Why Study Abroad?

For my Study Abroad exchange, I spent a full year in Denmark, studying at the University of Copenhagen. I applied to study in Copenhagen as it seemed to have a great balance of everything: bearable weather (winter was exceptionally cold but summer was warmer than expected), a great social scene, amazing architecture and an excellent university.

One of the things that I enjoyed the most, and that was apparent from the start of my exchange, was the ‘work-hard-play-hard’ lifestyle in Copenhagen. On one hand, the University has an impressive global reputation. It offers a wide range of innovative and interactive courses, from knowledge-based law subjects to more skills-based subjects. The lecturers also have a wealth of experience in their respective field. Regarding the assessments, these come in a variety of forms: oral exams, four-hour exams, written assignments and take-home exams. Initially, these may seem daunting, but the Faculty does its best to prepare students well in advance. In fact, student evaluation is heavily prioritised. Plus, the campus has a great study environment, with a one-stop-shop of libraries, study spaces, cafeterias and chill-out spots.

On the other hand, apart from the academic side of things, the city is ablaze with socials activities to keep yourself occupied. The fortnightly Law School Friday Bar offers a great opportunity to mingle with fellow international students and Danish students, alike. Copenhagen also has multiple attractions that you can explore in your free time, such as the renowned Tivoli theme park. Volunteering at Studenterhuset (Student House) is also a popular option and allowed me to help organise the annual University Spring Festival. Taking all of this into consideration, it’s no surprise that Denmark is routinely ranked as one of the happiest places in the world.

If you’re fortunate enough to study in Copenhagen, the number one rule is to buy a decent bike. Apart from the physical exercise, it’s the best way to experience the city, and it’s the most convenient form of transport. Plus, it is a cheap alternative (especially when you consider the high living costs in Copenhagen).

More generally, if you’re unsure about studying abroad, I’d suggest considering whether you’d be able to develop yourself (personally and professionally) to a greater extent in Glasgow or abroad – I think this varies from person to person. If you’re positive that you’d like to go abroad, I’d recommend using this as an opportunity to really challenge yourself. Each destination offers something unique, so explore and engage in activities that you can’t experience back home. Most importantly, have fun!

~ Saif Gilani