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Live the unforgettable! Erasmus experience in Horsens, Denmark 2006/2007

Published by Daniel Silva — 6 years ago

2 Tags: Erasmus experiences Horsens, Horsens, Denmark


Why did you choose to go to Horsens, Denmark?

I've always wanted to visit Scandinavia and get to know a bit more about the culture of these countries. Having Denmark and Sweden among the options of Erasmus destinations I could choose from, it became quite easy for me to put these 2 countries on top of my application's country list. Besides the general curiosity about such countries, the fact that the universities would provide me the courses in English and all the facilities I needed (accommodation on campus included), made it even an easier choice. About Horsens specifically, I felt instantly welcomed by the university when I first visited their website and I liked the idea of a college with an international atmosphere and a small city that would make it easier for one to create bonds with fellow Erasmus students.

How long is the scholarship? How much money do you receive to help you with living costs?

My Erasmus grant lasted for 5 months (2006/2007) and if I'm not mistaken I received around 430€ per month. This money is enough to pay your accommodation and a few more daily expenses.

What is the student lifestyle like in Horsens?

Being Horsens a small city (around 55.000 habitants) it becomes quite easy to meet all your friends who are likely to live at walking distance from you. VIA University College (previously known as Vitus Bering) has a great international atmosphere since most of their courses are in English and they receive plenty of international students from everywhere in the world. During my Erasmus, I'd say around 30% of the students were exchange students. The atmosphere in classes feels quite social, with plenty of interaction, and throughout the day everyone gathers at the canteen (the centre of the school) where besides eating you can also work/chat with your friends or play the piano which is located there.

Would you recommend the city and the University of Horsens to other students?

Horsens is not such a culturally rich city and not a very busy one either. On the contrary, it is quite a peaceful and wealthy place and everything is walking or biking distance from you. However, there are quite some places to go out and if none are of your taste, you can always take a 30 minute journey by train to Aarhus, the 2nd city in Denmark, where for sure you will find plenty of interesting places either to party or just to spend some time with your friends during the day.

I'd definitely recommend VIA University College (Vitus Bering) as it has a really special international atmosphere and where you feel at home all the time. The facilities are new, the classes are interesting and there are plenty of activities you can choose from to spend your free time after school. Even if you might find the city itself too peaceful and even boring sometimes, don't worry, you will be surrounded by friends all the time and you'll always have something to do.

What is the food like?

Restaurants in Denmark are quite expensive so we were not eating out so often. The food is usually quite good if you pay a reasonable amount of money for it. I enjoyed the meals at the school canteen, even though they are quite different from the ones in Portugal. In Denmark you eat a lot of meat and it's rare to eat fresh fish, for example. If you want to eat cheap outside of your home, there are plenty of pizza and kebab shops around.

How did you find your accommodation?

The university provided me accommodation, so that part was quite easy for me. As soon as I arrived in Horsens I got the key to my room at one of the university's residences. In order to get such accommodation I just needed to fill a form on their website a few weeks/months before going to Denmark.

What are the accommodation prices like? What are prices like for other things in general?

I was paying around 350€ for a flat with 3 rooms and a shared kitchen and WC. Everything was brand new as they had just finished the building. Prices in Denmark are quite expensive compared to most European countries. Everything that requires a service has a high price. For example, to eat in a restaurant don't expect to pay less than 20€, for a pint of beer in a pub 4€, for a cocktail 9€, bus ticket around 2€, cinema 12€, and so on. The prices at the supermarket are quite more acceptable though.

Is the language easy to get to grips with? Are there language courses available at the University?

The Danish language is quite difficult. I didn't learn the language as my classes were in English and I didn't really need to use Danish as everyone speaks English, from the gardener to the school director.

What's the easiest or most economical way to travel to Horsens from your city?

The trains in Denmark are expensive, so avoid travelling for example from Copenhagen to Horsens. I'd suggest either bus if you live in a neighbour country with road access or flying with Ryanair to Aarhus or Billund, which are quite close to Horsens.

Where would you recommend to go on a night out in Horsens?

When I was in Horsens there were a few cool places to go out at night. Crazy Daisy was the biggest disco. Café Koks had live music. Besides that you will find a few more clubs, for sure there are some new spots now where students go to more often than a few years ago. Please notice that some of these places might not exist anymore or might have changed the name.

And for eating? Can you recommend some good restaurants in Horsens?

At the main pedestrian street, while walking towards the train station, there is a really good restaurant in a cellar by the right end of the street next to the electronic store Fona.

