If I could sum up my first three weeks in Aarhus in a few words, they would be beer, parties, new friends, the beautiful Danes, and an empty wallet. I am quickly becoming familiarised with the Danish culture that is epitomised by “Hygge” a word that when translated into English means, good vibes, cosiness and happiness. It can be used to describe social situations as well as a time when you are completely comfortable and content in your own company.
The introduction week was extremely well organised, it was informative, fun and we were always well fed with life-changing Danish Sandwiches (you’ll see when you get here). We were herded like cattle between lectures and events in an effort to make our Aarhus experience as easy and welcoming as possible. Although there were “compulsory” practical lecturers and library tours, and “optional” social activities, we found the inverse was the norm.
- One of my favourite things about living in this beautiful city is owning a bike. It is 100% essential to buy a bike no longer than 3 hours of being here. Everywhere is a fast, brisk and often rainy 15-minute bike ride away (unless you’re lucky enough to live on Campus). My legs have also changed shape for the better in 3 weeks.
- With hundreds of bars and restaurants in a buzzing student city, there is always opportunity the have fun. Depending on your own budget/ and preferences, if you want to go out 4-5 times a week, you can.
- Very similar to Sydney, but there are no assignments and only final exams. We will have to wait and see how that goes. Other than that the quality of lecturers is very high, all very passionate about their field and always tend to be more interactive. My favourite lecturer brings his golden retriever to class, and there is also a nightclub below one of my lecture rooms, maybe this is why the Danish are the happiest in the world?
- The cost of living in Aarhus is cheap. Rent is $120, beer is $1 at the supermarket, a gym membership is $19 a month, groceries are the same as Sydney. Despite Denmark being ranked as one of the highest cost of living, housing is subsidised, universities can sell food and alcohol at cost price, and there are always efforts to help students save money.
- I chose Europe because we are lucky enough to travel to new countries relatively cheaply on our weekends. I have Oktoberfest in Munich planned, trips to Iceland and Lapland, Spain, Portugal, Budapest and Poland. Aarhus is a good base as it has two airports nearby, and Copenhagen is a 4 hour bus away.
Benjamin Stiles, 12678900
Master’s of Finance
Aarhus University, Denmark.