The Danish Way Past Review

By (Psychology, Hamline University) for

ISEP Exchange: Aalborg - Study Abroad at Aalborg University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My study abroad experience was absolutely worthwhile. I felt it was character building in a positive way. I feel more empowered, confident in myself, and happy that I did an experience such as this. I am much more open minded and understanding of different cultures now. I think Americans can be quite closed minded.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The educational system was different from what i was used to. There were certainly positive and negative aspects. The first two months of my experience I had course everyday (like in the U.S.) and the last 3 months did not entail any required courses. During these 3 months, I was to conduct and carry out a collaborative research project with two danish students. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience because it was much more 'hands-on' and provided me with more responsibility for my academics. It was challenging yet a refreshing change from the constant focus on everyday class and textbook readings that I am too used to in the U.S. The only drawback was that the International Program at Aalborg for Psychology in particular was not very helpful. I was forced to contact a couple administrators several times before figuring out my exact courses for my major. My non-major courses were no problem. Apparently, it was a down year and the international program for psychology is usually better. So, unlucky for me last semester. So 4.5 I would say overall.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Aalborg University was quite straightforward about everything that was required and necessray for a good semester. I was set up with housing and placed in a group of international students that I got to know quite well. I had an advisor who was not related to any of my courses. He was the ISEP leader for Aalborg I believe and he was great. Always very helpful and friendly and knowledgable. If we had any questions, he could usually answer them or direct us to the individual who would know the answer.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was extremely content with my living situation. I had an apartment all too myself. It was spacious with a kitchen, bathroom, and completely furnished. It was clean, comfortable, and overall very nice. My apartment was part of a much larger apartment complex that was mostly Danish students and just local Danes as well. There was only one other international student in my complex. My apartment was located in between the city centre and the university. There was a bus stop only a five minutes walk away. And only a 10 minute bus ride to the university and a 10 minute ride in the other direction to the city centre. So, very convenient.

* Food:

I was completely on my own for food. I would walk to the grocery store a couple times per week. My only complaint was that it was sort of expensive but this isn't really a complaint since the program has nothing to do with exchange rates and cost of food. There were certainly restuarants and places to eat but in an attempt to save money we did not eat out very often. There was everything I would need at the grocery store.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There was a lot to do socially. The international program was quite large and I was able to meet a lot of other international students that shared common interests. I was able to travel quite a bit and explore other areas of the world other than just Denmark. My program did arrange a few trips but I was unable to go on them in addition to one being cancelled by the volcanic explosion in iceland. The Aalborg Karnival was held in may and was a very fun 'cultural' event to attend.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Very seldom did I ever feel unsafe. I walked home from bars and clubs late at night, even sometimes alone and over the several hundred times I did that, never once did I feel unsafe. Safety was never an issue. I was given a 'yellow-card' as they called it that was essentially a medical card I could use in case of emergency. I had my own doctor I could go to if there were any health related problems. Fortunately, I never had any problems.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

I took Danish as one of my non-major courses at the University. The only course they offered was an 8-week course that was ceratinly not enough time to understand the language. Since I did not learn enough; I could not use it a whole lot. Furthermore, the professors did not expect me or any of the international students to learn that much. Also, a large majority of the danish population speak English. Therefore, I didnt need to know Danish. In daily life, Danes enjoyed when you would make an attempt to speak Danish and show that you are trying to transition into their culture. But it wasnt really necessary since everyone spoke english a lot better than I spoke Danish.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Other

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I think this would most benefit students who are open to change and different settings. sociable, open minded and at least a little adventurous