I moved to Denmark four years ago to try a new life in a new country. I have never planned to visit Denmark, but when I received an admission notice to a Danish university, I decided to give it a try even though I planned to study in Slovakia at first. Beginnings of my studies in Denmark weren’t easy since I received the admission notice in mid-August, two weeks before the start of the 1st semester. I quickly packed my suitcase, bought a flight ticket, and landed in Copenhagen airport two weeks later.
I came to Denmark with no accommodation, job, and friends whatsoever. When I look back after four years of living here, I’m glad I made this quick decision. Study and life in Denmark have brought several positive changes to my life.
Study in Denmark has shown me how things might work
The well-functioning educational system and an excellent foundation for my future career was the number one reason to come to Denmark. Danish qualifications are recognized throughout the world, and higher education is focused on bringing about solutions for the real world. Studies require personal initiative and independent thinking.
We cooperated on projects based on actual problems that client or company had. The feedback we received upon completion of the project helped us to develop our competences faster and acquire new knowledge that we could turn into innovative solutions. The fact we have cooperated with companies and clients throughout our studies promoted our ability and confidence in using our experience to solve problems.
Experience of working in an international team
We had 10+ different nationalities in our class. Danish education focus on teamwork; therefore, we had to form a group of 4-5 students at the beginning of the project and divide project tasks among us. Interactions with people across borders and cultures have given me a chance to explore and understand people with diverse backgrounds.
Surprisingly, not only people behave and act in different manners across the globe, but they also think differently. Every one of us has grown up in a unique environment, and our beliefs, behavior, and knowledge are formed based on it. The diverse team often benefits from interesting ideas, and completely different mindsets, which allow for incredibly exciting ideas come to life.
Improvement of my language skills
An unavoidable part of living abroad is the ability to speak a foreign language. In my case, I studied in English, worked in international teams and companies and had a lot of opportunities to practice and improve my English. In Denmark, almost everyone speaks English, and you find here a lot of international students too.
Understanding of different cultures and nationalities
People are more connected today than ever before. Anywhere you go, you can see people from other cultures living, working, or just visiting. The international team gave me a chance to hone my communication skills, handle conflicts in opinion and helped me to accept different expectations and work ethic.
Optimistic and open-minded mind
I have become more optimistic about my future and the future of our world. After I have seen how welfare and education system work in Denmark, how people can build a great country by collaborating and trusting each other, I believe by changing our mindset we can achieve everything. Teaching style in Denmark is characterized by active participation and problem solving rather than passive listening. The teacher expects you to speak up when you have a different opinion and will support you in turning your ideas and knowledge into innovative solutions.
Nothing is mere positive
Nothing is mere positive so is life in Denmark. Denmark is a country that several years in a row ranks among the top happiest countries in the world according to the United Nation’s World Happiness Report, but life in Denmark and living abroad has also its negative aspects that I hadn’t realized before I left Slovakia. I will write about that in the next article.
I appreciate my motherland Slovakia more than ever before
After living abroad, I more appreciate that I was born in Slovakia. I don’t take for granted those simple things as spending time with my family and friends, cause those moments are the most valuable in my life. After living for 4 years in a flat in an urban area I miss living in the silent countryside and a big house surrounded by nature. I moved from a country of high mountains and picturesque valleys to a coastal country with long white beaches and flat landscape. I’m looking forward to traveling around Slovakia and visit various places like mountains, caves, castles, and chateaux.
Design and Communication studies
I haven’t written a lot about my studies in Denmark in this article as I think the list of benefits of studying abroad deserves one separate article. Stay tuned for the next article!