American University of Beirut

An Exchange term in Copenhagen - A Student Perspective

​Miguel is a junior student who participated in an exchange semester at the University of Copenhagen (KU) while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at AUB. The exchange semester, inspired by curiosity and desire to experience a different culture, brought Miguel to Denmark for a semester in the Spring of 2022.

Miguel remembers this experience with fondness and is very appreciative of the opportunity as it provided him with a better understanding of the broader world and exposed him to both the Danish culture and the cultures of other exchange students. A self-prescribed introvert, Miguel describes this experience as a steep learning curve that forced him out of his comfort zone and allowed him to experience the world around him differently.

His main highlights during this semester include the welcome party for all new international students at KU, visiting all the different monuments, biking around the city, a 3-day conference in Odense with AIESEC, weekly meetings about an Individual Study Project with his professor, night out with another professor and some students, etc.

Like the other students, Miguel was curious about people and the places they came from. As locals tended to address him in English there were few opportunities to pick up the local language. Nevertheless, Miguel had the opportunity to visit a language cafe where each table was set in a specific language, and he could hop in-between different linguistic stations. He fondly remembers visiting the Arabic, Thai, and French tables, practicing his conversational skills, and meeting new people.

Miguel took four “really interesting” classes for which he received credit from AUB. One of these classes was a Danish culture class reserved for international students where they had a different professor each week taking them on excursions around the country, teaching them about Danish food, music, culture, and even movies! On the last day of class, they had a gathering where they were offered authentic food.

Yet, his favorite class was the Individual Study Project which was a one-on-one program with an assigned advisor ending with a simplified thesis. Miguel notes that this opportunity allowed him to work on a project that he wanted to expand more on in the future. This experience has allowed him to network with others in the faculty of science who liked it and promised to follow up.

He notes: “During my exchange, I was able to build new friendships and create valuable connections with both students and professors. I met people from all around the world and some of them are planning to come to Lebanon, while I am planning to go visit others in the future. The community and the network that I experienced in this exchange are irreplaceable.”
Following the exchange semester, Miguel secured a 12-week Software Engineering Internship at Meta in London and will also start another 12-week Site Reliability Engineering Internship at Google right after it. He stated that although he has been in London for less than a week, he is already blending in, and finding his way around was very easy. He credits this ease to the way he coped with the culture shock in Denmark.

Finally, when asked if he can describe his semester abroad in one word, he said “Biking is the first word that came to my mind. Copenhagen is a very bike-friendly city where people even cycle in suits and dresses”.

Want to know more about how to study abroad as part of your AUB degree? Click HERE.

​​Written by Arw​a Emhemed, Political Studies Student and OIP Social Media Intern

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