What good cultural sites are there to visit?

There is not that much history in Horsens, so the best you can do is go for a bike ride (a nice walk will also do it) around the city with your friends, for sure you will find it pleasant. I definitely recommend grabbing a car and exploring the cities surrounding Horsens, you'll find really interesting towns and beautiful landscapes.

Is there any other advice that you could give to students going to Horsens in the future?

If you are not sure whether you should go to Erasmus or to Horsens, don't think twice! GO! No matter where you end up going to, Erasmus will change your life and you will not regret it. It's an amazing experience that allows you to meet new cultures, make lots of friends, grow up, live independently, improve your English and CV, and spend the best time of your life! ENJOY IT!

If you feel like reading a bit more, I'll post a few paragraphs that I originally wrote on my Erasmus blog - http://danny-horsens.blogspot.com/ - and that sum up my Erasmus experience and my advice to everyone who has a chance to do it.

"During a presentation session at my university of the various international exchange programs for university students, a particular sentence stayed in my memory: "ERASMUS should be obligatory". Two years ago, a few months before the biggest challenge and best experience of my life, I used to see the ERASMUS programme as something that might not fit everybody and, possibly, might not fit me. Maybe the ERASMUS were different students, with different values and attitudes, and maybe I was not included in this group. Maybe ERASMUS students are indeed different, maybe not. Maybe such students just made a decision that others were afraid to make or that delayed constantly, or maybe they stand out from all those students who don't really relate to the ERASMUS programme. Two years after I was at this session and after having taken one of the most right decisions so far - to apply for ERASMUS - I am proud of being able to say "yes, ERASMUS really fitted me" and knowing that this was, out of all the experiences I had, the one that touched me the deepest and with which I grew the most at every level.

ERASMUS is above everything a life experience, a path one builds by himself, with the feeling of seeing it growing each day that goes by. Living in a different country, in a different house, with different people, with different friends, speaking in a different language, in a different school and, mainly, in a totally different lifestyle, makes such students learn, grow up and change. Everything we are used to have as certain in everyday life easily changes and makes us adapt, evolve and have a different perception of what surrounds us.

The advantages of a mobility program are countless. Everything that is lived in ERASMUS will reflect itself later in one's life, in a personal and interpersonal level, in a domestic and career level. The discovery, the integration, the different cultures, the friendships, the experiences, the independence, the barriers surpassing, contribute in a unique way for the personal growing and the way of seeing the world. In ERASMUS relations are created with people from other countries unlike in any other context. Soon we are obliged to speak a foreign language - in most of the cases, English - daily, during six months or one year, solidificating in a pratical way what we learned since the early school days. We learn new values interacting everyday with new cultures, giving us a bigger social openness and making it easier to cooperate with persons from the various countries or cultures, knowing in forehand how to interact with individuals with such different ideals. Making projects or works in a group with students from different countries - or even adding an internship out of borders - makes students put into practice their knowledge and skills, complementing their path regarding the integration and international experience, giving them an additional preparation other university students do not have.

The world we live in is more global everyday that goes by, where the social cultural relations are essential for the unification of its people and the creation of bonds that might be of extreme importance in the most varied contexts. The fact one is alone in a different country and lives by his own, breaking his own barriers and living the apparent every day's difficulties - which sooner or later become trivial aspects - makes him more autonomous, more proactive, more dynamic and with a higher sense of responsibility. The relations that are created during such period of studies are fundamental to everyone who intends to be a citizen of Europe or the world, through the big variety of contacts that are created, with friendships that go beyond borders and make us universal beings.

All these experiences, in such a short amount of time, will elucidate us of what is important in our lives, both personally and professionally, enriching us in a way nothing else can do.

After a semester in the ERASMUS programme and the remaining six months in an internship at a multinational company in Horsens, Denmark, my last day in this country will stay in my memory for a long time, with a warm feeling that follows me each day and tells me "I did ERASMUS, I loved it and I will never forget it". It is an absolutely unforgettable experience, uniquely enriching, and everyone should live it."


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If you know Horsens as native, traveler or as exchange student... share your opinion on Horsens! Rate different characteristics and share your experience.

Comments (2 comments)

  • Javier López López 6 years ago

    This is one of the most incredible experiences I have ever read here, in Erasmusu.com Congratulations!

  • Macarena Giménez 6 years ago

    I couldn\'t agree more. I was in Horsens too. Althought Horsens wasn\'t a big city, we did it a wonderful place for living. Like you said : \"I did ERASMUS, I loved it and I will never forget it\"

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