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Rita from Portugal, Biology


Subject: Biology – Micro geographic variation in blue tit song, final year
Age: 22
Country: Portugal
Scholarship: Erasmus

Why did you choose to study in Denmark?

I am fascinated by the Scandinavian countries – especially the culture, which is very different from the South-European. And my university had an agreement with the University of Copenhagen so I could go there through an Erasmus scholarship.

What do you like most about Denmark?

That people are very friendly and helpful. Everything is very well organised, for instance the traffic, and it is a very safe place to be. Even though Copenhagen is the capital, it feels like a small town. It feels very safe and calm. People even leave their babies outside! If the police saw that in Portugal, you would really be in trouble! I also like the bicycles.

What do you like most about studying in Denmark - socially?

I have met a lot of Danish people from the laboratory – and I have also made a lot of Danish and international friends here. It is a very nice place to be – and you feel very welcome right from the start.

What do you like most about studying in Denmark in relation to the subject?

I like the good facilities. When, I first got here, I immediately got my own desk and computer. Everybody was very friendly, and the relation between the teachers and students is very informal. The teachers even make cakes for the students some times. Apart from that, studying here also seems more relaxed than in Portugal. The students have much more spare time.

What surprised you most about Denmark?

There is a perception in southern Europe that people in Scandinavia are cold, but in my experience they are warm and very helpful in general. Danes are really interested in helping you.

The other thing that surprised me was that the bathrooms are so small. This was a thing that all the international students talked about at first. This is very different from what we are used to.

What don't you like about studying in Denmark?

There isn't anything that I don't like about being here. Everything is so well organised. For instance, the NAF, who are mentors from the Science Faculty, organise a lot of cultural and social events for the international students for example a weekend trip to Louisiana or the Viking Museum in Roskilde, and also traditional Danish dinners with Danish people. These are all really good experiences!

Another thing is that I right from the start got a CPR-number, got introduced to the library etc. These are examples of the typical Danish efficiency, where everything works fast. In Portugal, it could have taken months to get the CPR-number…

Where do you live?

I live in a flat with some of my friends. At first, I lived in private accommodation, but I was very lucky to find this really nice place to live with some of my Danish and international friends.

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