abroad, travel

New And Old Adventures

Soon, soon,  soon. About three days and 9 hours to go. And I will be going on vacation to Copenhagen. My second home and soon-to-be ONLY home. I cannot wait.

At the beginning of this year I went to Copenhagen as an Erasmus exchange student to study Economics at Københavns Universitet. As I had spent my 11th year of school at an American High School I always wanted to go abroad again. After spending a year in the States I actually wanted to go there again because I love the time there. But unfortunately my home university does not offer too many exchange possibilities and the US is not one of them. And as American universities and colleges are quite expensive it was never an option to go there by organizing it myself. I had to find another way to go abroad again.

Doing an Erasmus semester, or even a whole Erasmus year, is very popular in Germany and all over Europe. You apply for the programme through your home university, and if you get a spot you do not have to pay tuition at home your university or your exchange university plus you get paid a partial scholarship. Partial because it unfortunately never covers all of your expenses while being abroad. How much you get is decided once a year by your home university and depends on how many students are going abroad in that academic year, and how much money is available. It also does not matter where you go (which is a bit unfair considering that Copenhagen is about twice as expensive as Alicante or some city in Poland) – everybody gets the same amount. So I was lucky to get at least 210€ every month. I also know that some other students got higher plus additional supporting money from their home university so that some of them had around 350€ to spend. But if you desperately need the Erasmus money to do the semester abroad, I am not sure if I would advice you to go at all.

So I applied in March 2009 and only three weeks later I got an acceptance email from the Economics department. I could not believe how lucky I was to get one of the 20 spots which are available for more than 3000 students. And that I even got my first choice! As I wanted to to go somewhere, where I already knew the language (or would learn a new language which I could actually use later on), my choices were limited. Before applying I was able to pick between universities in Austria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Denmark. As I already speak German, Austria was a no-go. So was Italy and Portugal because I do not plan on living or working there later on. My first choice was right away Copenhagen as I knew that the university is really good, the classes would be all in English, and it is a wonderful city. As I always wanted to improve my Spanish (and because of the good weather) Alicante in Spain was my second choice. But of course I was more than delighted, and very proud, that I got offered a spot at Københavns Universitet.

 Due to the whole Erasmus agreement between those two universities the rest was just formality. A couple of weeks later I had my Letter of Acceptance and was able to start the real planning. And I did. Not sure how many flights I booked right away but it was quite a few. The main problem was the different semester times here in Germany and in Copenhagen. My semester at my home university did not end until February 5th with exams until the 12th of February. The spring semester in Copenhagen already started on February 1st and I really did not want to miss the first days – it is were you make the most friends right away. So I booked a flight for January 29th, went back on the 5th of February to write exams until the 12th, and went back by train on the 13th. Too bad I had to miss my own IMECO Welcome Party for that – who knows how things would have turned out 😉 (inside joke)…

Well, enough about my whole exchange semester. For now… There are definitely some stories to come. I just do not want to bore you out of your mind right now. More about my first weeks, the Danish culture and traditions, and me falling in love with the most amazing person ever, later… I cannot wait to get back. I left on June 27th to go back home. Today is the 19th of August. My flight Copenhagen-bound is leaving on the 22nd. It has been not even  two months, but it feels like a lifetime. I hope nothing has changed and that I feel as good as I did when I actually lived there. I terribly miss a lot of awesome people, places, and of course shopping possibilities 🙂 Cannot wait to move back to Denmark for good. If all works out I only have five more months to go. Keep your fingers crossed that it works out. Because my fashion posts can only get better with that 😉

Love,  S.

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