Independent University Newspaper
Copenhagen Business School

Popular searches:

Independent University Newspaper

Copenhagen Business School

First I was scared about not fitting in because of the color of my skin

Photo: Qiuzhi Huang

Photo: Qiuzhi Huang

Yesterday marked the conclusion of my final lecture as a master’s student at CBS, signifying that only one course remains on my path to graduation. It’s remarkable how swiftly time passes and how much has transpired without my full awareness. In the beginning, the prospect of thriving at CBS appeared daunting when I considered my status as an international student with a different skin color or simply that I’m a foreigner in Denmark. The worst challenge however was my initial shyness, akin to that of the Danes themselves. I was unfamiliar with the subtle nuances of small talk and the ever-present query, ‘how are you?’ As I sat in the classroom gazing around, a potent aura of insecurity enveloped me.

This experience served as my initial awakening to the profound importance of embracing the perspectives of outsiders. It’s a fascinating sensation – being both a CBS student and, simultaneously, feeling like an outsider within the group. This unique experience has ignited my contemplation of the inherent paradoxes that permeate my everyday life.

From my observations, it’s weird to see how people here seamlessly blend discussions of sustainability with the world of jewelry and engage in the art of lighthearted conversation even when addressing serious news.

A classic culture clash

There are moments when the cultural gap between myself and Danes leaves me puzzled. Occasionally, I hear my fellow international students express that it’s challenging to form friendships with Danes, as they seem to prefer conversing in Danish and spending time with fellow Danes. I often ponder on this issue, recognizing that these Danes are in their own homeland, and it’s entirely within their right to converse in their mother tongue. But I do admit there are times I feel sad when people around me speak a language I don’t comprehend. In the midst of my first semester, my thoughts took a somewhat pessimistic turn, venturing into the realm of extreme contemplation – that perhaps globalization is but a mere facade in today’s modern society.

Yet, while I learned to harmonize my identity as an outsider, I embarked on an exploratory journey where I endeavored to uncover the intersections between my cultural background and the new environment I found myself in. Throughout this roller-coaster journey, I’ve experienced occasional setbacks and moments of gratification, slowly fostering a sense of familiarity within the unfamiliar grounds of this university. After indulging in a multitude of traditional Danish delicacies, I’ve learned to appreciate them from fresh and varied perspectives. Sharing homemade Asian cuisine with my Danish peers, using chopsticks, and enveloped in the melody of falling utensils, we savored a truly distinctive evening. From not knowing how to embrace my classmates at the beginning to eventually loving this way of greeting, it took me a whole year. Such a transformation has left me feeling truly excited.

In the midst of globalization

So, during our last class yesterday, when I greeted my classmate who had initiated a conversation with me for the first time with ‘see you in two weeks,’ I decided to open my computer and write this blog. I intended to use it as a record of the thoughts and adaptations I’ve undergone in the past year. I no longer feel the frustration I once did towards the concepts of globalization and diversity. I’ve moved beyond merely waiting for them to happen. Instead, I’ve begun to incorporate my own growth into this diverse tapestry. I figure out if we only treat diversity as a slogan or a stable standard, the dream of diversity or the communication with other cultures will not last forever. Simply speaking, it’s like you want to get a good grade, but the only thing you do is think ‘I want to have a good grade’. This is a simple metaphor. However, it seems possible to interpret a lot of things which are happening in this world.

For me, globalization and diversity are not mere abstract concepts or empty slogans from lecture slides; they are dynamic forces that have left an indelible mark on my life. My decision to embark on a master’s program at CBS was a leap of faith, and the rewards from that impulsive choice have been nothing short of remarkable. If I hadn’t taken that leap, I would have remained blissfully unaware of the many facets of life that we often take for granted.

This journey hasn’t just gifted me with diverse and enriching friendships; it has also unfurled before me the gateway to a whole new realm of humanity, ripe for exploration and understanding.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

First I was scared about not fitting in because of the color of my skinby

  • News

    Staff layoffs: What happens if you’re fired

    The clock is ticking. On Thursday morning (5 October), CBS employees will know if they are up for dismissal or not. But what will happen on the day? What emotional stages are you likely to encounter? And who will be there to pick you up when you are feeling the blow of being laid off? CBS WIRE has talked to HR and the consulting agency Actief Hartmanns to provide you with answers.

  • News

    Network, network, network – CBS graduates advise on getting your first job

    There are many approaches to finding your first job. Three recent CBS graduates talk about how they landed theirs. Their approaches were quite different, yet they all highlight networking as a key element.

  • News

    A-Z of the dismissals

    In these final days of September, the fate of a number of CBS employees is being decided. The final amount of money saved on salaries via voluntary severance agreements (aka redundancy packages, Ed.) and senior agreements will be known.  After this, the actual number of employees up for dismissal will be decided by management – and then the individuals will be selected.

  • News

    Layoffs break the crucial trust between organisation and employee

    CBS is laying off a number of employees soon, which will affect our university in different ways. When employees are fired without having done anything wrong, it shatters the trust between the organisation and employees, while also taking a toll on productivity, according to a CBS expert. Layoffs also affect the ‘survivors’, who are forced to adapt to a changed workload and the loss of cherished colleagues.

  • News

    Here to help – at the touch of a button and at Campus Desk

    Exam anxiety? Lost student card? I’ve wedged my car between a Fiat 500 and a lamp post, can you help? You never know what you’ll be asked next. But that’s just how the Campus Desk team like it. And if they can’t fix your problem, they’ll know someone who can. CBS WIRE asked the team about the whole range of topics they advice on every day.

  • Gif of the week
  • News

    CBS Quiz Time: Unraveling the success story

    A successful university environment such as CBS is often associated with academic pursuits, but campus life extends far beyond the classroom. At CBS Quiz Time, a student society motivated by creative thinking and social engagement, students join in a refreshing range of creativity, excitement, and social interaction. CBS WIRE talked to Celine Møller-Andersen to find out about the society’s vision, strategies and the factors that are driving its rapid expansion.

  • News

    Why so sudden? The CBS financial crisis explained

    Employees and union representatives have posed many questions in the wake of the 17 August announcement of a firing round. In this interview, University Director Arnold Boon explains how Senior Management has been working with the budget and a change of financial strategy since the fall of 2022, and why layoffs are now necessary.

Follow CBS students studying abroad

CBS WIRE collaborates with

Stay connected