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“It is a great help”

Misaki Koga and Chisa Takahashi, both from Japan, are grateful for the mentor group at the Faculty of Humanities.

“Helena, Troels and one of the mentees in our group picked me up at the airport,” Chisa Takahashi says.

“She and Troels has showed me where to buy a SIM-card for my phone, and how to use the public transport here,” Misaki Koga says.

Misaki is a Cultural Studies-student , and Chisa is doing a master’s degree in Advanced Migration Studies at the University of Copenhagen. They are both from Japan and have joined the QA Programmes to meet Danes and other nationalities. Now they are part of a mentor group with two mentors and 8 mentees.

Some of the mentees are very independent and don’t need much from their mentors. Others need more help, while they study.

“I don’t think of the mentees as strangers or work-related people, I think of them as my friends, and I try to allow them to think of me as their friend as well,” Helena says.

Surprise party

They meet up and do stuff together. The group also arranged a surprise birthday party for a mentee in the group.

“We had the traditional Danish layered birthday cake and played games,” mentor Helena Hirkic says. She studies English and joined the group, because she wanted to meet people from other countries

The two Japanese students are very happy with their mentors and the programme.

“They make us feel welcome and comfortable,” Chisa says.

Except when Misaki had to taste Danish sweets with licorice. She didn’t really like them, but politely said they tasted nice. So Helena started teasing Misaki and kept offering her more, even though it was clear to her that Misaki did not like them.

“It is also part of the Danish culture to learn to say no,” Helena says with a huge smile.