It might not be very summery but it is a time for a summary! I’ve had the most amazing year in Aarhus, studying, occasionally partying, and learning about culture. I have experienced first hand an entirely fresh Scandinavian way of life, as well as pockets of life from from friendships made with people from France, Canada, the United States, Belgium, Australia…, and on.
Aarhus itself is a wonderful city that I would recommend visiting as soon as you can (before everyone else find out how great it is https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2016/apr/05/aarhus-denmark-city-of-culture-2017 The Observer are onto it!). It’s a home of art, live music, bars, cafes, and restaurants next to the sea. It’s cold in the winter, and it might rain occasionaly, but plan it right and you can capture a weekend of 25 degrees in the summer (which is more than enough!).
The university has a beautiful campus, and a modern business school and forward thinking lecturers and methods (did you know some subjects allow summative work to be done in groups of up to four people? You have to complete more pages but you share a grade and there is a huge emphasis on teamwork). The university is excellent at integrating students and you are only an email away from an exchange coordinator, who I guarentee will be above-and-beyond helpful. It’s a great University!
But how could I possibly distil a long, fun, exciting, challenging, life enriching year into a single blog update? A list!
10 Things I’ll Always Remember or Possibly Try To Forget About My Year Abroad
1. Remember: All the amazing Danes and International Students I met
It’s true, other people are great.
2. Remember: Aarhus itself
European Capital of Culture in 2017, I’ll be sure to return
3. Forget: The time I got on the wrong bus and ended up in a Danish village several miles outside Aarhus at midnight
I had to run to catch the last bus to go into town after a pre-party, my decision making was not at its peak. It was the last one and I ran round the corner as it arrived and ran straight on. I spent about 20 minutes recovering from the only excerise I had done in like 6 months only to find that instead of arriving in the city centre I was being dropped in a little village with no lights. And my phone was running out. And the name of the place was literally unpronouncable. I managed to call a very understanding taxi and eventually made it out. Check which way your bus is going kids!
4. Remember: Buy a duvet
I don’t know why I didn’t just get up to Ikea and buy a duvet when I first arrived.
5. Remember: Visiting Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Belgium
They are amazing places I had never been before!
6. Also remember visiting Skagen and Gottenburg
Skagen is in the North of Denmark and it’s where two cities meet and Gothenburg is a great Swedish city just across the sea.
7. Forget: The time I got my foot stuck in a metro train door in Beglium and I thought I would be stuck forever on the side of the train
This could also be a “remember to move feet quickly when exiting Belgian trains”.
8. Remember: To continue learning French (and maybe some Danish!)
Learning Danish helped me get back into learning language I had all but abandoned after school because I was rubbish. I’m still rubbish but I care slightly less about being rubbish and have appreciated the fun and the things you can learn from just a bit of a new language! Thanks to my French speaking friends for putting up with occasional bouts of appaling French!
8. Remember: To attend the events at Durham to encourage people to visit Aarhus
I can’t forget this is important
9. Remember: To take every opportunity to travel I possibly can
It’s been the most unusual and exciting experience of my life and I always know to do it again whenever I can!