Well I have officially moved out and left Aarhus and I’m back in Copenhagen for a layover on my way to meet up with my family in Germany. This semester flew by and I cannot believe I’m already leaving. Aarhus has been my home for the past 6 months and I’m sad to leave it, including leaving all the people I have met on exchange. I met some of my best friends and it’s a bitter sweet moment to leave. But now that I’ve left Aarhus, I figured it would be a good time to give some advice on what to expect in Aarhus and in more general on study abroad.
Denmark’s currency is called the Danish Krone. I had no idea what the value of the Krones were before I arrived in Aarhus. I would spend them like Monopoly money, 50 Krones for a beer, sure! Regretfully finding out later that I paid $7 for that beer.. After the first week in Aarhus, I realized that I had a long ways to go and needed to spend my money a lot more wisely. 5 months is a very long time to be away and saving money is key to get through it. So download a converter to know for sure how much you are spending in each country you go to. I use “Convert” which converts just about anything and it is very helpful.
I guess a big part of studying abroad is the actual studying part. Keeping up with your readings is key for the Aarhus business school. Classes and grading here are completely different from Arkansas. Your whole grade depends on one exam you take at the end of the semester. It’s a lot of pressure for your whole grade to be dependent on one examination. The exams are not multiple choice like at home. You get a case to read and then you answer 3-5 questions open response. You also usually get usually 3 hours to take the exam. So you have to type really fast to answer the whole question. I wrote 6 pages in one exam, it was the fastest 3 hours of my life. This all may seem super intimidating but there is an added bonus for these exams. You get to use your notes, the book, and for some exams even the Internet. I was very overwhelmed with it all at first but my exams turned out well (Well I hope they did.. I still haven’t received my grades back)
You are in EUROPE!!! You have to travel as much as you can to see as much as you can! I stayed in Aarhus for most of the first and last months of exchange, but all the months in between I was usually traveling all over the place. There are so many places to visit and experience. Some of my favorite places I visited were: Greece, Dublin, Venice, Barcelona and Budapest. I traveled to a lot more but those are a few of my favorites.
With this traveling comes planning and booking everything on your own. I used skyscanner most of the time to book my flights around europe. It compares prices of multiple airlines and shows you the cheapest available. Plan ahead because flights are usually cheaper the earlier you book. Also, from Aarhus you usually have to fly out of Copenhagen for the cheapest flights. So the cheapest way to get to Copenhagen is by bus. Rute1000 is just $7 for the trip but usually only has 1-3 busses running a day. It also doesn’t go straight to the airport so you have to take the metro in Copenhagen to get to the airport which is another $5. I also used Line888, which is usually around $15 and takes you from the Aarhus bus station straight to the Copenhagen airport. So it is a lot less hassle than the Rute1000. You have to plan ahead for line888 tho because the discount tickets sell out and then becomes more expensive. Each of the busses take about 4 hours to get from Aarhus to Copenhagen. A train is also available to get from Aarhus to Copenhagen and you use dsb.dk to search those. The train is usually more expensive but sometimes you get lucky with a cheap DSB orange ticket.
For accommodation in the places I visited, I usually used Airbnb or hostels for the cheapest places to stay. Airbnb are people’s apartments that they rent out, they are usually pretty cheap, especially when traveling with a group and you can split the costs. A mistake we made with Airbnb a couple times was not paying attention to if the Airbnb was an entire apartment or just a private room in the apartment. With the private room, the people that live in the apartment also stay there while you are staying there just in another room. It was a pretty interesting concept to share an apartment with a stranger. We didn’t mind the people we shared apartments with, we were just surprised when we got there that they were just staying one room over. But if you don’t mind, it’s a way to save some money on accommodation. I also stayed in some hostels along the way. I used hostelworld.com to search hostels. Pay attention to the reviews to make sure you get a safe and clean hostel.
6. Aarhus Specific tips:
– get a monthly bus pass or get a bike to get around the city or walk (when the weather good)
– Bring a rain jacket
– Pubs/Restaurants/Bars: Waxies, Tir A Nog, Piccolina, Kuhstall, Vinstuen, Gludhorne
– Eat in for most all of your meals, it is the cheapest way to eat
– Go to international nights at student house, lots of fun & great way to meet people (student house is the on campus bar)
– Things to see in the city: Aros museum (has a 360 view of the city), Old Town, Deer park (bring some carrots to feed them), Risskov Beach
7. say YES to everything!!!
There are so many opportunities that came along on my exchange and I’m so happy for everything I did and don’t have any regrets. You have to put yourself out there and try new things to get the most out of the exchange. There are a lot of new things to come on the exchange, new city, new home, new friends, new university, new foods. It’s a big change but it’s all definitely worth it! Take advantage of every opportunity you have!
8. Take in every moment
The semester goes by in a blink. I’m so thankful for every moment I had on this exchange. I loved it all. I loved Aarhus, the friends I met, the traveling I did, everything. I wouldn’t change anything I did. This experience has definitely been the best time of my life and I want so many other people to experience the same thing I did for themselves!!