Exchange Student at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Catherine Burtle, Politics

Why I got involved

I wanted to add something more to my degree. A lot of people have degrees nowadays so I wanted to stand out in some way. From all the information given to us I thought it looked like a great opportunity and something that would be really enjoyable.

Why did you choose your specific destination?

There weren’t too many places I could go that taught in English, so that was one of the main factors, but once I did some research into Copenhagen I thought it looked like a fantastic city to live in. The politics of Denmark are quite interesting and I wanted to go and get first-hand experience of that.

Most enjoyable aspect

Definitely the pre-semester language course. Learning another language was great. Meeting people and having the time to explore and experience the city was fantastic. It was probably the best three weeks of my life!

What was the most challenging aspect?

Adapting to the different styles of teaching that they have there. There isn’t as much contact time - just a couple of hours a week - and not knowing the staff I felt like a bit of a fish out of water. At first I struggled to keep up with what was going on in terms of classes and seminars. The fact that I was studying postgraduate modules over there when I’m only an undergraduate student here at Newcastle made it hard work - it was a little intimidating, but I got used to it!

How do you feel it helped to enhance your degree?

Independence. Although I had a friend from Newcastle on the exchange with me, I think that moving to another city, another country, is such a big thing, and it shows that you can adapt to a completely different situation.

How I've benefited personally?

It really improved my confidence. Meeting new people every day, a lot of them from different countries and cultures than I was used to has really helped me be more outgoing. I’m a lot better at approaching people. Even something like speaking to a foreign company on the phone - I don’t find any of it daunting anymore. Having such a great experience has made me want to travel more, too. I was sad to have to come back to the UK!

Find out more about Student Exchange Programmes.