Do you dream of working outside Denmark's borders? Have you always been fascinated by other cultures? Would you like to become really good at French? Is there a university in the world with a completely unique knowledge in the exact subject you are interested in? Or have you also noted that it adds positively to the resume if one has spent one or more semesters abroad?
No matter what motivates you, there are plenty of good reasons to travel the world during your studies.
Taking a semester at a university abroad can provide a new perspective on your subject and insights into another academic tradition. Experiencing different teaching approaches and examination forms can be challenging, but it is also very educative. You get the opportunity to take courses that are not offered at AU, or courses that may be similar to your subjects at AU whilst providing a new perspective. An exchange stay can lead to new academic discoveries and passions and give you renewed energy and inspiration to your future studies.
In addition to courses and lectures at another university, a semester abroad offers plenty of opportunities to explore! A sense of adventure and spontaneity can give you experiences and memories of a lifetime, whether you're visiting iconic landmarks, bartering at local markets or trying new and local foods. As cliche as it sounds, the phrase "variety is the spice of life" has never been more true - change, variety and new experiences can make life more fun!
Nowadays students face an international job market characterised by tough competition for the most exciting jobs. Therefore it is a significant advantage to be able to prove that you have international understanding and intercultural skills.
Aarhus University already has an international study environment with many international students and teachers, but to truly grasp a different culture, you have to live there, which an exchange stay makes possible.
When travelling you will get many experiences that make you wiser as a student, as a person and as a future employee. You will encounter situations you have not tried before and you will have to make a lot of decisions about study subjects, new friends, housing, etc. All experiences will be educative, and if you reflect further on each experience - fun or less fun, there will be great wisdom that you can take with you into your life in the future.
When companies hire employees, they are not just looking at your professional competencies. Your personal profile is also important and considered. A stay abroad will help shape your personality, and all your experiences can be translated into qualifications that are in demand in the labor market - nationally and internationally.
Taking a semester abroad is a chance to create a network with students from all over the world – students who may later land exciting jobs in large organisations and companies.
Leaving your friends and family to live in another country with different norms and rules also demonstrates independence and maturity.
Last, but not least, studying abroad is an unforgettable experience and an opportunity to travel to exciting places and make new friends and acquaintances from all over the world. It is a way of travelling quite unlike anything else, and an experience that you will never forget.
When AU-students return from their exchange abroad they complete a Travel Report. These reports might be of great joy and beneficial for you to read. You can find Travel Reports from returned students in MoveON under the individual universities. They contain lots of useful knowledge for students who are planning an exchange stay.
Not many people choose a destination like Ebbe and one may ask oneself, why not?
Ebbe went to Ljubljana in Slovenia with his girlfriend. Ebbe studies Political Science and his girlfriend studies Anthropology. They chose Slovenia for several reasons. It was easy to go to Ljubljana together, there is a stunningly beautiful nature, the city is a small and cultural and it was relatively easy to choose courses in English.
Camilla is studying Political Science and went to Warsaw, Poland during her 9th semester. Camilla's family has roots in Poland, so Camilla was curious about the country - and she would like to confirm or disprove some of her prejudices about Poland. For Camilla, Warsaw turned out to be a little gem. Economically, the trip also proved to be advantageous.
Torben did not want to go to Australia and USA, as many others do. Instead he wanted to try a less "famous" destination. Academic factors were of great importance for Torben's choice of destination, as was the guarantee of getting courses in English. For Torben, the social aspect of a study stay abroad became surprisingly important. Torben is studying Mathematics at AU.
Maja is studying anthropology and went on exchange to Gothenburg. Maja studied criminology in Gothenburg, which is not offered at AU. She became so fond of the subject of criminology, and it turned out that the exchange could result in a change of her study plans.
"If you can not get the subject you want at home, the world is always open to you. So it's just a matter of investigating where in the world they have the subjects you want, and whether there might be some countries, that are particularly good within that area."
Jakob studies Spanish and chose to travel on his own. Jacob went on exchange to Alicante in Spain.
As he went alone he gained a lot more from his stay than he had expected. He was especially very well integrated into the local environment and with the other international students that he subsequently visited.
The Danish Ministry of Education and Research has created a website adressing students who would like to travel to do internships or study.