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Navigating Exchange

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I have always been envious of friends when I heard they were going on exchange or whenever I heard someone’s stories about exchange. I knew it was something I had to do even though it was an absolutely nerve-wracking and stressful idea the closer it got to being a reality.

Arriving in Aarhus, Denmark in the middle of summer to long days of sunshine with the sun rising before 6 and setting after 10; I have never been worse at guessing the time of day.

Aarhus is known as a student town and a lot of the activity is focused around the students. A large party was held for all students to welcome them to Aarhus. With only two weeks of uni down so far, I have already experienced so much. From introduction week where I was cable tied to a random guy and then attempted to play soccer, throw gumboots and poop a potato with a tennis ball. To a canoeing trip down a lovely river with surprisingly good weather. Most importantly the awesome people that I have met along the way who have made all these experiences so great.


It hasn’t been easy though. Going from holiday time in Australia where I had been spending most of my time with friends doing everything from outdoor rock climbing for the first time ever to a spontaneous road trip, to Denmark where I suddenly had to start all over again learning my way around a new uni and making new friends had me questioning if it was really for me. Arriving in Aarhus on my first day I dragged around a giant backpack and a massive Ikea bag with everything I needed for my new room I picked up my key and headed over to my college. Feeling slightly anxious from worrying about missing my stop on the bus, whether I’d be able to even find my room and finding out who the other 13 people I’d be sharing a kitchen with were. To say I had it together would be an overstatement. Luckily one of the janitors of the college happened to be out the front and was kind enough to walk me through what seemed like a maze at the time to show me my dorm room.


So long story short after having to trek it back down to Copenhagen to pick up my suitcase I finally settled in to Aarhus and on my second night there spent the night camping out under the stars with some of my new dorm-mates watching a meteorite shower with some stunning shooting stars. Moments like that, as well as enjoying a delicious home cooked Italian meal with other awesome exchange students, spending over an hour walking home from uni through the forest with a fellow nature nerd, because there were so many cool different mushrooms and drinking beer on a pier whilst watching the sunset over a lake, are the things that make the stress and anxiety of exchange totally worth it.


Cecilia Hojgaard-Olsen


Bachelor of Science (Flexible)

Aarhus Universitet


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