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The attractions of studying in Scandinavia

Scandinavian countries are well known for the special attention they pay to ensuring high standards of living. This is also true for foreign citizens living there, including students, one of whom shared with the Budapest Business Journal their experiences of studying in Denmark.

Why Scandinavia?

I decided during my high school years, after attending the annual education expo, that by all means I wanted to pursue my studies abroad. I listened to the presentations of all the universities but ultimately, I had to decide which country I would choose and which university. I knew one thing, that by all means I wanted to study abroad and in English, and I did not wish to take out a student loan.

It was in my last years of high school that I decided to learn Marketing Management in Horsens, Denmark. I asked the advice of many people already studying abroad, and a close friend told me about the opportunities in Denmark. He easily convinced me, saying that the education there was totally based on practical tasks and not on learning theories. I found Marketing Management courses, which is what I most wanted to learn, only at VIA University College. Not only are classes based on practice, but students must attend two professional practices during the courses, which I think is a tremendous opportunity.

How do you apply for university admission?

Applications must include proof of a language proficiency exam accepted abroad, a motivational letter and a CV. I received in May, before gaining my baccalaureate, an e-mail confirming my acceptance at the university and following that I immediately started organizing the relocation, so I can find the best possible accommodation. It was impossible to search for flats from Budapest, so I stuck to the university dormitory, which is perfect for two persons, with separate bedrooms, one living room, a well-equipped kitchen and bathroom.

How is life in the town?

Horsens is a very small town, with a totally different feeling from Budapest, where I grew up. Apartment buildings usually have two floors and no gardens, and family houses are much smaller than an average family house in Hungary.

How is student life?

My first weeks were not easy until I got used to my new home, the new surroundings and finding new friends, but programs for new students were organized every day, which helped a lot. In Denmark, work permits for foreign citizens are called yellow cards and procedures can take two months. After receiving the card, I started looking for jobs that I can do in my spare time. I found a part-time marketing job announcement at a Danish company for an Italian-speaking student. I applied immediately, happy to find a job fitting perfectly what I was studying. I have now been working for more than a year at a Danish webstore, which also has a Hungarian site, so I can do my job in both languages. It is here that I have experienced how important language practice is, and the many advantages a student has if he/she speaks several languages fluently.

What are the opportunities for European students?

Like most of the students, I also attend Danish language courses every weekend, which are free for all European students. We do a lot of language skills exercises during classes, usually in pairs or groups. At the university, we usually work in groups of four, specifically composed by professors to include different ethnic students. Every European student benefits from a great opportunity, an allowance called SU. This is a monthly allowance available for those who spend 10-12 hours per week working besides studies. There is no grade limit for this, the only condition is to be a student.

Lili Radványi

(The article was provided courtesy of Trendhim Magyarország)