International Business Studies
From as far back as I can remember I have always wanted to study abroad; the idea of living and studying in a foreign country was just too exciting for me to ignore! When I enrolled at UNCG as a freshman, I immediately started planning my adventure. Finally, during the spring semester of my junior year, I studied abroad in Aarhus, Denmark.
Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark, located just three hours away by train from Copenhagen, which is the country’s largest city and also its capital. Aarhus is home to over 300,000 people, half of which appear to be students. Aarhus is a university town with a lively atmosphere, especially in the warmer months. The downtown walking streets are full of people who are shopping, meeting friends or just sitting at a café along the canal enjoying a coffee. The city has a lot to offer including but not limited to an art museum, movie theaters, outdoor concerts, exciting nightlife, several beaches, and even an old Danish village.
Aarhus School of Business
While on exchange, my host university was the Aarhus School of Business (ASB). ASB has about 8,000 students and is host to many international students. The classes at ASB were different from those at UNCG mainly because they require more independent study. During the course of the semester there were almost no graded assignments; a final exam at the end of the term determines your grade in the class. It was an interesting and eye-opening experience to be in classes with so many students from all over the world. I was able to hear alternative perspectives on everything from pop culture to politics, and many times my professors would take advantage of the diversity in the classroom by incorporating it into their lessons.
I lived about 10 minutes away from ASB by bus. Most Danes prefer to use a bicycle as their main mode of transportation whenever possible. However, if you are not sold on the idea, an extensive and easily navigable public transportation system is also available. I lived in a large apartment complex with several other international students, making it easy to get to know everyone. My apartment was 2 floors, 6 rooms on each floor with a communal kitchen and living room area. I had my own spacious bedroom and my own bathroom. I became great friends with my flat mates and we would often prepare dinner and watch Danish game shows on television together (which they graciously translated for me).
I love to travel and will pack my suitcase at a moment’s notice if an opportunity presents itself and Denmark’s location in Europe was perfect for this. There a several discount airlines operating in Europe making it affordable to country hop. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Ireland, Holland, England, Czech Republic, Italy and France. I also attended a trip that ASB operates to the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. It is a wonderful and exciting chance to see the inner workings of the European Union and is a once in a lifetime opportunity due to the fact that a visit to the Parliament is by invitation only. Denmark itself is a beautiful country and by utilizing its extensive railway system I was able to visit several cities apart from Aarhus.
My time abroad was exciting, wonderful, educational and confidence building. It gave me the chance to discover qualities about myself that I would have otherwise missed out on. I made lifelong friends and lasting memories while at the same time gaining life experience and an edge in the job market. It might not always be possible to have an opportunity like this, so I would encourage all students to go out and explore the world through UNCG’s exchange program.