Semester start approaching. Panic in 5, 4, 3…

Wow, it’s been awhile! Sorry to have abandoned you for the summer months, fellow fulldegree-ers! I really didn’t mean to leave the Eurovision as my last update (by the way, what was I thinking when I posted that?!) Let’s play a game to explain my absence – two truths and a lie.

  1. I have actually been posting blogs but they have all been saved to drafts. I will publish them all in the near future and you will be overwhelmed with the writing that floweth from hey you, AU!
  2. I was overwhelmed with exams/work until the middle of June and then took a nice relaxing vacation back to the home country and am just getting caught up on things.
  3. The weather in Denmark has been unbelievably nice this summer so a lot of my time has been spent outside/sitting on the computer at my desk which looks out a window and thinking of how nice the weather is for sitting at your desk and pretending to be outside.

So which is the lie? Doesn’t matter. What matters the most is that I’m BACK! And now I’ve got some catching up to do in order to help you prepare for the upcoming semester! So let’s get started!

First of all, congrats to all of those who have been accepted to study as an international full degree student at Aarhus University! You’re getting ready to start an exciting, fulfilling and trying time in your educational career. Your studies will be a rewarding and unforgettable time in your life and getting your degree from AU will not look good on your resume, but will also help connect you to many opportunities both academically and professionally. To those who will be new to Denmark, it is an interesting place (which I’m sure you have read a bit about in this blog… if you haven’t – start reading!). For those who have yet to really start thinking about the move here, there’s no need to panic! You’ve still got a little time and in fact, I’ve got a few things that might be able to help you prepare for you stay, so keep reading and get excited!


Over the past couple months, the International Centre has been working on some of the material we produce for the incoming exchange and full degree students. I’ll make a side note here that everything we produce is intended to either make your move to Denmark hassle-free or your stay in Denmark as easy and pleasant as possible. That being said, we here at the IC have kind of gone what I like to call “guide crazy” – we have a guide for everything! Student Guide, Arrival Guide, Intro Week Guide, Potential Student Exchange Guide, Studies Guide, Guide Guide, How to make a Guide Guide…. really it was getting a bit out of control. So in May we sat down and looked through our guides in order to make everything as efficient as possible. The newly devised material for incoming international full degree students are as follows (psst… to those who maybe haven’t had their morning/afternoon/evening coffee yet, THIS is the stuff that will help you prepare your move to Aarhus!):

The Pre-Arrival Guide

When looking at some of our survey responses regarding the guides we provide, we realized that we were kind of missing the mark when it came to the areas that students were really needing information. Not only that, but the names of our guides were quite confusing! One guide had information that concerned once students were here but was called something that made it seem like they should read it before they come, and vice versa… it was even confusing for us! Therefore, after looking at the survey responses carefully, we came up with the Pre-Arrival Guide, a guide students should look at PRE arrival in Denmark (the name seems to fit, no?).

Pre-Arrival Guide

The Pre-Arrival Guides offer information on travelling to Aarhus, arrival procedures, information on learning Danish and about your AU Intro Week, a checklist of things you need to make sure to bring with you when you set on your journey, and other general practicalities meant to be done BEFORE arrival. The Pre-Arrival Guides are offered online only (meaning you will not receive a copy of them when you arrive). The information presented in these guides will help make the transition from your home country to here easy and productive.

I’m not trying to brag, but a LOT of work was put into these and I really think that these would be helpful for all incoming students to read. If you’ve already read the Pre-Arrival Guide, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back. Go ahead… really! You deserve it! If you haven’t read the Pre-Arrival Guide yet, no worries. It’s available online here: http://www.e-pages.dk/aarhusuniversitet/635/ and you’ve got plenty of time to look at it, admire it and download it for your future reference. Remember, this guide – the yellow one there to the left – was made especially for you and to help answer some of those questions that you can’t find an answer to anywhere else, so really it would do nothing but benefit you to read it, right?

AU Intro Week Programmes

Our next look was at the AU Intro Weeks. We found that, even though we had organized the entire program for the benefit of incoming international students, sometimes students simply didn’t show up because they didn’t understand what certain activities were (all I have to say is… really?!). Regardless, this year we’ve added an explanation of the different activities and have even included more cultural activities for students to participate in. These used to (sometimes) be called guides… now they’re program(me)s. Introducing the AU Intro Week Programmes!

Intro Week S&TIntro Week Arts

Anyway – the AU Intro Weeks we organize are not for all incoming full degree students. The pictures here are for Full Degree Science and Technology and Full Degree Arts. If you’re a Full Degree BSS Student (for certain BSS programs), you have different intro days organized by BSS. Sounds a bit confusing, I know, but if you take a look at the Current Student Portal, we’ve really tried our best to try to outline the intro weeks for you so that you know where to go and who your program is with. You can visit the Current Student Portal here: http://studerende.au.dk/en/internationalstudents/au-intro-week-2013/ where you’ll really find everything you need to know about your intro week (whether it’s AU Intro Week or BSS Intro Week or whatever). You’ll also find there the AU Intro Week Programme that is appropriate for you. So take a peak, admire, and download for your reference. You will get a copy of these once you arrive and register with the IC, but just in case you tend to lose things, they’re always available online as well.

The Student Handbook

So the last few years, the International Centre has been creating our own Student Guide while also passing out to students one created by AU’s Student Council. Without discrediting ourselves (as we do think that the information we provide is accurate and relevant), we realized that the booklets provided by the Student Council were just plain better. By the students, for the students… right?

