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Oct 21, 2020
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I study MSc in Computer Science and Engineering at DTU in Denmark - This is my story

Michael Mares
My name is Daria and here is my honest opinion about DTU and MSc in Computer Science and Engineering
VIDEO
VIDEO

How did you find out about your program?


I found out about DTU through a professor at New York University Abu Dhabi, where I did my bachelor’s. My professor did her PhD cryptography at DTU and having worked closely with her during my undergraduate, I heard a lot of good things about DTU, from the quality of education to research facilities and entrepreneurial initiatives. I did not know at the time where my graduate studies would take me, but I kept DTU in the back of my mind.

When the time came to apply for graduate school, I wanted to transition from a liberal arts education characteristic to American schools to a technical education in Europe and so it happened that DTU checked all these boxes.

Therefore, I decided to apply for a master program in Computer Science and Engineering and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I got in, so here I am!

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


The program that I am currently pursuing at DTU is a two-year master’s in Computer Science and Engineering.

The structure of the program is quite flexible and offers students the chance to mix and match most of their classes, based on their interests.

As an overview, the 120 ECTS credits required for graduation are divided into four categories of courses, each worth 30 ECTS: general competencies, technological specialization, electives, and master thesis. There are six offered specializations in the Computer Science and Engineering master’s program, ranging from hardware-oriented to computer security and software and AI – oriented study lines.

For instance, I picked the Artificial Intelligence and Algorithms track, although it is not mandatory to have a study line. 


Being a technical school, most classes tend to be theoretically rigorous, although the program is generous enough to leave room for industry-oriented courses such as software engineering or applied computer security. At the end of the day, it is up to the student to pick the classes that interest them most. 


In terms of job market and future perspectives, the job market for computer science graduates is quite large in Denmark and considering that DTU is the top technical university in Denmark, many computer science graduates get hired relatively quickly after graduation. 


Therefore, if computer science and programming are your passion, I believe that there is value in attending the Computer Science and Engineering master’s at DTU. Although I only started the program, I can tell that the classes, the professors and the perspective of the job market will make for a great two-year experience which I am very excited about.


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


Yes, DTU is the place to go both study and hang out! DTU has nice green places inside and outside buildings where students can hang out, eat lunch or have beers after class.

The DTU library, which spirals onto two floors, is arranged in such a way that it allows students to study in designated areas and work together in groups in booths or larger desks. The DTU education focuses a lot on group work and it is very common to see groups of students sitting together in the library or in the green area between buildings to chat.

At the end of the day, DTU is the place where I study and meet friends, which makes it very hygge


DTU Green Space


DTU Main Hall


How are you traveling to your university?

I travel back and forth to DTU by bike. As you already know, Denmark is “the” place to get around by bike, with 45% of all Danish children biking to school every day. This comes with a lot of health benefits too. Most of my classmates go by bike as well, although buses and trains are very accessible around DTU Although I am new to biking, I quite enjoy it – it is a nice way to start my mornings and end my work day. If you decide to come study in Denmark, a bike is a must-have!



Do you feel involved in your community? Are you a member of any association?


Since moving to Denmark, I grew very close to the international community at DTU, which allowed me to meet a lot of amazing people and make great friends. On the other hand, I was able to find and join some professional organizations as well. I have recently become a member of IDA, The Danish Society of Engineers, IDA, an organization with more than 125,000 members working and studying in the fields of technology, natural sciences and IT. 

Recently, I signed up for Young Professionals in Denmark, a free-to-join one-year career development and networking program for full-degree international Master's, MBA and P.h.D students enrolled at a Danish University. The program allows students to gain skills, network contacts and unique career counseling to help you land your first job in Denmark after graduation.

Being part of student organizations comes with a lot of benefits, such as discounts and professional counseling and I strongly encourage all new students to Denmark to become involved with the professional organizations at their universities. 


What is one thing you love about your city?

My favorite thing about Copenhagen is that there are always things to do and see in the city. From visiting museums on rainy days to sunbathing along the canals, to going shopping to vintage shops in Nørrebro or having a fun Sunday afternoon with friends in Tivoli, Copenhagen vibrates with life even during corona times – in a hygge way.

When I first arrived in Denmark, I jotted down a list of things to visit, including Norrebro, Nyhavn, the statue of the Little Mermaid – in a nutshell, all the touristy places.

At the beginning I thought that as time goes by, the list will shrink, but I realized that the more places I cross off the list, the more I add to it. There are still so many places which I want to see in Copenhagen! The next one on my list is the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.


What is one thing you love about Denmark?

It is hard to pick only one thing. I love the simplicity that comes with living in Denmark, as well as the fact that most bureaucratic things are digitized.

Almost everything is online.

Compared to the other places where I lived, where the bureaucratic procedure is tedious and takes a lot of time, I find Denmark so much better. The Danish tax system is all online, as is my banking information and digital receipts.

And Denmark is technically a cashless society, you can even “mobile pay” at the flea market!



What do you feel like is your biggest struggle these days?

Living in Denmark has been such a joy so far! Although biking, cooking for myself and paying rent are new to me, I really enjoy studying and working in Denmark, so I cannot really complain.

The only thing that I find a bit challenging is finding the balance between work, studies and personal life, but I am sure that I will be able to figure all this out by the end of the fall semester. 

How fast were you able to find a job?

Quite fast, I would say. I am currently doing a student assistantship at Haldor Topsøe. I knew that I wanted to get a student job before coming to Denmark and therefore, I started sending job applications in July. For my current job, I had two rounds of interviews: the first one was online at the end of July and the second one was in person after I had arrived in Denmark in August. From there on, things simply worked out for me: I received the offer immediately after the second interview and started working at the beginning of the fall semester.

My advice to all international students coming to Denmark is to start applying for jobs 2 to 3 months prior to their arrival and to apply for as many positions as possible.

Although I can only talk from personal experience, what worked for me was to fill in about 10 applications per week and follow up with an email to the contact person, just to give them a heads-up that I had submitted my application and that I am interested in the position.

Another piece of advice that I can give is to not get discouraged by the amount of rejections. Failure is part of the application process and to be completely honest, it is not a reflection of your qualifications, as there are so many factors that come into play when hiring someone.

However, it is important to apply for positions that you are qualified for and tailor your CV and cover letter accordingly. 



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Michael Mares
🇸🇰
I've been in Denmark for the last 4 years and because of all my f*ck ups, I've decided to start the Student Survival Guide. It was a way for me to give something back and teach others something that no one told me. Other than writing, I enjoy video editing, playing music and watching Family Guy. I'm a simple guy
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