Author: Sophie Buchan
Hej from bustling Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark. While you Kiwis soak up those last rays of sunshine back home, here in Aarhus the sky is a little bleak most days and the temperatures are yet to hit double digits. Despite this, life in Aarhus continues to be a great adventure for Tessa and I; one that’s hard to believe started just 8 weeks ago.
From what I have learned so far, Denmark is a place in which biking is the most popular way to travel, where children are dressed in tiny ski onesies, where everyone is extremely patriotic about their country’s flag, and hot dogs are a national treasure.
Settling into Danish life as a foreigner and becoming accustomed to local habits and cultures has been one of the most challenging but rewarding experiences during my stay here. As an international traveller I was warned that Danes may seem a little private at first – not wanting to intrude on other people’s personal space uninvited. However, I’ve encountered Danes to be some of the most approachable, friendly and helpful people here. And most impressively, they know how to dress for the weather. When freezing temperatures and chilling winds hit NZ, we tend to react by wearing everything we own. The Danes, however, know how to look chic and stay warm while whizzing around town on their bikes and going about their very trendy lives. Kiwis take note!
As for the Danish education system, their teaching methods draw many similarities to back home. Just like AUT, the TV Journalism course here is focused on hands-on, practical learning methods. We work in groups of three for five assignments throughout the semester, which helps with editing and shooting burdens we just couldn’t handle ourselves. So far we have produced two current affairs stories; one profiling a person, group or place of our choice, the second being an inclusive story focused on marginalized people who are not often given a voice in the media; a task which sparked and will continue to feed my love for Journalism.
In a few weeks time, we go on a class trip to Copenhagen for a week where we produce a story that answers the issue ‘What’s currently going on in Denmark’: a question that I am yet to solve but thoroughly look forward to exploring.
Photo: New Zealand students in Aarhus: Femy Peter, Tessa Mitchelson, Sophie Buchan and Laura Tretheway