30 May 2011

Increasing international interest for the University of Copenhagen

International students

Danish students from the University of Copenhagen go on exchange programmes outside of Denmark like never before. At the same time, the University is recieving more international student applications – on 26 May two of the most talented Australian exchange students at the University received The Crown Princess Mary Scholarship.

International Students at University of Copenhagen”Danish students are stay-at-home-students” - roughly speaking this has been the saying for many years, along with worried looks from politicians and the business community. Never before has there been so many opportunities for going abroad on exchange or for internships. Still, most students choose to stay at home. But the desire to experience a different university culture and extend the academic horizon has grown among students, which in turn benefits the students themselves as well as companies and organisations that need candidates with an international understanding.

”We are currently experiencing a growth between 15 and 20 percent in the number of applicants for the University’s places at foreign universities. This means that around 1,500 of our students will be going abroad in the forthcoming two semesters,” says Head of The International Office at University of Copenhagen John E. Andersen.

”Even though there is an increase in the number of students who want to go abroad, we are still aiming to reach an even higher number. University of Copenhagen is popular between international students – so popular that we are right now turning down between 15 and 30 percent of the students who wish to go on exchange here,” John E. Andersen says.

High mobility

University of Copenhagen has more than 100 partner agreements with universities in more than 30 different countries. The partner agreements build on a one-to-one exchange, where University of Copenhagen sends out a student to a partner university, and the partner university sends back a student to the University of Copenhagen.

“The increased interest for going on exchange requires us to be capable of attracting students from attractive universities from all over the world. If not, we have no exchange places to offer our students that have an urge to travel. Luckily, both University of Copenhagen and the capital of Copenhagen generally have a good reputation among students abroad,” John E. Andersen explains.

From Australia to Copenhagen

Rector, Alberta and JessicaOn 26 May the Australian students Alberta Lilli Gray and Jessica Victoria Kirby from the Faculty of Social Sciences received The Crown Princess Mary Scholarship. The scholarships of 10,000 DKK each are given out to two students from University of Copenhagen’s Australian partner universities as an economic bonus to the stay in Denmark. The two 21-year-old scholarship recipients bring back other things than just the memories of a fine ceremony and the honour of being chosen as the scholarship recipients.

“My academic horizon has been widened by my stay at University of Copenhagen. The European way of thinking applies a new dimension to my interest for politics. Here in Denmark, my knowledge of the EU – and the different ways that nations act politically – has increased,” says Jessica Victoria Kirby, who points out that one gets to know many other things than just a different study life when going on exchange.

“I have become more mature. And I have learned things like how I deal with a float in the bathroom because of several weeks of rain or snow,” says Jessica, who had actually never seen snow before her arrival in Denmark on 3 January this year.

A good grasp on the difficult languages

The two Australian scholarship recipients reveal that language classes in the difficult Danish language pay off. They can now pronounce “hygge” without an accent and they have without a doubt also learned what the word stands for - a specific type of "cozy" that is used often in Denmark. Here in Denmark, they attend smaller classes than they are used to at home, and the uncertainties about the university’s campus being placed all across the city, where you meet friends and acquaintances all over the place, have been turned out to be a positive thing. They both state that these traits of life at University of Copenhagen – smaller campus areas and smaller classes – are “more hygge” than what they are used to at home.


Head of The International Office John E. Andersen
The International Office, University of Copenhagen
Mobile: +45 28 75 39 08