Hi, my name is Ieva, I come from Latvia and I have been living in Aarhus, Denmark for 5 years. I came to Denmark in 2015 without much idea of what I am getting into and since then I’ve become practically a local. Therefore, I want to share my experience with everyone and hopefully give some good ideas.
How did you find out about your program?
I found out about studies in Denmark from a company called Study Start, that promotes Danish universities in Latvia. They were relatively helpful with all the necessary information and paperwork as well as the English test.
I began my studies at Business Academy Aarhus with studying AP degree in Marketing Management and later on did a Top-up program in International marketing and sales.
Currently, I am studying for a master’s degree in Economics and Business Administration in Aarhus BSS.
Would you recommend your program to others, interested in this field? (name what is particularly good/useful)
Yes, I would! Both of the programs were very practically oriented, and the practical work was very relevant as all of the project cases were prepared in cooperation with different companies. I learned to work in groups with very different people, and even though it was very hard at times, I think it prepares you for real life. I perfected my presentation skills and most important of all I met so many different people from all over Europe, some of them are my best friends to this day.
One thing you have to take into consideration is wether your program will qualify you for further studies. In my case, Business Academy Aarhus offered us specific elective subjects that would give us the right to continue to masters studies in university, but that is not always the case so make sure to do your research!
Is your uni place to hang out? Or you are going there just to study.
My studies at Business Academy Aarhus were very fun and social. The school itself always organizes an introduction week program that aims to engage the new students with each other and build a sense of team. In my case, that was a fun day competing with other students across the campus as well as a short teambuilding field trip.
The school has a bar where we sometimes met for a few beers after classes and board games.
There are different theme parties during the school year that are quite fun.
Sadly as I started my master's studies during a global pandemic so there are not many opportunities to socialize.
Do you live in a dorm? How much do you pay?
I live in a shared apartment with another person located in central Aarhus and I pay approximately 3500 DKK (470 EUR) per month. It is pretty much an average price for a room in this area of the city.
I chose this option as I enjoy my private space and peace and quiet. Some of my friends had experienced issues with poor cleanliness of the common areas and endless parties at their dorm, so I decided that this option is not for me.
How are you traveling to your university?
I live close to my university, so I mostly walk. If the weather is very bad, I take the bus. I am using rejsekort that makes each trip cheaper than you would just buy an individual ticket each time. Many of my friends cycle as that is a popular means of transportation in Aarhus, however, the hills were a bit too much for me.
Are there good places for drinking/eating in the surroundings?
Aarhus has so many great places to get food for any taste. One of my favorites is Aarhus Street Food, which is a food court with countless options starting from Thai to Israeli food. Additionally, they have a really col beer bar with a wide choice of craft beers from all over the world. Street Food is a rather pricy place to eat as a student, but hey, sometimes you need to treat yourself!
My most recent discovery is a pizza place called Pizza Hytten that offers very nice Italian-style pizza for a reasonable price. The average pizza there costs 69 DKK (about 9 EUR) and it is truly amazing!
What is one thing you love about your city?
The thing I love the most about Aarhus is how close to nature it is. Even though I live in the center of the city, I have at least 3 different green areas for walks, running, or just chilling with friends very close to me.
I can just walk to the seaside within 20 minutes or take a longer trip to the animal park on my bike.
It is very important to me as I was raised in the countryside and I just need to get outside frequently, organize my thoughts, and just be physically active. Especially during the pandemic when I spend a lot of time at home with my computer.
What is one thing you love about Denmark?
Danish mindset. It is so close to the Latvian mindset and yet so far. It was no problem at all for me to move to Denmark. As Latvian just the idea of small talk with a stranger on a bus makes me frown so Denmark was not a big change. At the same time, Danes seem to go about their lives with so much more positive attitude and fewer worries. Perhaps it is the welfare system or the hygge in the air, but I am trying my best to master this approach to life.
How often do you get to travel home and how do you usually travel?
Normally I travel approximately four times a year. Two of those – during Christmas and summer I use to see my family, and the other two to explore new countries. When I travel home to Latvia I always fly as that seems the best option for me. I know many people drive, and you can join them for a price, but for me, the long drive just does not work, plus it is not necessarily any cheaper than flying.
When visiting new destinations I mostly choose flying as if you use just a bit of time and effort tracking ticket prices you can find crazy good deals. Last year, for example, I bought a roundtrip to Prague for 180DKK.
I have also tried taking a bus – Flixbus is a great option for international travel if you don’t mind the tight sitting for some hours.
How fast were you able to find a job?
Finding the very first job in Denmark took me around two months after receiving my CPR number, so it was super helpful that I had savings to support me while I was searching.
Later on, I found new jobs through my friends which is so much easier.
Therefore, my advice to anyone new looking for a job currently: don’t be shy and ask around, it doesn’t matter if it is your friends, classmates, or people from Danish language class, sometimes job opportunities come from people you expected the least.