Studying Abroad: the run down
Who am I:
Hi, I’m Lara, a biomedical student in my third year. I’m here to tell you a bit about what the academic life of an exchange student is.
Where in the world am I and why?
I am studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, one of the few places I could study due to taking 3 direct equivalents and wanting to go somewhere in Scandinavia. At the University of Copenhagen, the Science Faculty is one of the largest and therefore has a wider selection of classes as well as more specialized classes. The faculties (including that of science) are also more socially involved then I have found at UTS. They organize events together as a faculty and they organize a buddy system so that you can be paired with a local science student who can help you in your respective field of study.
Structure of study:
At UTS I have been studying in semesters with 4 subjects each semester. Here, instead of two big semesters with 4 subjects, they break the year into 4 blocks. Each block you take 2 subjects which run for less weeks than at UTS (so 4 blocks of 2 subjects each year). This allows you to really focus on your subjects.
The actual teaching and assessment style is also a lot less demanding than UTS and I currently only have one major assessment or exam at the end of each block rather than lots of assessments which makes for a lot more free time. I am taking a second year masters class as an elective and I find the workload to be less than one of my bachelor subjects back home. The teachers/lecturers themselves are very, very open to discussions and interrupting class to ask questions or even challenge what they are saying. Classes are generally smaller than what I am used to at UTS and I have found a large emphasis on group work and class discussions although Kahoot is still a thing here! Unique to each subject is also the teacher’s style of delivering the information. I have some classes that use a ‘flipped classroom style’ but also some that are more traditional in their teachings. Whether you like this style or if it best suits your learning is entirely dependent on how you learn best and what you are looking for in a class.
Same, same but different classes:
Due to having to do 3 direct equivalents, I am studying subjects very similar to what I would be at home however with my one elective I am taking a class that is more specialized and something I couldn’t study at home – Human genetics (Masters). This has provided me with new drive and a new taste of something I would potentially want to pursue, which I had not been exposed to at UTS. Studying with other international students has also made me more open to what I can potentially study due to hearing the stories of what they are studying. I also began my studies here with a month long language course and it was one of the best decisions I have made! It got me well established in my new country and I made most of my friends during it. It also gave me more insight into the culture of Copenhagen and helped me to navigate my way around so that when classes came around, I already felt like a local.
But what about living:
I have booked my accommodation through the university and am loving it! There was quite a range of choices although living in Denmark is much more expensive than in Sydney (hard to believe I know). The weather is freezing, something I was a little surprised by! I’m enjoying biking everywhere and of course meeting countless new friends. There are so many little changes and intricacies of living in a new city and moving alone that I could not begin to describe. If you are looking for more information or have any more questions than feel free to contact me via email!
Bachelor Science and Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation
University of Copenhagen
For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au