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Life as an international student at Aarhus BSS

My name is Lina Krafte and I moved from Latvia to Denmark almost 3 years ago to start my Bachelor's studies in Economics and Business Administration at Aarhus BSS. In this blog post I will share my experience of being an international student at Aarhus BSS.

Written by Lina Krafte

Photo by Aarhus University

Why become an international student?

When I was in high school, I understood that many of my classmates were scared to challenge themselves and move away from their homes to experience and build a new life in a different country. I, on the other hand, always saw the opportunity of studying a full degree abroad as an exciting experience.

Now that I am here as an international student at Aarhus BSS, I would like to encourage other potential students to do the same!


I’ll go through 3 things that might seem scary about moving to Denmark:

  • Finding friends to hang out with
  • What to do in your free time
  • Language barrier

Finding friends to hang out with

There are many opportunities to find friends when you move to a new city and I will only mention a few. Here are some examples of where I got to know my closest friends in Aarhus.
 

Study group with Danish and international students

Aarhus BSS is a diverse faculty that includes both Danish and international students. Although I’m studying in English it does not mean that I am in class with only international students. In my course, approximately 60% of students are Danish, which means that I am mostly around Danes.

Apart from lectures we also have class tutorials for which we need to solve problem sets. The best way to do it is to create a study group with 4-5 people in it. The university helps to complete a study group based on your characteristics and overall expectations, which is a great help in the beginning.

I am in a study group with three Danish girls who have become great friends of mine, and they are more than interested in introducing me to Danish culture. Having a study group with your friends is a great way to be engaged in the study process, as well as to have fun.
 

The Buddy programme for international students at Aarhus BSS

The Buddy programme is an initiative for new full-degree international students to welcome them in Denmark and integrate into Aarhus BSS. This is done through different events, where the new students get to bond with existing students.

I have been a part of the Buddy programme for three years. First year as a Newcomer, a new student at Aarhus BSS. Second year as a Buddy, a current student at Aarhus BSS who socializes and mentors the new international students. Finally, this year, I decided to become a Buddy Programme Coordinator, which has been a great opportunity to enhance my coordinating skills.

This is just one example where BSS gives you an opportunity to boost your CV and gain experience by engaging in many different activities to make the life of international students at Aarhus BSS better. 

What can you expect from the programme?

During the first semester at Aarhus BSS, coordinators plan many different events for everyone who has joined the programme. These activities are great for having fun, get to know each other better, and create unforgettable memories.

Moreover, each new student is assigned a buddy who becomes their first-hand help for settling in at Aarhus BSS, as well as someone to spend time together with outside of school and to remind you - you are not alone!

Want to be part of the programme?

Send an email to buddy@studenterlauget.dk with your full name, nationality, and study program, and say that you want to join The Buddy Programme! It is that easy.

Me and my fellow buddies at the Buddy programme. Private photo.

What to do as an international student in Aarhus?

Student events in Aarhus: There are many events in Aarhus and a great place to keep your self updated is on Studenterhus Aarhus webpage. They plan many different events where everyone is more than welcome to join.

One of the recent events was to plan a scavenger hunt around Aarhus. Me and my roomies participated, and we saw places we had never seen before here in Aarhus! By the way, we were the fastest and we won, wuhhuuu! 

Furthermore, it is possible to volunteer at Studenterhus Aarhus in different positions and that is a great way to meet other international students, gain professional experience in planning events, working at a bar, or being responsible for their social media.

Explore the nature and appreciate the cold: Secondly, if you don’t enjoy being around people all the time, but also do not want to sit home and watch Netflix, I can guarantee you will enjoy Aarhus' nature. All the forests and beaches where you can go for a walk are stunning. I even started a winter dipping tradition, which is very common among Danes of all ages.

A student city = vibrant nightlife: Last, let us not forget Aarhus vibrant nightlife scene! A big part of the population in Aarhus are students, so you can imagine what is going on Friday and Saturday evenings downtown in bars and pubs…

Lina and friends at a rooftop in Aarhus. Private photo.


Language barrier as an international student

First of all, DON’T WORRY!

All the Danes are very well-spoken in English, so you don’t necessarily need to speak fluent Danish to survive here. However, from my experience, it is necessary to know the language if you want to land a great job opportunity.

Therefore, I was pleased to discover that I had the opportunity to join some Danish language courses FOR FREE! You need to pay a deposit, which is refunded after you pass the exam and decide to end the course.

Overall, there are 6 levels to pass. As I already mentioned, you do not need to finish the whole course if you are not feeling it.

I have been learning Danish for only a few months, and I can say it is not an easy language, but it is not impossible to learn if you have the courage and a strong will. Remember, knowing one more extra language opens many doors for your future career.

From my study books at the Danish language course. Private photo.

Questions about life as an international student at Aarhus BSS?

Finally, just have fun and enjoy your life being a student in Aarhus BSS and living in this city. I can definitely say it will be one hell of a journey filled with fun and new experiences.

If you have any questions you are more than welcome to drop me an email at linakrafte@gmail.com or find me on FB.
 

Cheers!