The teaching in biophysics is top class

Salome, from Georgia, is studying biophysics

Originally I wanted to go to Germany to read biophysics, because I have friends from Georgia who are studying there. But the recession got in the way and I couldn't get a German grant. Instead I chose the University of Copenhagen, and I'm glad I did.

The teaching there is at a very high level. It is well-organised and the teachers are very good. So you don't waste time. But you can't get away without doing any homework at all.

I chose Copenhagen because unlike most places in the world, the teaching in my subject takes place at the Department of Physics and not at departments of biology. After all, my BSc is in physics. And the man who gave his name to my department is not just any old Tom, Dick or Harry: it was the world-famous Danish physicist Niels Bohr. He once visited Georgia when we were part of Soviet Union, and during his visit at Tbilisi State University he wrote the following words on the blackboard "Resistance is not deny it is only addition". These words on the piece of blackboard is still hanging on the wall of the Physics Auditorium and they really inspired me many times.

I chose the University of Copenhagen after checking out its neat website and its world raking. I had a grant from Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia who funds many motivated young Georgian students annually to get education in the world's ranking universities.

But getting to Copenhagen was not easy. I had to go to Ukraine to obtain a Danish visa. It usually takes three months, mind you, but I got it overnight from the Danish embassy in Kiev. They were so nice! It all happened so quickly that I suddenly found myself in Copenhagen with nowhere to live. But there was a Georgian family I hadn't met before who warmly welcomed me in Copenhagen and gave me place in their own accommodation and helped me to find a room as well. Now an elderly Danish couple have given me a room. They are really helpful and they've shown me round. Not just Copenhagen, but also Malmö, which is in Sweden just across the Sound.

As for the teaching in biophysics, it is top class. But I wouldn't mind more lab work. That will come in the second year of my biophysics Master. I was the only non-Dane on the course but the teaching was in English anyway. The other students from my class have been really helpful, and I have made Danish friends. At the University of Copenhagen I am part of an international study environment and my thesis subject is membrane studies, a field of research which I believe will lead to many actual problems solving in science and medicine.

The social life when you study in Copenhagen is also good, although I had to get used to the Danes eating at lectures. We don't do that in Georgia. But now I am so used to it that I am also capable of having some sweets while I am in class. As for Copenhagen, well, it's a lovely city. I have started riding a bike, with a few minor mishaps to start with. Nothing serious though. In Georgia we don't bike much because of all the mountains and hills. But Copenhagen is flat, with lots of opportunities to use your bike and enjoy the green spaces, the parks, the lakes and the long waterfront. And it's a quiet town, but not at all dull. Most of all though, I don't feel lost amid the huge skyscrapers the way you do in New York or other big cities.

I have learned a lot about men and women being equal in Denmark before my arrival, although I see many of the same things in Georgia too. But one thing is different: in Georgia a woman never, ever pays when she is on a date. They do in Denmark. But then, there are so many other good things about studying here. I thoroughly recommend the University of Copenhagen and the city of Copenhagen if you want to study biophysics or another subject, and you also want to get away from home to see something new. Copenhagen is just the place.