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Student Testimonials
International students talk about staying in Denmark after graduation.

Name: Joanna Siara

Birth year: 1995

Country of origin: Poland, Radom

Based in: Aarhus

Education: IT-Technology (DANIA, Viborg), Product Development & Innovation Technology (BAA, Aarhus), and now studying Innovation and Entrepreneurship at BAA, Aarhus

Educational institution: Business Academy Dania

Profession: Photographer, videographer

Has lived in Denmark since: 2014

 

How would you describe studying in Denmark in three words?
‘Adventure’ (fun). 2. ‘Freedom’ (independence). 3. ‘Challenge’ (studying is challenging, I had to get out of my comfort zone, think outside of the box).

What made you want to study abroad?
For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to study abroad. I was sent to extra English classes in a private school when I was a little girl. I fell in love with travelling, with learning English even more and getting to know more new cultures and getting to know new people, their stories, as they are fascinating and inspiring!

What are the biggest differences between student life in your home country and student life in Denmark?
In Poland there is much more theory that you must learn by heart instead of understanding it, and the emphasis is put on individual work mostly. In Denmark, the system works, and it’s created for people, not the other way around, and the professors are very positive, helpful, and engaged. The theory is important, but the practice is crucial, understanding the topic is better rather than learning it by heart. Studying in Denmark is a great opportunity for me to learn in a multicultural society, where I perceive things from different perspectives. This kind of experience already helped me develop my creativity and perform tasks with a wider range of thoughts. I believe I gained a lot of useful skills and competences during classes offered in Danish academies, and I am still learning and gaining new ones.

What is the hardest adjustment you made after coming to Denmark?
The hardest adjustment I had to make after coming to Denmark was definitely being away from my family and friends, who always support me. Also, daily responsibilities like paying the bills on time, cooking - that I rarely have the time for. The language barrier - I think a lot of foreigners are lucky that in Denmark it is easy to communicate in English, but the Danish language is difficult.

When did you start on planning your future career?
I had very specific plans and ambitions for my future. I wanted to gain experience working full-time for an IT company and create my own company. After I created it, it was amazing and fun but later on, I realised that I missed being among people, but I also wanted to develop my interests. I have always been fascinated with business development and ideas generation processes, teamwork and cooperation. I have a great imagination and hundreds of ideas but not enough time to realise them all. So far, a combination of my positive attitude, flexibility, knowledge and an open mind gave me the possibility to fulfil the requirements and expectations I had from my teachers, employers, colleagues, family, and my clients.

How would you describe your future plans?
My biggest professional dream is to do what I love with people whom I trust. I want to be a good leader in order to help people achieve their goals. In my own example, I want to show people, especially students, that they can do and achieve whatever they want if they work hard.  I want to be able to create teams and jobs where people are not judged for their nationality or looks but their skills, personality, and willingness to work by giving them a chance.

What made you stay in Denmark when you graduated?
Actually, I thought that after my studies I would go back home to Poland, as I really miss my family, but unexpectedly it turned out that I wanted to settle down in Denmark. I found lovely communities that I feel part of, I met great friends, I have my fiancé with me - we want to get married in Denmark this year and we want to buy a house together here. The economy is good, the job market is pretty big and I feel safe here. In Denmark, I see more possibilities for myself and my future family. I want to give birth to my children in a safe country and raise them in the best possible environment. I love that everything in Denmark can be arranged over the phone or the Internet, avoiding standing in long lines in offices, communes, or clinics for a doctor's appointment. I really love Denmark as a country, the only factor that could be better is the weather, but I got used to it, it's not as bad as people say.

What advice would you give to other international students who plan on studying and maybe working in Denmark?
Don’t be afraid of challenges, and don’t give up in hard moments, they pay off later on. Learn Danish, of course, it’s always beneficial to know a language. Try to look and apply for a student job within your interests or academic profession from the very beginning. And don’t talk only with people from your own country, it’s a major mistake to stick with the same group of people, or with people that you already know - you took the first big and brave step of coming to Denmark, try to assimilate with others and be open. Connect with people, listen to your gut feeling and follow your dreams.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I ask myself this question quite a lot. Honestly, I don’t know the answer to that, but I know that I want to be happy, I want to build great relationships on my journey called life, I want to inspire others, and I want to be successful. I see myself helping others develop businesses while working hard in my own company. I have my own photography and videography company that I started last year. I also opened an online shop in September this year. In addition, I am working for two completely different companies, one is an IT company where I mainly work with marketing, branding, and business development, and for the other one I am establishing business relationships between Polish and Danish companies. Thanks to my education and work experience I see a lot of business possibilities - it gave me a wider perspective and let me think outside the box. And Denmark has definitely become my second home and I realised that I want to settle down here.

 

 

Read more: www.joannasiara.com

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