Before my semester abroad I have already visited a few Scandinavian cities. Copenhagen was the one that impressed me the most, so I decided to choose the Danish capital for my semester abroad. Copenhagen is a beautiful city with amazing architecture and design, a lot of outdoor living and a cozy atmosphere all around the city. Copenhagen is popular for its cycling culture. It feels like the city was made for bikes. During rush hour the cycling paths (which are everywhere around the city) are crowded and as a pedestrian you have to take care about the bikes more than the cars. If you are studying in Copenhagen the first thing you definitely need to have is a bike. I can recommend the company Copenhagen bicycles located at Nyhavn. They have a special student offer for one term which is quite cheap.
In Advance of my arrival in Copenhagen I got an accommodation offer from my University and I would highly recommend you to accept this offer because finding an affordable flat on your own can be quite challenging. I lived in a house, 20 minutes outside of central Copenhagen with eight other Erasmus students from my university. The other girls were from Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Spain and Turkey. As you can probably imagine it is not always that easy living together with eight other girls and sharing one kitchen and one bathroom with them. But still it was a very nice experience and I got an insight in their way of living and culture. The connection from my home to the university was good but a big disadvantage of living outside of the city center was the very high price for the public transport.
I studied at University College Copenhagen (UCC). The University is located close to the city center in a very attractive and young area. The Campus was built just a few years ago and is perfectly equipped. Especially the canteen impressed me because of the huge variety of tasty and healthy food.
UCC has a future lab where you can always go and spend your time with exploring modern technologies like 3D printers or laser cutters or you just go there for having fun with virtual reality car racing games and much more. They also offer Relaxing rooms, a basketball field on the rooftop, dance halls and cozy spaces for group work all around the Campus.
Studying at UCC means plenty of group work. At the beginning of the semester we were separated in groups of three where we had to do all assignments during the semester together. We were also graded as a group. That was something totally new for me but I really like this way of studying.
I took part in the course called Empowering Education in a European context. The course is a joint semester program between four Universities (Odisee University College – Belgium, Pädagogische Hochschule Steiermark – Austria, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona – Spain and University College Copenhagen – Denmark). The curriculum has been developed in cooperation between the four partner institutions and lecturers from all four partner institutions taught the program. The course was separated in 5 units:
Course unit 1 taught by Danish lecturers: Professional teamwork – challenges and possibilities of collaboration in groups
Course unit 2 taught by Spanish lecturers: Education for citizenship
Course unit 3 taught by Austrian lecturers: Communication in Education
Course unit 4 taught by Belgium lecturers: Teaching in Europe – Europe in teaching
Course unit 5: International practicum (every Wednesday and two weeks in a row)
What I liked most about this program is that we learned about many different educational systems.
The international internship was something I was really looking forward to but unfortunately it turned out to be the worst part of my semester abroad. I did my internship in a ninth grade with 25 pupils all around the age of 15. We have heard a lot about the Danish educational system at university and I really like their exemplary idea of teaching but unfortunately I could not see anything from what I heard in the lessons in the practice school. The school had totally different requirements than the university.
Despite the internship, it really was an amazing semester. At university, I have learned about many interesting topics I never heard about at my home institution, and I am sure this will help me a lot in my future. I have met incredibly great people with whom I still have a lot of contact, and we are planning trips for seeing each other soon again.
Author: Jana Werner