Bachelor of Environmental Science 3rd year
Bachelor of Environmental Science 3rd year

Academic Experiences 

I took a course Geopolitics of Climate change and Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation (CCIAM). They were both from the climate change masters program, and CCIAM was worth double credits because it was double the load. They were both super interesting, CCIAM was based online so it was a little silly to be all the way over there and only need to go to one class for Geopolitics. The workload less then at UQ. It seems the education system in Denmark is more personal and focused on ensuring you have an understanding of the concepts, rather then just making you write assignments all the time. This was great, because I was doing subjects that I was actually interested in :)

The most challenging thing was that I was initially told by UQ abroad that I needed to take 3 separate subjects. It wasn't until later after almost completing a 3rd at Copenhagen Uni I was told that I only needed to do the two subjects. Also staying focused on work is hard when Europe is at your doorstep.

Personal Experience 

I had travelled allot before going on exchange, to may different continents for different reasons, but not alone and not really to live. Setting up a life, making friends, figuring out how to navigate a city and social life, while not being able to speak Danish were among the (fun) but challenging situations on exchange. Making friends was hard living away from other exchange students but if you hang in there, get on tinder, follow up on weird connections you will meet some great people. I sure did. I spend a bit of time volunteering for an organisation that I work with at home and met some rad people with similar interests through that.

There is also generally a lot to do in the city, lots of art, music, food, alcohol and beautiful bike rides to be had. Also its super easy to go up to Sweden, get across to Norway or Germany. Flicks bus will be your best mate.

Skills - that's tricky, I learnt to be alone, navigate educational bureaucracy a little, how to hike in sub zero temperatures, how to ride a bike in the snow and how to cross country ski. Working on Uni projects defiantly taught me how to collaborate on projects with people that have different cultural backgrounds, experiences and views of issues (Eurocentric view was interesting). Because the courses I did were from a multi-disciplinary masters I got to work with people that had different backgrounds and out of university experiences in things like business, molecular biology, political, governmental and the corporate world.

Accommodation

I didn't live with other exchange students or in the housing foundations houses. In the 4 months I lived on a friends floors, a boat, in collectives and in the city in a fancy one bedroom apartment. It was great. I lived in 5 different neighbourhoods and exploring them was great, I got to learn how to navigate the city well, and I got strong legs from cycling. But TBH, its really realllllyy hard to find a place to live in Copenhagen. People try to scam you, there can be like 30 people trying to get one house and its not cheap. I winged it a little and luckily had a beautiful mate who let me sleep on her floor for the first three weeks, while I trawled the internet daily, it was stressful, and disheartening at first. Once I got into the market it was okay, but It may have been just luck. I would recommend sorting out at least the first month of accommodation - the problem is you can only really do this a month or two before you go, becaus! e no one lists things that far in advance - I didn't do this because I ended up working on a farm off the grid in Spain for the month before I started. Up until I left I tried really hard to find a place but just couldn't, most of the advertisements were for accommodation starting too soon so it wasn't worth getting in touch.

Budget 

Depends how you live your life. I didn't spend as much as I anticipated. Rent costs around $200 per week I think I worked it out to be, I did lots of dumpster diving for food, hitchhiked and rode my bike everywhere (even to the airport a few times) and didn't drink as much. So you can get by with only a few grand, you could also probably find a job if you want, but this all depends on your lifestyle.

Academic Development and Employability 

Probably mostly working with people from different cultures on group assignments! Also meeting a few highly skilled professors that work on international climate policy, etc.

Highlight 

The highlight was probably hiking in Iceland. I did a 5 day trek just before I started uni and it was phenomenal. There are cheap flights from Copenhagen to Iceland and some good overnight hiking possible if you bring a tent and equipment.

Top Tips

Try and figure out your classes as well as you can, but don't stress it will work in the end, even if there are a few hiccups. Find accommodation for the first few weeks, but if you don't you'll figure it out and put yourself in situations where you get to meet locals :)

 

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