IC SHB 2  udgaveThat’s why things have changed. The International Centre will focus on the practicalities of it all… getting you here, helping you plan, introducing you to your studies and life at AU, etc. The Student Handbook created in collaboration with the AU Student Council will provide you with information on life in Aarhus and Denmark, places to go out, ways to live cheap, and much, much more. Therefore, in attempting to cure the  “guide fever” that seemed to make us so desperately ill, we now will put in every registration bag a copy of the Student Handbook – a very cool booklet for all incoming students! These guys aren’t online but as long as you register with the IC (which all incoming students are supposed to do!!), you’ll receive a copy. And not only are there cool articles to read (‘How to be a real Aarhusian,’ ‘Live Cheap – Die Young,’ to name a few), there are also maps of green areas around Aarhus, suggestions on places to eat and a ton of information only other students who have been here at AU for awhile could really be able to share with you. Some of the articles have been translated from the Danish version so information here is actually relevant for all students from around AU, not just international ones. So check for it in your bag!

Well that’s it for now I guess. Okay so it was really just two things that can help you now and one for when you get here… but I really am excited for the start of the semester and think that the newly produced material can really help you prepare your moves and make your stay here in Aarhus enjoyable and fun. So take a read through the Pre-Arrival Guide, browse through when you should be where for your AU Intro Week and breathe in, breathe out. No need to panic yet! You got dis and I gotchu. We got this like a boss!

I’d like to take this opportunity to ask you readers a couple questions in order to make this blog have a more clear purpose: who are you and (if you are an incoming AU student) what program have you been admitted to? How is your preparation going for Aarhus/what are you finding exceptionally difficult? To current students/others: what information do you find most useful about this blog? What would you like to see in the future?

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5 thoughts on “Semester start approaching. Panic in 5, 4, 3…

  1. Hello!
    My name is Sofia, I come from Italy/Hungary and I have been admitted to the Master’s Degree Programme in European Studies. I am really excited of starting it and I am also looking for a job to do while studying. The most difficult part in my opinion is the housing. I think the student housing method is not too efficient and not too clear (the website is missing the information on the residences in English). On the other hand, I found the emails concerning the Welcome Week and the booklets you are also suggesting to read really useful and they made me feel already in Aarhus 🙂

    1. Welcome Sofia and congrats on being accepted! I’ve heard really great things about the European Studies program! Finding a job can be really difficult, but not impossible. Just remember that you’re competing with Danish students and don’t forget (once you find one) that although the money is great, working alongside studying and doing all the readings can be pretty time consuming.

      You aren’t the only one who thinks finding housing is difficult. I know that doesn’t really help but rest assured – you’re not alone out there! I’m going on my 3rd year now and every year… every SEMESTER even…we’re told about how difficult it can be as a full degree student to find housing. The problem really is that full degrees are seen as equal to Danes in the eyes of the University so you’re given the same treatment. Where that becomes a problem is when the websites really are just in Danish…. and you don’t have a network here in Denmark like native Danes. It sucks… believe me, I know. Have you found a place??

      That’s great that you found the booklets and the emails useful! We’re having a bit of rain here in Aarhus at the moment but hopefully things will clear up and you can see how amazing Aarhus can be in the late summer when you arrive. Looking forward to meeting you and thanks for the comment!

  2. Hi there! My name is Maria, I´m Bolivian/Spanish and I´ve been accepted in the Master´s degree programme in Molecular Nutrition and Food Technology. I´m really excited about this because that master´s degree is the programme of my dreams, but also, I´m a bit worried about some matters…

    – In the first place, I know that I´m accepted because I can see it on the online platform where I applied, but I didn´t receive any official letter, and as far as I know I need that information to upload my photo and get my student ID.

    – Concerning to the same situation, I haven´t heard anything about all the stuff related to my subjets´ enrollment… I don´t know the process in Denmark, but taking into account that the semester starts in few days, I think that it should be already done…

    – Moreover, I´m completely confused about where I have to go in order to pick the keys from my flat. Student housing Aarhus said that I have to go to the IC, but Aarhus Bolig (the association that own my flat) also said that I have to go to their office in Brabrand… In consecuence, I´m getting crazy…!

    On the other hand, I must say that I´m really happy with the service of the IC, I find your information and your answers really helpful and clear. Thumbs up for you guys!

    Thanks a lot!

    1. Hi Maria and congrats on your acceptance! Awesome that you’ve been accepted into the program of your dreams. 🙂 I don’t think there’s any need to be worried and I’ll definitely try to help as much as I can!

      Regarding the acceptance letter – things have changed a lot since I was accepted but when you register with the IC, you’ll receive something called an Aktiv Attest that confirms your enrollment. Before that, you’ll receive some sort of “Welcome Package” by email with your acceptance letter. Either that or you can find it through your Self Service. Since I’m not the most up-to-date, I would high recommend that you mail admission@au.dk to ask them about getting one. You should have received an email about uploading a photo for your student card. You don’t need an acceptance letter for that, just to have the mit.au.dk account. Hopefully you’ve figured this out?

      Unfortunately that is a common occurrence with many different programs at AU and the University in general. You probably will get information on the first days of your classes or during your AU Intro Week. Just have patience. They’re not going to forget about you. As your main job here is to be to study, I think many programs expect that students are quite flexible when they first arrive in that you won’t really have anything on your plate. Therefore if they don’t tell you until the week classes start of where you need to be, you still should be able to make it.

      Studenthousingaarhus is probably under the assumption that you have housing through the International Centre. Do you? Otherwise, if you have nothing to do with the IC, you will have to put your keys up at the association that owns your flat. I think they just deal with a lot of exchange students around this time and don’t really know what to tell them.

      Sorry for my delayed reply – I was out traveling a bit so I hope you got everything answered! 🙂 Also, awesome that you’re finding so much help! If you need anything, don’t be afraid to ask!

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