The Danish way of teaching and studying

In the beginning of March, Aarhus University had a visit by two Indian students. Both students had won a trip to a Danish university from the Danish Innovation Centre in India. For both of them it was their first time in Denmark and the trip gave them a good idea of life as an international student in Aarhus.

2016.03.30 | Gitte Bindzus Foldager

There is a long way from India to Denmark. Not only measured in how long it takes by plane but also the culture and the way of teaching at university is very different.

This was something that Ganesh Kumarasamy and Yashwanth Iragattapu realized when they came to visit Aarhus University in March 2016. Both students had won a trip to a Danish university from the Danish Innovation Centre in India, and they chose to visit Aarhus University.

Both Ganesh and Yashwanth are studying engineering in India, so they visited Aarhus University’s Department of Engineering.

Visit to Herning

At Aarhus University engineering is taught in three different locations.

On the first day here both students where therefore sent on a trip to our campus in the city of Herning, which is an hour away from Aarhus by train. Here some our business programmes as well as our MSc in Engineering in Technology-Based Business Development is taught.

Flexible programmes

Next they visited our programmes within mechanical and civil engineering which is taught at brand new facilities at Navitias at the habour in Aarhus. Here they met with Lars Erik Bräuner, Ass. Professor at the Department of Engineering and coordinator of the MSc in Mechanical Engineering to hear about the programme in Mechanical Engineering and how teaching is done at Aarhus University, where especially the informal relationship between students and professors surprised the two Indians.

“The healthy student-teacher relationship that I witnessed at Aarhus University was fascinating, said Ganesh, who is currently finishing his thesis at the SRM University in India.

He also liked the facilities that are available to engineering students and that the study programmes here is very flexible.

“It seems the study programmes can be made to suit the needs and interests of every student both with the study packages and the many electives, where you can both choose from the courses at the Department of Engineering and from other departments.”

Another thing that surprised Yashwanth was that the work-life balance that Denmark has gotten quite famous for could even be seen in the student life:

"The academia here is well planned and executed in accordance to the students, so that they get time to earn for their living expenses as well, which is quite opposite to that in India," he said.

After the meeting with Prof. Lars Erik Bräuner, the students were given a tour of Navitas by one of the university’s current international students, Adrian Wons from Germany. He is also studying Mechanical Engineering and after the tour he took them to class both at the Department of Engineering and at Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences where he is currently taking one of his electives in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

International Night

To get an idea of not just the teaching and the study environment our guests from India was also invited to International Night at the Student House Aarhus, where students from all higher education institutions in Aarhus meet for different events every week. This week the theme was a Fussball tournament.

“I especially liked the meeting with the international students. It gave a better insight about the university and the culture,” said Yashwanth, who is currently in his fourth year at the IIT Madras in India.

Electrical engineering

On the last day in Aarhus before both students went to do some sightseeing in the rest of Denmark, they visited our programmes within electrical and computer engineering, where Henrik Karstoft, Ass. Professor at the Department of Engineering and coordinator of the MSc in Electronic Engineering, gave them an introduction to the programmes and also discussed the research they are doing. Afterwards Mahsa Esmaeili international student at the Electrical Engineering programme gave them the student perspective.

A top 100 university

After having visited Aarhus University both Ganesh and Yashwanth are considering applying to study at Aarhus University.

“Before the visit I haven't had any idea of education in Denmark. But after this visit it has enlightened me and I might consider this opportunity. In fact I’m looking for various opportunities and just added this to my list. The reason why I might apply is firstly because Aarhus University is in the Top 100 in the rankings and secondly the environment and the culture fascinated me,” said Yashwanth.

International Students