Raphael Ebeling, Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
Copenhagen Business School, Semester 1, 2019
For my first semester of 2019, I studied abroad at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. The overall experience was easily the best 6 months of my life. I experienced so many different things you never get the chance to studying in your home country and city. Meeting people from all across the world (and Australia!), making lifelong friends, living in another culture and visiting so many other countries made this all possible. I would highly recommend it to anyone considering studying abroad. Here are some of the key aspects of exchange and my personal opinions for prospective exchange students:
Denmark is quite far north and is accordingly a much colder climate than Brisbane! Be prepared for a fair share of overcast days and a lot of wind. This affects so many aspects of Danish culture and their way of life. They spent a lot more time indoors, but also make up for it by making the most of every nice, warm day they have. I personally like the cold, but if you’re looking to study abroad in a similar climate to Brisbane, Copenhagen may not be for you.
Danish culture and language
The Danes are also more reserved than Australians. They’re definitely not as outgoing and animated as we are. But that’s not because they’re rude or impolite – it’s just a different psyche. Don’t let this put you off trying to make Danish friends! What makes things easier is everyone’s English is almost perfect – you could spend your entire exchange there without speaking a word of Danish. However, I would personally recommend giving the language a try – whether you take the semester-long Danish language subject, the introductory crash course or even just use Duolingo, it’s much more culturally immersing and satisfying to try and pick it up.
I was staying in a dorm with other students, which was organised through my host university. However, there is often not enough space at dorms for all the incoming exchange students, meaning some people end up needing to organise their own accommodation privately. I would definitely recommend trying to get dorm! You’ll meet so many people from around the world and make lifelong friends. It’s be so much easier to spend time with people and plan things to do. If a dorm sounds like it’s for you, make sure you’re on top of application times and deadlines! I missed most of my higher dorm preferences because I jumped on the application 2 minutes late!
Another thing to consider is whether you want to stay with other exchange students or locals. I stayed at a dorm with other exchange students, which has let me build up an international network of friends, as well as some new Australian ones. However, there is 1 dorm (Tietgen Kollegiet) which predominantly houses Danish students. If you’re looking to meet and spend heaps of time with locals, apply for Tietgen, but keep in mind you probably won’t meet many internationals. It just depends on the kind of experience you’re after!