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Embracing Copenhagen: My Semester Exchange Journey

Ella – Copenhagen Business School – Copenhagen, Denmark

Semester 2, 2023

Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Design



Arriving in Copenhagen was, luckily, a breeze. I had no culture shock thanks to the perfect English
everywhere, and warm August weather. Thankfully, the university had a buddy system, and a Danish
student picked me up from the airport, made sure I found my accommodation, and also lent a hand with
my luggage. It was a seamless beginning.


Within the university campus, my dorm, Porcelænshaven, became a loved place during my semester
exchange. Its location proved to be a game-changer, with its proximity to the metro station, my classes,
the shopping centre, Frederiksberg Gardens, and more. It exclusively housed exchange students, which
created a vibrant and diverse community that added to my experience. Little did I anticipate the impact
of dorm life – around 80% of the friends I made were fellow residents.
If you want to live in a dorm, secure your dorm spot early. With 800 exchange students and only 500
available places, it’s a sought-after commodity. I met many students who didn’t get a spot and had no
choice but to live in private housing, which can also be competitive. While the absence of a common
room posed a minor drawback, the classroom block downstairs transformed into our unofficial
communal space throughout the week, otherwise we would be in each other’s rooms.


The academic landscape at CBS had a resemblance to QUT, but there was one significant distinction that
brought a new dimension to my studies. At CBS, each unit was assessed through a single exam, carrying
the weight of 100%, intensifying the pressure associated with examinations. Despite this unique
evaluation structure, the classes still proved to be easy to digest. Looking back, I think it created a
balance between a challenge and a sense of familiarity, making my academic experience at CBS enjoyable
and memorable.


Copenhagen’s unique location opened up unexpected travel opportunities, leading me to explore places I
hadn’t initially anticipated visiting. I have experienced a fair share of travel, and Tromsø Norway emerged
as my favorite destination ever. The husky sledding and Northern Lights chase are experiences that I
highly recommend. Although it was the most expensive trip I made on exchange, the memories were
priceless. So, if you have the chance, I recommend going while you are so close.


The wake-up call hit hard when the bills started rolling in during my time in Copenhagen. The city turned
out to be pricier than I had initially anticipated, and my wallet began to feel the pinch. Navigating this
newfound financial terrain, I quickly adopted a strict budget as my survival guide. Unfortunately, this
meant my friends and I often had to avoid even simple activities– going to the movies or dinners out.
Despite having some savings, the city’s higher cost of living was an unexpected challenge.
While the financial constraints occasionally led to missed outings, it also highlighted the importance of
mindful spending and the satisfaction that comes from making the most of what you have.

Was it all worth it?

Absolutely. The highs and lows of my semester exchange created experiences that I
will look back on for a lifetime. Lifelong friendships, unexpected journeys to new destinations, and unique
experiences were the rewards that made every challenge worthwhile.
Copenhagen, with its expensive charm, became a captivating teacher, urging me to savor every moment,
whether it was a traditional Danish Christmas dinner or a cozy night in with friends. The city’s allure
wasn’t just in its picturesque landscapes but also in the valuable lessons it gave.
To those future exchange students, my advice is simple: embrace the uncertainties, dive headfirst into
dorm life, and be prepared for a bit of budgeting.


 Find out how you can apply for exchange via the QUT Student Exchange website.

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