Exchange Student at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark

rhiannon

Rhiannon Haley, Politics

Why I got involved

Originally I wanted to go on an exchange in my second year, but because I was the social secretary of the Politics Society, I couldn’t. So I went along to the information session again a year later and signed up. It sounded like something that would be a great experience and enhance my CV.

Why did you choose your specific destination?

Originally I wanted to go to Oslo in Norway, but after I looked into it I realised living costs there were very high. Copenhagen seemed like a cosmopolitan city - there are lots of things to do and it is renowned for its international relations. The school itself is very highly regarded as well!

Most enjoyable aspect

The pre-semester language course was really good - I was able to meet loads of people and get a good grounding in campus and city life. We had lessons in the morning but in the afternoons we were free to explore Copenhagen and take in the sights. It was definitely difficult to balance wanting to explore and having to study!

What was the most challenging aspect?

Finding my feet in a new city. Even though everyone spoke English, I spent a bit of time getting lost and frustrated when I couldn’t figure out things like the metros! But once you can, it really feels like you’ve established yourself and I really felt like I lived there. It was nice to finally get settled and not feel like a tourist anymore!

How do you feel it helped to enhance your degree?

I think it makes my degree stand out a bit more. Even people I’ve spoken to on my course who haven’t been on an exchange think it’s an amazing thing - so if you have the opportunity, go for it. A lot of people look back with hindsight and wish they had taken part. It shows independence and the ability to learn a foreign language and to adjust to a different learning system.

How I've benefited personally?

It was the best six months of my life! I feel a lot less shy and inhibited when meeting new people. Now that I’ve lived in another country and had to organise a lot of it myself, I think I can take on a lot of other challenges I may have found daunting before. My mum and I visited Copenhagen a few months before my placement, and when she came over at the end of my placement there were so many things I could show her. It felt good to be a part of something different.

I’d 100% recommend this to anyone who has the chance to go!

Find out more about Student Exchange Programmes.