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An interview with an international student

During this stressful time of self isolation and lockdown, I thought doing a light hearted interview about the different experiences of an international student vs a UK student would be a fun and interesting experience!

Here is an interview with Malene Simonsen, a Danish student who has come to England to study Media Production at this university!

[R] What is the weather like in Denmark vs the U.K?

[M] I mean pretty much the same, expect that it doesn’t rain as often here and our skies are often grey! I think that I expected the UK to be a lot more rainy due to it’s stereotype, but I’d say it is probably more cold than rainy in my experience.

[R] Were there any cliches/ stereotypes about university life here that were found to be true?

[M] I’d definitely say the drinking culture holds up to expectations! There is a big student culture of clubbing which I quickly realised was something almost everyone took part in!

[R] Speaking of classes, how are they different here to in Denmark?

[M] It is hard to compare because I haven’t been to a University in Denmark, but from what my friends say, attendance is a lot stricter here. In Denmark, as long as you attend your exams and pass them it seems to be very up to you what you do! Also in high school lessons are shorter than in the UK, but our university lectures are longer, often 2-3 hours.

[R] What did you pack that you definitely didn’t need, and what did you forget to pack?

[M] Well somehow I forgot a charger! So I didn’t have anything to charge my phone with as all my plugs are Danish so thankfully Wilko had a lot of converters in! However, I would definitely bring less clothes with hindsight. You forget you are going to buy clothes whilst you live here and I packed almost everything! It isn’t fun when I go back home having to lug 3 ginormous suitcases!

[R] What is the best thing you have eaten here?

[M] Well of course fish and chips! The classic British food lived up to its expectations! I am now a ‘chippy’ regular. I’d also say curry. I know it isn’t a dish the UK isn’t known for, but we don’t really have curry in Denmark so it was nice to try so many variations here and it is a quick, easy yummy meal perfect for student life!

[R] How do you keep up with friends and family whilst studying here?

[M] Social media is your best friend. Skyping, messaging etc. Denmark is only one hour ahead so it is easy to be able to keep in contact. It helped a lot with settling in. We have a family Facebook group where we all post updates which is nice for when you are too busy to talk because you still know how everyone is.

[R] Speaking of settling in, what is your best advice for international students regarding that?

[M] Get involved with as much stuff as possible! It is very overwhelming at first, but keeping busy and meeting a lot of people helped me grow used to my environment and battle homesickness. It will get easier sooner than you think. Being busy and meeting new people keeps your mind preoccupied.

[R] And finally, what is the most asked question you get about Denmark?

[M] The first question you asked me! It is always about the weather!

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