It’s been exactly one month since I was on Sydney soil, and what a month it has been. I couldn’t think of how to condense thirty days into one blog post so instead I’ve decided to invite you into a normal day as an exchange student in Aarhus. 🙂
08:00. Wake up hungry as usual. Food is very expensive here and the Danes love to eat healthy so I am having trouble adjusting to the loss of my usual Sydney diet, which consists of Messina at least once a week. I make toast for brekky but not Aussie Wonder White!! Ha no this toast is Danish rye bread and it is the densest, darkest stuff you can imagine. Packed full of seeds this is a Denmark staple and the supermarkets sell a million different brands of it. Every single one I’ve tried so far has been DELISH. I take it to school in my LEGO lunchbox, bought on one of our fun international student field trips to Legoland!
09:00. Hop onto my bike and cycle to school. Bikes are an absolute must for anyone living in Aarhus I can’t stress this enough. Every month there is a special auction where the police sell all the lost & stolen bikes for (semi) cheap. You’ll soon realise nothing is ever truly CHEAP in this country! My bike is a bit rusty but she’s pink and gets the job done. It can be a bit overwhelming when you go to the police auction, as there are about 300 bikes for sale! I recommend going around and checking the brakes/back wheel before making your bid. I was lucky enough to get my second choice of bike, but don’t forget that they add 25% tax on top!!! That can come as a shock at the cash register.
10:00. Arrive at the Danish School of Media & Journalism (DMJX). When they call it a school they mean it! Class runs from 10-3, five days a week. I feel like I’m back in high school, but not in a bad way necessarily. Its very different to my two nights a week UTS schedule but think I’m learning more, faster since we often have a lecture then do the practical in the same day. My class is standard journo ratio – 18 girls, 2 boys. One of the two – Morten – is Danish. He was our introduction to the special brand of irony beloved by the Danes. They have a very black sense of humour which takes some getting used to. But don’t be scared by the sarcasm!!
12:00. Lunchtime in the American-style cafeteria!! DMJX is relatively small. There are approximately 800 students at the Aarhus campus, of which around 50 are international students. As a result we all hang out with each all the time, and now I can say that I have friends from EVERYWHERE! Today I eat with students from Lebanon, Ukraine, South Korea and Norway. It is so fun to swap stories about our home countries. We talk about going out, about the food we eat, the music we listen too. Through these 50 individuals I am understanding more and more about the world.
15:00. (side note – Danish people use 24 hour time, so switch your phone time now in preparation!) Ride to downtown Aarhus to check out whats going on. Bars and restaurants line the canal with Danes enjoying their preferred drop. Tuborg vs. Carlsberg is a very real conundrum here!!! I personally prefer Tuborg (no aftertaste!) but Carlsberg is more widely known internationally. I grab a kanelsnegl (AMAZING danish pastry, a cross between a chocolate croissant and a cinnamon scroll) and sit in the park, in the shadow of the famous Aros museum. I’d buy a season pass to the museum as it works out cheaper if you want to go multiple times. You can share with a friend, so its worth the 300 kroner (60 AUD) investment!
22:00. I titled this blog post Decisions because I’m only 3 weeks in and I’ve already decided that coming to Denmark on exchange is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my entire decision-making life!!! I feel fairly confident that you will feel the same. But don’t listen to me – come and try for yourself 🙂
– Kate Thorburn