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

Name: Yi Guo

Birth year: 1994

Country of origin: China, Shanghai and the Zhejiang province

Based in: Copenhagen

Education: Master of Arts in International Business Communication

Educational institution: Aarhus University

Profession: Looking for a job, former Global Marketing Graduate at Lundbeck

Has lived in Denmark since: 2017

 

How would you describe studying in Denmark in three words?
The first thing I will say as a person coming from China is ‘demanding’. There were many exam forms I had never experienced before. The next word that goes hand in hand with demanding is ‘rewarding’. I got friends in UK and Ireland in one-year master programmes and they thought that I learned a lot more. My programme was hard but I gained a lot of valuable knowledge. And the third word is ‘fun’; I met a lot of international people, the professors are very friendly and accessible, and that motivated me.

What made you want to study abroad?
There were many reasons. I have always wanted to see other parts of the world; I didn’t want to stay in China for my entire life and the programme I wanted to study – communications in a business context – is not taught in China. During my bachelor’s degree I was on an exchange programme in Sweden and got to know Scandinavia. Usually people in China are talking about the UK, Germany and France when they talk about Europe. I learned how everything works here and how people are. And I liked it. I think that in Denmark people are very honest and direct, they trust each other and the society is very simple here.

What was the hardest adjustment you made after coming to Denmark?
I found the Danes very friendly but I didn’t know how to become really good friends with them and be more deeply connected to them. So even when we worked together and talked a lot, I found it difficult to write to them and ask if they wanted to meet for this or that. Now that I have lived here for several years, I have friends but it is still difficult to meet new people, I think.

When did you start planning your future career?
During my bachelor studies I realised that I wanted to work with communications in a business context. In Denmark I got the opportunity to work for Aarhus University (AU) where I did some marketing related work in the international center. Then I got an internship at Bestseller where I worked with e-commerce and marketing, so it became pretty natural for me to switch to marketing and my job in Lundbeck was also related to marketing. But you can change directions several times in your life and career and for my next job I will not necessarily work in marketing again. I think my skills can be used in different areas, so I don’t see myself restricted to marketing.

What made you stay in Denmark when you graduated?
When I worked for AU, I had a very positive experience. I thought people and the environment were very nice. At work all employers focus on work-life balance. To work longer is a cultural thing, you want to show you are a hardworking person, but you don’t necessarily become more productive. I like the working culture more in Denmark. In Denmark it is less stressful compared to China. And I like the nature a lot. The nature is much more accessible in Denmark than in China. Of course there are beautiful and varied nature in the countryside outside the big cities in China, but the problem is that you in your daily life don’t get to see those sites. And I landed the job in Lundbeck before I finished my master’s degree, so it was natural for me to stay. Now I am looking for new opportunities outside Lundbeck and I am very excited about the future.

What advice would you give to another international student who plans on studying and maybe working in Denmark?
If you really care about learning experience, you should consider Denmark. It's very much about what you want from your education. I appreciate the Danish culture and I can identify a lot with the Danish people. If you share the same mindset it will make your stay more easy and pleasant. I know that some mention that the Danish sense of humour and language is difficult to understand, but I like both, although I don’t speak Danish.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
To be honest I don’t know. I really like Denmark and I would not mind living here for the rest of my life, but I also want to see the world. The ideal scenario would probably be to work temporarily outside Denmark and come back to Denmark afterwards.

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