Studying in Denmark made ANKIT KHANDELWAL understand the importance of team work.
‘Think, Play and Participate’ — Hello, Denmark! The Technical University of Denmark is highly ranked for its industry-focused research. All the courses at the Masters level are in English and the administrative work is done in English including formal communication. So language is not a problem. When I was chosen for the prestigious Elite Master Scholarship at one of the top technical universities of Europe, my father said, ‘I can only see an island, where will you live?’ After two years, I think it was one of the best decisions I took. What is unique about Denmark is the openness in discussions, freedom to experiment with new ideas and opportunities provided for individuals to expand their horizons. I was given the choice of designing my own study programme for two years.
The study programme is semester-based, but things here move at a quick pace, so if you lag behind it might be difficult to catch up. The interesting part is to try a course and then you can drop it after a certain period of time, in case you do not like it. The professors are approachable and are ready to help you. Academic projects are mostly done in collaboration with industries, thus giving the much needed industrial exposure for every student.
Team work is one of the most important things I have learnt while staying in Denmark. It is visible in every aspect of Danish society almost everywhere from normal life to academics. You will enjoy taking part in team assignments. You can challenge the conventional wisdom to generate new ideas in classroom discussions something which might be missing in India.
Around 10-15 per cent of the students in the university are from other countries, which gives us a different outlook. We have an international dinner, we go together for outings and celebrate our festivals together making it a truly globalised learning.
Cross-cultural understanding has been understood to be an important skill required by many organisations but is not easy to acquire. Working with people of different nationalities was fun but also tested my patience at times, but in the end it went fine.
Denmark is one of the safest countries in the world and has been consistently ranked ‘Happiest Country to Live In’. You will be amazed by the healthy and green life style. Thirty five per cent of the people in Copenhagen go to work using their cycles. Public transport is expensive but effective and runs on time. In fact during the summer, you can find people jogging and forming cycling groups to make long cross-country trips.
Denmark is an expensive country so I advise you to manage your budget carefully. It is expensive to buy food from joints, so students usually cook their own food. As I mentioned before, public transport is effective but it is highly expensive so just buy a bicycle and begin exploring the areas. Studying in an international environment always poses certain challenges and Denmark is no exception. You may miss the social life you are used to in India. Indians are social but you may find the local Danish population reserved. The best way is to take part in co-curricular activities and be patient, because after some time, you will find Danes to be among the best people to interact with.
Ankit Khandelwal has completed the Elite Master’s Programme in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from Technical University of Denmark.