STUDENT: Aleksandra Bondaruk, Russia;
HOST UNIVERSITY: Business Academy of South West (Denmark)
My university offered me to go to Esbjerg, Denmark for one semester as an Erasmus student for my third and last year. It was a great opportunity to travel and see other cultures, to meet different people, to make friends and to try a foreign education system.
Denmark is a country that is very welcoming for international students. The culture remains western, but there are still differences in the way of thinking, having fun, eating and living. It is fairly close to the “Nordic” culture that we can find in other countries like the Netherlands or Sweden. Besides this program, the university offered the possibility to find accommodation and take care of everything necessary so that I just needed to get the keys at my arrival.
Accommodation is mostly a room in a student residence: it costs around 300 euro per month. I arrived in January, and it was difficult to reach Esbjerg, as first of all, I had to go by bus to Warsaw Airport, flew to Copenhagen, then go to the Central Railway Station by subway, then walked to the Central Bus Station and took the bus to Esbjerg, then finally in Esbjerg I had to find the way to my new home. By the way, the transportation system differs from Polish.
The host university offered to learn Danish free of charge, I attended classes twice in a week and got the certificate. The education system is so different from the Polish and French systems, and particularly from that at UITM. It is interesting to compare the different approaches. All studies were based on projects and research. The majority of exams are oral. To my mind, the education there is more challenging, but at the same time, it is more interesting as the teachers give you the opportunity to try your knowledge practically.
Overall I have got a very positive experience: I met a lot of people, even Russians, improved my English, learned a new culture. The downside is the standard of living, which can be frustrating when it limits the possibilities for outings and discoveries, especially when you are a student.