Independent University Newspaper
Copenhagen Business School

Popular searches:

Independent University Newspaper

Copenhagen Business School

From Barcelona to Copenhagen: The first week was a rollercoaster

(Photo by Carla Altes Mas)

Go on exchange |   25. Sep 2019

Carla Altes Mas

Student Reporter

Having expectations is implicit when it comes to studying abroad. I have mostly spent my summer thinking about Nyhavn and complaining about all the bureaucratic procedures I had to do. Honestly, I kept procrastinating, and I ended up coming here without European healthcare and with zero cash. I’m sorry, Mom, at least I brought a raincoat.

(Photo by Carla Altes Mas)

While on the plane, I couldn’t stop regretting my decision. I have known I wanted to come to Copenhagen since I started my degree. Yet Italy seemed suddenly a more delightful place to spend four months of life-changing experiences. All the misconceptions I grasped about Denmark began to arise. And well, the thought of “I’m not sure anymore if I want to go through this” crossed my mind way too many times in 3 hours. After meeting my buddy at the airport, things got better. She’s the sweetest.

The first week was a rollercoaster. If you go through an exchange, keep this in mind: you may find yourself ranging among being overly excited about starting a cathartic period, and feeling vulnerable, a misfit and weeping about wanting to go home to your family. Trust me; the balance comes gradually. Especially if you are like me, and you have never liked the idea of settling down, homesickness is something you’ll have to deal with anyway. I feel that several times a month.

(Photo by Carla Altes Mas)

Everything has improved. After spending three weeks here, I’m no longer surprised by spending €40 or more on my groceries, or by being charged €4 for a regular coffee. I’m only feeling a bit pissed and questioning myself all the time why I didn’t work this summer. I’ve also realized all the purely negative different things we do in Spain. Here I get paid to recycle, and I go by bike everywhere. Get prepared to feel sore and make a fool of yourself the first week; afterwards, you’ll probably enjoy it.

I tried my best, but I cannot get over how troublesome Danish is. To be honest, I could only retain two words, and I’m surviving well. And English is not even easy for me. No one talks about how tiring and irritating is to concentrate for hours to understand and speak a foreign language. My ability to express myself fell drastically, so did my patience. Yes, I’m doing great now.

Regardless of my first moment expectations, epiphanies about how amazing this country come to me often. Maybe it’s too early to make this statement, but the weather, although it’s unpredictable as hell, is not that bad. Nor are the Danes as cold and unapproachable as I thought – they only need to know you have a reason to talk to them. And I’m sorry to put this down, but they drink a lot. However, I’m starting to love the City, genuinely, as I adore coming home from a party at 2 am and feeling more secure than ever.

(Photo by Carla Altes Mas)

It seems Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world. I guess that the vast amount of time they dedicate to leisure has something to do with it. The first thing I thought when I saw my timetable was: “what am I going to do with this much free time”. Plot twist: It meant having lots of responsibilities.

Seriously, wise up, the system doesn’t take you by the hand but encourages critical thinking and personal work. I generally have two days of classes each week, and it by no means ever equals the time I have to work on my own. There isn’t continuous evaluation, which means that the whole mark falls back on the final exam or project. Good news if you plan to travel, as your professor won’t mind if you skip classes throughout the whole semester.

During the last two weeks, I had plenty of social activities. I’m genuinely happy to be in residence with other 20ish CBS students with whom I share common interests. I’ve been meeting people since the first day I arrived, and not a day goes by without thinking they are like a 2nd family. And the non-shared, 20-square-meter apartment I live in is everything my 15-year-old me could have wanted in her twenties.

I’m still adapting and trying to figure out how to manage my time and relationships, and well, my life in general. It becomes confusing and even thwarting when no one’s telling you what you do wrong. I still seldom struggle to get out of my comfort zone, but I believe it is one of the best ways to progress. Push yourself to meet new people, ask the Danes for advice, go on a ride alone, discover the City and allow yourself to be uncomfortable sometimes. I know I’ll feel vulnerable and lost sometimes, but it’s part of the experience. I’m entirely sure I’m in the right place with the right people, and that makes a whole world of difference.

(Photo by Carla Altes Mas)


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.

From Barcelona to Copenhagen: The first week was a rollercoasterby

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Illustration: Ida Eriksen


    Here’s what you need to know about the master’s reform

    The political parties behind the master’s reform have adjusted their original proposal to shorten or reorganize up to 50 percent of master’s programmes after pressure from CBS and the other Danish universities. Fewer shortened master’s and longer to implement changes are some important revisions to the reform. CBS’ president is pleased that the government and other parties behind the reform have listened to some of the critique given by the universities but raises concern about cutting more study places in bachelor’s programmes.

  • 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.

  • Gif of the week
  • Blog

    Uncertain times: Essential for business schools to understand their market

    The alliance of European business schools met at CBS in June to enhance recruitment strategies, stay informed on industry trends, and analyse where the global economy is heading. The CBS MBA Programmes shares some key take-aways from Associate Dean and Professor Jesper Rangvid’s presentation.

  • News

    Working hard all summer: Bachelor Admissions

    The employees in charge of bachelor admissions at CBS are a small exclusive team. They ensure the validity of diplomas and the fulfilment of entry requirements for bachelor’s degrees at CBS – and, not least, that the applicants get the necessary help to upload the right documentation and find their way around the application procedures.

Follow CBS students studying abroad

CBS WIRE collaborates with

Stay connected