Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Why Copenhagen?

To start, an apology for the late arrival of my 2nd post. I started this blog the evening before my holiday and have only just returned. Blogs will be much more frequent in future!

I wanted to set the scene for the purpose behind my move. When I have been asked where I am studying for my master’s degree, people often appear taken aback when I respond ‘Denmark’. This is a completely understandable reaction, as this time last year someone had told me I would be moving abroad to continue further education I would have laughed at them. Finding myself at the end of my second year of my undergraduate, I was close to dropping out rather than thinking of a further 3 years of studying. This changed when I found myself in the careers centre at uni, being told that in order to get employed in my preferred job sector, I required more than just a bachelor’s degree. However even then, moving abroad still wasn’t on the horizon.

So why Copenhagen? The initial consideration was the cost. For anyone who isn’t British, UK undergraduate degrees are funded with help of government loans however this is not provided for postgraduate studying. When searching options at UK institutions, I was looking at forking out between £7,000 – £10,000 just for 1 year. A suggestion from my dad to look outside of the UK, I found my perfect course that would last 2 years and costing £0 for any European students. Although other costs would have to be factored in (accommodation, food, travel etc.) it seemed like a cheaper option.

 Secondly, Demark is a beautiful country. I was 12 when took my first visit to the country, on an exchange with my school. I spent 6 days with a lovely Danish family in a town north of Copenhagen. Although I was young, I had a great time and loved their culture. I was hoping to include some nostalgic photos from my trip but I have yet to locate them in the huge boxes of family photos in the loft (I promise to keep looking for them, mostly for the entertainment factor of 12 year old me). My most recent visit was back in March, when my dad and I spent 24 hours visiting Copenhagen for the open day. Below are some photos.

Nyhavn

A bit breezy... (my face says it all)

Looking around one of the 3 University campuses

Dinner with dad, and his chilli crab

Views from the Copenhagen observatory


Although it was deathly cold (officially 0°C but with a wind chill of -6°C!!!), we had a very short but sweet visit. We tried to fit as much in as possible, attempting to capture a snapshot of the city for me. Some of it was a trip down memory lane, such as the Nyhavn canal and Tivoli Gardens, but it was mostly to get a feel of whether I could picture myself living there.. and I could! The city is so different to cities I have experienced in the UK, particularly the cycling culture. The astonishing thing was that Friday 5pm (typical rushhour time), the roads were awash with bikes rather than cars. It appears a clean place, quite peaceful for a capital city and most people seem to speak fantastic English – even the food menu for dinner has printed English translations.

For now, I am pleased with my choice. Although this could change in the future (touch wood it won’t), I’m excited to experience living in a different country – even with the unforeseen challenges I am bound to face while adjusting to life in a new county. I am also extremely grateful to my family who are supporting me through this experience and without them, I wouldn’t be able to do it.

In the last 2 weeks, a lot has happened involving my move so I have a lot of catch-up blogging to do since being away. I also have my graduation next week which I’m very excited about!

Byeee for now!

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