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Maisie Jepson


Name: Maisie Jepson

Country of origin: England

Field of studyMSc in Agro-Environmental Management

1. What is the best thing about being a student at Aarhus University?

The atmosphere at the university is really nice and the relationship with the lecturers is much more relaxed than I remember it being in England. Our class size is about 15 so I feel happy to ask questions. In England I would be in lectures with 80 people and so never asked or answered questions.

2. What worries did you have before applying?

Having never visited Denmark before, let alone the university, I was mostly worried that I wouldn’t feel comfortable in the country or the university – but thankfully it has all been fine. I live with a Danish family and I think that made me less anxious about the move.

3. What is the biggest difference between studying at Aarhus University and where you studied before (please include where you studied before)?

I studied for my BSc at the University of Exeter and one of the main differences is the amount of group work over here in Denmark. Initially I was a bit apprehensive about this as I had become used to working alone, but so far it has worked really well. It requires a different set of skills to working alone which I think will be useful after university. In addition it is usually marked in a way that means the grades are individual.

Another big difference is the use of oral exams in Denmark. I had never done one before in England so the first one was quite nerve-wracking but now that I understand the format I don’t think I will be quite so nervous for the summer exams.

4. What would you like to have known before applying?

I would have liked to have more information on searching for accommodation. The idea of applying for accommodation before having been offered a place seemed very strange to me and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to view any offers before moving to Denmark due to work. More support for international students in this regard would have been very welcome. The ungdomsbolig website doesn’t translate to English very well and I found the system very confusing.

5. Please give 3 good tips to keeping living costs down as a student in Denmark

I am in a unique situation I suppose as I have spent the first year living with a Danish family outside of Aarhus which means my living costs have been very reasonable. Next year I will probably find a place in or nearer the city. To keep costs down I will pick a cheaper flat, walk or cycle as much as possible, and not go out too much! Other than beer and tea, I don’t think living costs are too different to England. The SIM card we were given in our welcome pack on arrival has been really good as I can get free calls to lots of countries and 10GB of data for 99dkk.

6. What is it like to study and live in Aarhus and in Denmark?

The transition to living in Denmark has been quite easy. It helps to mix with Danes so that if something is confusing they can help you understand what is going on. The first couple of months were the most confusing as it took a while for my CPR card to arrive and I couldn’t have a bank account before that.

I really like Aarhus – it is the right size for me. It is easy to walk around and I love being near the sea. I have become a member of Aros (the art gallery) and it is really nice to just wander in without having to pay, and take a friend with me.  

I struggle with the language but still go to the free Laerdansk classes and use apps like Duolingo. Pronunciation is the hardest part but I will persevere. Many Danes are very good at English so I haven’t ever gotten stuck, but sometimes it would be good if they didn’t automatically switch to English when they hear my accent!

The modules I have taken have been run well though there were occasions where we had lots of different groups for lots of projects and it got quite confusing. The lecturers put effort into preparing reading material and planning excursions which is helpful for consolidating learning and getting to know classmates better. 

7. What are your plans after you graduate?

Once I have graduated I will return to England and hopefully get work in the agricultural sector again, but this time with more knowledge! Ideally I would like to start my own business as a Farm Environment planner but I think I will have to get more experience before I advance on to that.