met ended up being two of my closest friends. I signed up for Surfing, Snowboarding and Football, all sports I had never been involved in when at QUT. This allowed me to get involved with completely different social groups and meet so many amazing people!

Advice for those Arizona-bound!

The biggest problem I faced with Arizona State University was registering for classes at the very beginning. As the process of being accepted as an exchange student into ASU took a very long time, I was not able to enrol into the classes I wanted originally as by the time I was allowed to do so, most classes were full and I had to find alternatives. Students did not have the possibility of listening to lectures online for my classes; therefore most classes were full to capacity. The biggest upset was the fact I was not able to study a management class I planned on studying to get credit for BSB115 over here. However this problem could not be avoided and hopefully future students don’t have to suffer the same problem.

I would have liked to know the length of the process of being accepted as an ASU student before I left, so I could have communicated prior to coming with my professors in order to see if they could reserve a spot for me. The advice I would give to future exchange students is that they should have backup courses that they want to study if their intended courses fall through. It would save a lot of time and hassle by doing so. However the exchange department on QUT’s end was very helpful during the time I was changing my study plan, and without them it would have been a lot more stressful and complicated.

I would also advise future students to socialise as much as they can outside the exchange student’s circle as possible in order to meet actual students from that country/college. I spent little time with other members of the exchange group at ASU because I wanted to make friends with actual ASU students as I believed I would be able to experience the American culture to a greater extent with them than by sticking with other international students.  I believe that this was really effective and easily the best decision to make, as I have made life-long friends who were able to show me the side of American culture I was looking to experience, and I believe I could not have done that had I not socialised outside the exchange circle.

My exchange experience in the USA was the best 6 months of my life so far, and I strongly encourage anyone to take part in an exchange program because it really is an invaluable experience and the chance to experience another culture is amazing.