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I study International Bachelor's in Humanities at Roskilde University - This is my story

Updated: Oct 28, 2023

Bachelor's in Humanities at Roskilde University

How did you find out about your program?

I don’t remember exactly, but I think maybe through the website of Study in Denmark, or something similar.

Would you recommend your program to others interested in this field?

I’d recommend this program only to a certain type of people. To say a few particularly good things, this program could be useful for those who would like to engage in academic work, especially academic thinking and writing, and pursue a fully academic career later on. It works a lot with methods and theories of research.

There is quite a great amount of group work, which is helpful for learning how to cooperate with others, resolve conflicts and learn one’s place in a group setting. One good thing is that, together with your group, you can choose whatever you are interested in and you can write a project about it.

A lot of people here love this freedom of choice and that education here is not book-based; for example, we don’t have to cram many definitions for exams, but we can choose what we want to do and how we want to do it exactly. We can even use our written products, notes and books in the oral examinations. I believe all these points have their advantages.

Did the program live up to your expectations?

Unfortunately, for me this program is quite a disappointment, it is not at all what I expected and looked forward to. It's not the best place for people who are more on the practical and creative side of things. Most of the classes (including readings, tasks and exercises) seem extremely abstract and vague; the project that has to be done also kind of feels like we are writing ‘big words about nothing’.

The skillset that we acquire through this degree is not particularly useful either, given the fact that it's only soft skills, which someone can learn elsewhere too. This is the reason why there is a high unemployment rate amongst the graduates and RUC receives a lot of criticism for its approach towards education.

The amount of group work can be quite daunting at times, sometimes with several weekly meetings (depending on the particular group), and it can feel extremely challenging to prepare for all the other classes next to the group project, while balancing all that with your personal life.

As I already have a bachelor’s degree in a humanistic field (English Studies), I had my own idea about how university works, and although I knew it would be very different here, I was quite shocked to see how things work at this particular university. I wanted to learn something more useful than I did previously, still in a similar area, but I don't really see how I will be able to use this degree in the future or benefit from it at all, as it isn’t really preparing me for any specific position or area I could work in.

Having said that, please note that I am simply being critical and realistic, and my purpose is not to talk you down from choosing this university. After all, you will not know whether it works for you and if you like it, until you try it yourself.

I am also absolutely aware that I have chosen a university that is not suitable for me, however, I believe I speak for many when I say that a pretty big amount of people feel the same frustration and helplessness as I do upon realizing what kind of education RUC offers exactly, which is also quite hard to predict based on the description found on the website.

My advice to anyone who would like to study here: do your research, don’t just read the website, ask people who attended or are attending the course, about how the classes are or how a usual day/week/semester looks like etc.

I'm suggesting this because the reality can be very different from what you know so far. And also, if you feel discouraged based on this information, make sure you have as many different opinions as you can before making a decision, and don’t let it put you down if it turns out it’s not what you imagined it to be.

Is your uni a place to hang out? Or are you going there just to study?

The university campus itself is in a beautiful place, because it's surrounded by nature, including a lake with ducks and (aggressive) swans. It has quite a modern architecture and a spacious library with a pretty view to a pond.

Inside a library: spaces to sit, big windows, tall potted trees

Inside the University Library at RUC campus

There is also a somewhat pricey cafeteria and café with healthy, delicious food choices. There are a lot of places to sit and hang out both inside and outside, also a lot of events and clubs happening. For instance, I go to choir in the student house, but there is also a gym with sports teams, a garden club, sustainability club, board game club, just to mention a few.

All in all, it is a great place to hang out and attend events, clubs or just spend some time outside classes. Sometimes it’s hard to find info about these clubs (there isn’t a specific page for most of them on the RUC website), so ask around, read the dashboards around uni, search on Facebook if you are interested in any of them, read the newsletter from RUC and watch out for introductory events.

Do you live in a dorm? How much do you pay?

I live in an originally unfurnished student studio flat with its own kitchen and bathroom. I am currently paying 4027 DKK/month (including rent, electricity, heating, water, compulsory TV and antenna contribution), but excluding WiFi (+229 DKK/month) and laundry (10+6 DKK/one cycle of washing+drying).

Studio flat seen from entrance door: kitchen, desk, chair and bed

Most accommodation for rent in Denmark comes unfurnished

I also receive housing support of 521 DKK/month, that everyone who has their own kitchen is eligible for. It’s not automatic though, so you have to apply for it on as soon as you can, because you can’t get it retrospectively.

The universities do not have their own dorms, however there are some dorms which are for all the university students of the town (there are 3 campuses).

My advice is to sign up on as soon as you can (it is allowed to sign up 6 months before your education starts, I think), even if you don’t know yet whether you will be admitted to the chosen university course or not. You will get on a waiting list and will be offered a room if you get lucky enough.

However, getting offered a room can take a very long time, and finding accommodation in Roskilde is quite hard, as it is a small town. Therefore, the majority of the RUC students live in and commute from Copenhagen or around. It’s best to sign up for all the paying websites too, and check the Facebook groups regularly, get notifications whenever someone posts an advertisement about anything available.

Do you feel like you’re getting a good deal at the place where you stay?

I feel like I’m getting the best deal possible, even though I had to furnish and equip the flat myself. It is really cheap for a one person flat (and no annoying roommates who are loud and don’t clean up after themselves 😁). It is also very close to everything, including the university, my place of work and the city center. It is affordable, small town-ish and comfortable.

How are you traveling to your university?

I cycle there, which takes about 20 minutes.

(There are also buses that leave from a bus station 5 mins away and stop right next to campus, but they are not so frequent and cost quite a lot without ungdomskort, or even with rejsekort).

Are there good places for drinking/eating in the surroundings?

There are a lot of good places to drink and eat, both cheap and more pricey ones. I’m going to introduce you only to some of them now, these are either student-friendly places to go to, or places that are quite popular amongst locals.

One of the best places in town is the street food on the main square. Lene’s Street Food serves all kinds of hotdogs, even some with vegetarian sausages (for the great happiness of vegetarians like me). On the same spot, there is also Spicy India, serving various Indian dishes for a rather cheap price, also catering for vegetarians and vegans alike. I suggest trying them while sitting out on the chairs or benches of the square, and just enjoy the surroundings on a mild, nice day. You can really experience the town buzzing and it makes you feel part of the whole.

For drinks, locals mainly suggest the brew pub at Musicon, the main cultural district of the town, with the famous RagnaRock museum in the middle. The area in itself is worth a visit, and I can’t wait to try their berry flavored beer.

Just to show how strong the beer scene is in Roskilde, another popular favorite of the town is Klosterkaelderen, a beer bar with a huge, growing selection of handcrafted, special beers from all around the world, with occasional concerts.

What is one thing you love about your city?

I love the small town-ish, calm and quiet vibe with all its beautiful historic buildings and the mood they set in and around the city center.