Sigrid from Estonia, Transport & Logistics
Born: Estonia, Pärnu (1983)
Field of study and education institution: Master's studies in Transportation and Logistics, with specialisation in Transport and Business Logistics at the Technical University of Denmark
Why did you choose to study in Denmark?
I highly value the quality of Scandinavian universities, especially within my field (Logistics and Transportation). I therefore chose which university to study at before I chose the country. My decision was made following my own research into the study programmes and conversations with professors in my home country. I have never regretted this decision.
What do you like the most about studying in Denmark?
There are several things I really like. First of all, the informal relationship with professors and the feeling of being at the same level as them. The helpfulness the professors show. I also like the discussions in the classrooms and the team work, which gives you experience of working with different cultures and people.
In addition, I appreciate the fantastic facilities and opportunites at the Technical University of Denmark and the trust that the university shows its students. They gave me my own office when I worked on my thesis and I can access my department 24/7 with my own keys. There is a great library system at DTU, where you can order any article or book from any country for free, if it is necessary for your studies. There is probably much more than I can remember right now.
What don’t you like about studying in Denmark?
I sometimes feel that my studies are a bit too focused on Denmark. In my field it is great to use case studies, but almost all of them were from Denmark. You can also sometimes feel ”lonely” in class, when there are only Danish students as they communicate mostly in Danish. But I guess it might at least partly be due to me being a bit passive as well.
What do you like the most about Denmark and the Danes?
I have been living in Denmark for approximately 2 years now and have learned to love a lot of things here, which I will be missing at home. First of all, I like the general athmosphere here, the feeling of being in a small and cozy place - although there are four times as many people in Denmark compared to Estonia. The nice old houses in the old parts of Copenhagen and in other smaller towns like Roskilde, Hillerød, Helsingør. I love the cafes and homemade icecream and the huge green recreational areas everywhere.
I also like the fact that there is always something interesting going on, such as jam sessions, concerts, markets at the weekend, etc. Denmark has turned me into a dedicated cyclist due to the extremely good infrastructure for cycling. The public transport network is in general also very good. Equally important is the fact that you feel very safe here. I like that the locals are confident, most of them know what they want to achieve in life.
What don't you like about Denmark and the Danes?
There is not much to mention here! However, it is difficult to make Danish friends here even though the Danes are friendly. It is partly because you meet a lot of international people during the introduction week and you start developing friendships then, but it is also connected to the culture and nature of the people. That said, it might be the same situation in my home country, Estonia, if international students were coming to study there.
Other areas include the high prices and the bureaucracy. You need to go to the tax office for a tax-card even if you are not going to work here, complete forms for your CPR-card, register with the local council, register with a doctor and get passwords for your local bank account through the post. It was surprising that electronical procedures are not available in many cases. But it is really good that people are taken care of in every way. The weather can be really annoying sometimes too – humid, rainy and dark but fortunately it has been really nice this past year.
Tell us about your best experience in Denmark
It is hard to mention only one thing. There are a lot of thing I enjoy here. I’ll make a short and incomplete list: first, the international friends I have met here and interesting Danish lessons in the language-school, a lot of nice events like jam sessions held in Christiana, concerts, antique markets held on weekends, bike tours to national parks, dinner with local food, carnival in Fælledparken…… of course the atmosphere of Copenhagen in general.
Do you have some advice on Danish student life in general?
If you come to study here, try to communicate with locals from the beginning, take some language lessons and try to get a place in a “kollegium” (dormitory) to meet more locals, it is worth it! Danes are similar to Estonians in a way. I am now using an Estonian saying about Estonians, which also applies to the Danes…”they cannot get going in the beginning and cannot stop at the end”.