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"The professors here are stars"

Ryan Christopher Wright, USA, was initially interested in IT University of Copenhagen, because he had read articles by some of the professors there.

When Ryan Christopher Wright was researching for his bachelor in literature and language at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, he came across some interesting texts. A lot of them were written by professors from the same university: IT University of Copenhagen.

Ryan was writing about video games, but from an academic and humanities’ point of view. Not many academics do research on gaming. Even less on the human aspects of gaming.

“People are starting to take games as a medium seriously, and I am academically interested in the field,” he says.

He sees some of the professors at the IT University of Copenhagen as the stars in that field.

“That was why I applied to this particular school. Here they are dedicated to the digital humanities’ studies,” Ryan says.

When he was given a scholarship at the university with all expenses paid, he packed his thing and left for Northern Europe.

Busy with exams

At the moment, Ryan Christopher Wright is extremely busy.

He is in the last month of his 1st semester, doing a master’s degree in Games Design. He spends a lot hours at the university in order to finish one of his exam projects in time: an artistic videogame that emulates some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Deadline is tomorrow, and he basically doesn’t have time for anything else.

“I haven’t slept much these past nights. We have to hand in the project shortly,” he says.

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The university is open 24/7, so the students can work as many hours as they want to.

The IT University of Copenhagen is a modern building with modern equipment in the laboratories, small cubicles for group work and a lively lounge café on the ground floor

“It is like living in the future, and I really like it here,” Ryan Christopher Wright says.

Major differences

The differences between studying in the US and Denmark are many.

For example, at the IT University the grades from the exercises handed in during the semester don’t count in the final grade. The exam results are basically the results from one exam project.

“I have an oral exam in my design class. The subject and the exam are both new to me, so I am learning on the fly here,” Ryan says.

But it is comforting for him to know that the students in Denmark generally can use three attempts to pass an exam.

“I appreciate that, because you can focus on doing the work well rather than just on passing an exam.”

Ryan thinks that the students here worry less about the grades and enjoy the learning process more.

“It is nice with that kind of safety net. The grades should be a service to the students, not the students being in service to grades,” he says.

Both the practical and the theoretical 

A lot of the classes in the Games programme are practically oriented – like designing a computer game or learning how to code.

“I am more academically interested in the field, but for me it is super useful to know both the practical and theoretical side of the field,” he says.

In the programming lessons, the students are given different tasks, as some are more skilled in coding than others. This means that students with a technical education are given tasks that match these skills.

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