Philip from Northern Ireland, Religion
Subject: Religion and Physical Education
Country: Northern Ireland
Why did you choose to study in Denmark?
I didn't choose to go to Denmark. I handed in the application form for Erasmus blank – so it was by chance. But I am really happy to be here, and I would not have wanted to go anywhere else. I have no regrets.
What do you like the most about Denmark?
The pace of life, the cycles and that people are very friendly and helpful.
What do you like the most about studying in Denmark - socially?
I have made some friends here at the school, both Danish and other international students, and also where I live at Øresundskollegiet.
What do you like most about studying in Denmark in relation to the subject?
I like that we are free to choose what we want to study and write about in projects and fieldwork. It teaches you to be independent and rely on your own abilities. I also like the emphasis on giving students detailed feedback rather than grades alone and that you can defend your projects through oral exams. Here everything is open to discussion and every opinion is valued.
What surprised you most about Denmark?
The cycling. I had never tried to cycle before I got here. Apart from that, it surprised me that students both at my school and in general are treated like “adults” for lack of a better word. From the 3rd grade and all the way op to university level, people are treated as individuals with their own opinion, who deserves to be listened to. It also surprised me how liberal and tolerant the Danes are – both in a positive and negative sense. One example is that some younger kids smoke.
Then it surprised me how the behaviour and the values of the Danes are marked by the idea that everybody should be equal, in Danish I believe you call it “the law of Jante”, and this is visible in many regards – for instance in the traffic, when the light is red and everybody waits until the light is green again. I just walk if there aren't any cars.
What don't you like about studying in Denmark?
There isn't really anything that I don't like about being here. However, the classes I follow are in Danish, and even though I have learned some Danish before I got here, it is difficult to hang on in these classes. Luckily, we also have group work, where the other students are kind to speak English – and I also get to write my projects in English. There was no option to study my courses in English, so I just had to study it in Danish. So the subject religion is a bit difficult, whereas the gym is easier because there isn't a lot of talking.
Where do you live?
I live at Øresundskollegiet, where they have rooms for Erasmus students. This was organised prior to my stay.