So I’ve been in Aarhus for roughly 3 weeks now and I can tell you that by the end of the first week, I knew this was going to be the best semester, and experience of my life so far. When I arrived at Aarhus bus station, I was kindly met by my mentor who helped carry my luggage and showed me how to get the bus to my accommodation. A little while before arriving in Aarhus I was emailed and told that I had to be put into temporary accommodation as my permanent residence had water damage! But my mentor was so helpful and sorted everything out and collected my keys for me. I can safely say that the stereotype the Danes hold of being very organised, is definitely true.
After a couple of days of settling down and exploring the city, welcome week began. This week was packed full of informative lectures telling us about practical aspects of our stay, applying for my CPR number and residence certificate, meeting lots and lots of new people, some of which are now my closest friends, and several free breakfasts and lunches provided by the very generous psychology canteen. I can’t say I was particularly nervous for welcome week, more just very excited to meet some new people, learn a little more about how everything at the university worked and get stuck in! I met so many amazing people in this week and I can’t imagine it having gone any better.
To say that the university atmosphere is different from Reading is a massive understatement. While the university is one of the best in the world and the focus is very heavily on independent study and academia, the Danes certainly like to party, and they like to party in the university buildings… The psychology committee regularly arranges parties and events that are held in the psychology building, with portable bars and DJ decks being brought in, chairs and desks being cleared and bouncers on the door, it couldn’t have been more different to life in Reading!
The week after welcome week, classes began and I got a vague routine back, which really helped me settle down even more. As a master’s student, my classes seem very sparse, having only got 2-3 hour seminars a week however the focus is much heavier on independent study, reading before each seminar, class discussion, presentations and active participation. Although this seemed pretty daunting at first, I am finding that I am enjoying classes a lot more and learning more than I would in a one-hour seminar at home, but everyone’s different.
This past week I have moved into my permanent residence at Skejbyparken and am loving my stay in Aarhus so much so that I already don’t want to go home! I’m looking forward to exploring the city a lot more with my new found love for cycling, meeting many more people and generally making the most of my time here!