A delegation from Aarhus University tours campus and connects with students

February 20, 2019

By Kate O’Neill 

From Left: Assistant Director of Study Abroad Chris Hanson, Director of Study Abroad Alice Michel, International Director Rikke Nielsen, Assistant International Director Mette Brandenborg, Director of Global Initiatives George Sabo.

A delegation from Aarhus University in Denmark visited UC Santa Cruz on Jan. 24, 2019 to explore the campus and meet with students regarding the recently established exchange program.

In 2018, UC Santa Cruz and Aarhus University signed an agreement to create a campus-based exchange program for undergraduate students. The program allows UCSC students to study abroad and earn UC credit while paying UC Santa Cruz tuition and fees, and living expenses abroad.

The Aarhus University delegates, International Director Rikke Nielsen and Assistant International Director Mette Brandenborg, traveled to Santa Cruz to learn more about the university, including campus life and academics. Nielsen and Brandenborg toured the campus, met with academic departments, and Division of Global Engagement leadership. The visit served to expand Aarhus University’s knowledge of UCSC to prepare Danish exchange students to study abroad in Santa Cruz.

During an information session for the exchange program, UCSC students connected with the delegates to learn about studying abroad at Aarhus University. Topics covered ranged from campus life, housing, academic opportunities, and Danish culture.

Nielsen and Brandenborg highlighted the vast support available for international students at Aarhus University. Nearly 10% of the university population consists of degree-seeking and visiting international students. One such support offering, an introductory program for exchange students called Intro Days, takes place the week before classes begin and allows students to learn about Denmark, Danish culture, study culture, and academic organization at Aarhus. Additionally, there are international student networking opportunities, optional pre-semester language courses, a buddy network, and various events throughout the year.

Brandenborg noted that in the buddy program, “you become part of a group that will take you to your dorm, help you get your key, answer questions about your department or the courses, and help you get settled.”

With regard to academics, exchange students will have a seamless transition since Aarhus University offers a multitude of classes in English. Courses in English encompass the arts, humanities, physical and biological sciences, social sciences, and engineering.

“We have a course on the Danish welfare state, and also on Viking age and Scandinavia,” Brandenborg said when discussing the popular elective courses offered in English.

As part of the exchange program, international students are guaranteed on-campus housing. The available housing opportunities enable exchange students to cohabitate with Danish and international students alike, creating a culturally diverse experience.

Similar to Santa Cruz, Aarhus is an easily navigable city with many transportation options. Nielsen noted, “you don’t need a car to get around, the city is completely bikeable.” Additionally, Aarhus is a short train ride or flight away from other European countries for those interested in traveling while studying abroad.

Students interested in learning more about the exchange program with Aarhus University can visit studyabroad.ucsc.edu or contact studyabroad@ucsc.edu. Individuals interested in exploring partnership opportunities with international universities can visit global.ucsc.edu or contact global@ucsc.edu.

About Aarhus University

Aarhus University is located in Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city. Situated on the coast, Aarhus is considered to have a university-town atmosphere, with a vibrant food scene and cultural attractions. With beautiful Danish architecture, Aarhus is an easily navigable city either on foot or bike, is less than three hours by train from Copenhagen, and near many beautiful beaches and forests to explore.

The university is the second oldest in Denmark and offers a wide range of courses in English, including the arts, humanities, physical and biological sciences, social sciences, and engineering. In addition to an active student life on campus, Aarhus University is home to numerous research centers and museums.

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