Fun and competitive student life!
Mian, 23, is from China. She finished her MSc in Molecular Biomedicine in 2011.
I always wanted to study in Europe. When I was trying to make a decision on which graduate school to attend for my Master's degree, my father recommended the University of Copenhagen to me. He used to do research on human rights at the University of Lund, Sweden, and he had visited Copenhagen and the University several times. The University of Copenhagen is ranked high on the World University Rankings and its academic reputation is very good. The University also has the best reputation in biomedical science related subjects in Scandinavia, which is very important in my decision making. When I got accepted to the University, I was also chosen for the Danish governmental scholarship. Therefore, I eventually chose the University of Copenhagen over Oxford University and Cambridge University in UK.
I was originally from China, but because of family reasons, I have lived and attended schools in different countries such as China, Japan and USA. I am used to studying in an international environment, and I am always excited about diving into a new culture and taking challenges that come along. When I applied for the University of Copenhagen for my Master degree, I was living and studying in the U.S. The course structures and culture in the U.S. are very different from Denmark. In the U.S., students have quizzes and exams throughout the courses, whereas for most courses at the University of Copenhagen, only one final exam is given. Therefore, students are expected to be more independent in terms of managing their studies. It was a bit difficult for me at first, but soon I got use to it.
Compared to my university in the U.S., the University of Copenhagen is much bigger, so there are more interesting seminars, courses, guest speakers, and so on. The study environment here is competitive but the student life outside class is fun. There are two international students, including myself, in my program. My specific program mostly consists of female students. The first time I met Danish female students in my class I was a little afraid to talk to them because they looked quite serious. However, as I got to know them better, they turned out to be not only hard-working but also sociable. They balance their personal lives and their studies well. I also observed that people in the U.S. are more individualistic while Danes are a bit more aware of their surroundings and other people.
Originally, I thought the Danes were a little reserved but as I spent more time with them, I discovered that they are very reliable and fun to hang out with once you become friends with them. I have made many friends here. I don't feel lonely at the University or in my spare time. People get together quite often and there are many parties, cultural events, and other social events. There are a lot of fun things to do in the city of Copenhagen, and it's easy to find your way around. On a bike, for example! I bike 6 miles a day from where I live to Uni and back, and I enjoy my little bike ride every day.
And don't forget that Copenhagen is centrally placed. It isn't far from countries like Sweden, Norway or the Netherlands. The geographic location creates a good opportunity for studying abroad and acquiring different cultural experiences in Europe. I would like to stay in Denmark for a while after completing my Master degree. I will either continue with a PhD education or find a job. Studying and living in Denmark has been a great experience and I really enjoy it.