Do you want to learn more about studying in Europe? The following websites can help you to find your study programme in Europe.
MastersPortal.eu - find and compare Master's in Europe
BachelorsPortal.eu - find and compare Bachelor's in Europe
ScholardshipPortal.eu - find scholarships for your studies in Europe
PhDPortal.eu - Find PhD opportunities in Europe
by Miriam Casacuberta
Study abroad is an exciting idea which will contribute to your life in many senses. Thousands of people, new food, climate, language, culture... However, it will be much different depending on where you are coming from. Here you can find some personal point of views and tips that might be useful, especially if you are also coming from the South!
Well, one of the biggest impacts experienced in Denmark have been the weather. Probably, the reason can be found if we compare the Mediterranean weather: Relief landscape, sun, warm beaches; and the Danish: Plain, wind, clouds and maybe sun. But, once you realized that is just a different landscape with different temperatures, which is what it makes you feel to be in another country! The more different, the bigger is the feeling of living abroad.
Normally, every time it rains in my country it does for at least some time and quite hard, meaning of changing any plan if you were thinking to go out due to the 'bad conditions' of the weather.
Once we had this excursion for 3 days, that was a field trip, and it was raining the whole week, (well that was rather drizzle) so I could guess that the excursion would be moved to another week and I asked to the professor (yes, in the middle of the class) when they were thinking to move the field trip to. Of course everybody looked at me surprised and without understanding why I asked this strange question. Then I understood: The key is wearing proper clothes, meaning that you might take spring and winter clothes, just in case... Easy, right?
This is the most common topic when someone wants to make a joke to a South European and, even though we cannot generalize, it is a fact between our lives. For example, back to my country, if the university starts at 9.00am the professors might start the lesson at 9.10 and you can be even later and that is not a big deal.
What a surprise when the first lesson started in Copenhagen and tried to find the room on time and found out that everybody was sitting already at 8.55. When the professor came and asked if someone was from the south, she pointed that the class starts on time!
The lunch time arrived and another surprise came out when I was checking the day-schedule: Lunch time is from 12.00 to 12.45. Honestly, I thought thats what we call "second breakfast". From now you can imagine what happened to my stomach at 16.00 (when we were still in class...) and of course, the day after I had a big bag with fruit and sweets to snack!
But what about the leisure time? Once, during the first weeks, I met some friends that I get to know at a party and we arranged a meeting at 21.00 in the city centre. Automatically, I thought about a normal Saturday evening: 21.10 arriving to the meeting point, 21.30 everybody is there, 22.00 luckily we will be in a restaurant and soon... But of course, I just forgot that my friends were from Denmark and Norway and they eat around 19.00, so 21.00 is the time to start find bars! Next time, bring always some snacks in your handbag just in case!
In an international environment you can find several ways to study and you get different thoughts or ideas coming from a language which is not the native language from anyone and consequently, small problems to write down a project with five more students. Surprisingly, none of them were my problems because I really enjoyed working with a group of different students with great ideas and trying to understand their thoughts. However, in the beginning I could not understand why we worked a bit every day, instead of working a lot at the last days. When we got the mark, I understood why!
Actually, that is a fact that is still part of our habits and our culture. As a proper Mediterranean it is totally normal to kiss somebody (on the cheeks!) no matter if it is a family member, a new acquaintance or whatever is our relationship. After some uncomfortable situations, like meeting my landlady which I wanted to kiss but she only wanted to shake hands (imagine our bodies/hands crashing in a funny way) or meeting this professor who was my supervisor for 6 months!
So, after learning that "from now on we shake hands" and maybe we can have a small hug if we are good friends, I had to learn how go on with the conversation and meet new people. I could not understand why, after 1 year, any guy wanted to start a conversation with me or my female friends!
Are the Danish guys too shy? Are we, the Mediterraneans, too different for them? How do the Danish girls get a date, then? Observing them was the answer: The girls make the first step! Unfortunately, there is not a potion for that, but became clear that if you are open and talkative probably a date will come. Good luck!
Finally, I wish that you have a nice trip. And maybe, learning from the Scandinavian sense of humour and irony can be a great thing to enjoy every situation even better!
Do you want to learn more about studying in Europe? Have a look at "Why study in Europe?" or the numerous other articles on the STeXX website. Besides, the following websites can help you to find your study programme in Europe.
Do you think this article was useful? Get social and share it with your friends!
studied at Universitat de Girona (Spain) and is now Master's student at University of Copenhagen (Denmark)