An international environment with students from many different countries

Photo of Song Chen

Song Chen, from China, is studying physics

It was a professor from my university in Beijing who suggested I did my master at the University of Copenhagen. He had studied in Copenhagen himself. And then there was the name of the department where they teach physics: the Niels Bohr Institute. Niels Bohr was one of the greatest physicists of all time and he came from Denmark. And last but absolutely the most necessary: the teaching is in English in an international environment with students from many different countries. So I was ready to come to Copenhagen, and I have not looked back.

I like the teaching methods at Copenhagen. They are very different from the methods used in China, where you don't ask the teacher questions during classes. You wait till afterwards. At the Niels Bohr Institute it is very different. You can ask questions during lessons and clear up any doubts or problems at once. Back home it is more like the army, where the lower ranks have great respect for the officers. When I forgot something during a viva I even had a teacher from Denmark say to me "If I were you, I would do so-and-so in your description".

As for Copenhagen, well, it is a clean, peaceful town compared to Beijing, which is big and noisy. I like the old European architecture and the green areas in the city. I have made quite a few friends among my fellow students and I was fortunate enough to get a room with a really kind, friendly Danish family who live close to the University. The husband has even bought some kitchen utensils that suit Chinese cuisine. At Christmas I was treated to the traditional Danish Christmas dinner. They call it "flæskesteg". They roast it in the oven.

I am very happy in Denmark and I'd like to do my PhD here. The Danes are a bit shy at first but they gradually open out. And they are almost all crazy about football. Adults and kids. That means I have also started playing football with my new friends from Copenhagen.