Declan from Australia, Sociology
Subject: Sociology, third year
Scholarship: Declan got a scholarship from his home university in Sydney, The Macquarie University, which has an agreement with the Department of Sociology at the University of Copenhagen. He has also saved up some money from his part time job – and also receives a grant from the Australian government in form of a monthly youth allowance.
Why did you choose to study in Denmark?
In Australia, one of our textbooks was from the Department of Sociology in Copenhagen. I thought it was really interesting and I decided to read more of the Department's publications. In this way I was convinced to go to Denmark by the good reputation of the Department. It also helped that my university had an agreement with the department in Copenhagen.
What do you like most about Denmark?
I like the bikes and the infrastructure for the bikes. I also like that there is almost no traffic compared to Sydney – and that it is so easy to get around. The communication costs, e.g. for a mobile phone, are quite cheap – and so are the beers in the supermarket! But these are all minor things. In general, I like the city life, especially the nightlife, in Copenhagen and the Danes. They all speak English very well. When I first got here I was a bit embarrassed that I didn't speak any Danish, so I followed a Danish language course. This has given me a basic knowledge of Danish, but I soon discovered that speaking English wasn't a problem at all!
What do you like most about studying in Denmark - socially?
I like the proximity among the students. Everyone is quite open and friendly. At the beginning of the semester, the international office organised a lot of social activities and this was really good because then we could get to know each other.
What do you like most about studying in Denmark in relation to the subject?
I like the teaching and that we are all encouraged to be independent and to participate in the discussions. I also like that you can follow some extra courses without having to take the exams. In Australia, you have to pay for the courses you want to take and then you have to take the exams as well.
What surprised you most about Denmark?
I was surprised that it is so safe and clean. I have never felt threatened. I was also surprised that all the students in this department are trusted with their own key to the department. There seems to be a lot of confidence in people and there aren't as many worries about security as in Australia.
What don't you like about studying in Denmark?
There isn't really anything that I don't like. I like to study at the Department of Sociology and the possibilities we are given as students. For instance, there is a special room for the students, where parties, cafés etc. are organised by the students themselves. This is really great as it is a good meeting place for a lot of social activities. I also like the nightlife of Copenhagen – we often go out together or meet up with many of the international students at different places.
Where do you live?
I live at Grønjordskollegiet at Amager, which is a nice place. I have made a lot of Danish and international friends both here and at the Department of Sociology.