Engineering and design student insights

Student projects, placements, research and study experiences in the Faculty of Engineering & Design

Tagged: DTU

Final blog post about my time at DTU, Copenhagen

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📥  Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering

Hello,

I thought it would be a good idea to do one final blog post about my time in Copenhagen, as I have now finished at the Danish Technical University. If anyone is hesitant or unsure about whether to go for this opportunity, my advice would be to go for it!!!! I would recommend it 100% and I have had an absolutely amazing time in Denmark! I was quite sad to be leaving in the end! It has been really interesting and fun to meet lots of new people, see a new city/country, live abroad for the first time and not forgetting to study in a new way/style!

I think my last blog post was during the autumn break you get whilst studying at the University. Since this point, the work load did pick up considerably and around Christmas it became very busy, but I thought this was also due to the fact that this was when I was applying for Graduate Schemes for next year and completing interviews which took up a considerable amount of time. Not just because the workload being so heavy, it is unattainable to keep up with. However, personally I feel that being abroad does not hinder any applications at all; it is just different. This because no one around you is applying for jobs at the same time so you really have to look at balancing your time effectively. I have also had to fly home a few times for interviews/assessment centres and I have found that companies were fine with reimbursing me for flights and train travel in England. It was just a bit of a hassle. So don’t let this put you off! Also it is a really good conversation opener, when they ask how far have you had to travel in today and they seemed really interested by Copenhagen.

I will start by talking about my accommodation. As mentioned the accommodation by the University is extremely lacking and unorganised! Finding something private in town is a bit tricky but I wouldn’t say completely unachievable. I ended up really loving my student halls (Tingbjerg Terraserne), it was nice to share with people studying different degrees at different universities in the city and it was very social. The halls were of a lot higher standard than others I visited across Copenhagen, and the rooms were a really good size. The location wasn’t perfect, but certainly had the best of both. We were a 40 minute cycle away from the University which wasn’t so bad and then 30 minutes into town (a really nice cycle in, through a nice part of the town too). I felt this was probably the best place to be for us, as we were not so far away from town that we wouldn’t go in but were not so far away University either! Maybe the summer weather would have made the cycle easier!

The social side of the Erasmus placement was really fun! There was always something to do and see, or people to go out with! The nightlife in Copenhagen was more restricted than Bath to Thursday through to Saturday night realistically (not something every night it seemed); however it was a good night out with plenty of bars and clubs. Also the University organised a lot of nights for us to get involved in. Everyone is in the same boat as you, so are really keen to get involved - so don’t worry about not knowing anyone. The city itself is really amazing, I was lucky to have a lot of friends over for weekends and I never ran out of anything new to show people or see. There are some very cool regions/districts with lots of cafes and bars, meaning that there is something for everyone.  Also, as I had worked over summer, I managed to get about at weekends too, doing road trips around the country and across to Sweden – which if you can you should take advantage of.

The studying at the University was certainly very different to at home, with four hour blocks for each module just once a week. However by the end I did quite enjoy this style – as it meant you could get straight onto the tutorial and get help from the teachers. I will run through (Briefly) my thoughts on the modules I took before Christmas and then talk about the 3 week intensive course you can do in January.

Sustainable Buildings – A 10 Credit module (Double) but I would recommend this module which has a very strong building environment focus. It uses software such as IDA ICE and Heat 2 to build up to designing a “Nearly Zero Energy Building” to Danish standards. I found the lectures and assignments very interesting, and once you get your head around the software and what is being asked of you – it is really enjoyable. If you keep up with the deadlines (This course is all assignments) throughout the term, it makes it achievable as you develop your skills for the next assignment.

Rock Physics and Rock Mechanics – I personally really liked this module, it had a petroleum engineering and tunnelling focus for the application of geotechnics. I found this really interesting that all the lecture material was related to real life situations and to applied situations. The exam (100% exam) was very tough I will admit, but despite this the lecturer and teaching assistant were really nice.

Structural Analysis – This module again is 100% coursework, using Danish building codes to design an office and retail structure. It takes it a lot further than that taught during second year and some of the assignments were tricky. Each week you have a new assignment to complete, which you then write up at the end of term. This is very taxing, as it actually takes a long time to write up! Therefore budget your time for this alongside your revision. However I would recommend you take this module.

Smart, Connected and Liveable Cities – I didn’t really enjoy this module. The assignments themselves were really interesting, however, the lectures were not related to them at all and just general knowledge which personally I felt were very dull – I didn’t look forward to Tuesday afternoons! The assignments consisted of writing a book review on George Orwells 1984 focusing on urban design, writing a dystopian story again focusing on urban design. We also had a group report and presentation on a topic of your choice, from which we choose to do city resilience to climate change. In particular we focused on rising sea levels and looked at the viability of options such as floating cities or floodable cities. In the end this worked really well for me, as my group was with five really nice and good people. But I could imagine you may get a bit unstuck doing this, as a few of the presentations were quite poor. The work load was heavy; however, don’t let my view completely put you off – as a few people really enjoyed the lectures.

As I have mentioned before you have to take 30 credits at DTU, I opted (along with the others from Bath) to do 25 before Christmas and a 5 credit “intensive course” after Christmas. This module was environmental engineering in developing countries. I personally really wanted to come back after Christmas, as it helped to reduce the work load before the holidays and gave me more time in Denmark to enjoy it! However, if you choose not to, you would get a very long holiday till when you get back to Bath. This January option isn’t taken up by most people, as a lot of my friends (nearly all from DTU) left before Christmas so there wasn’t many of us left after but despite this it was still fun! The course itself was really interesting (in 9-5 every day) looking at methods to improve sanitation, water supply and waste management. There were really good guest lecturers nearly every day, and the assignment in groups was a real life case study in an area of the world, to improve these things so it was very interesting. We had a final report as a hand in, with weekly presentations on our progress and also weekly tests to make sure we were turning up. I would certainly recommend this course, as it gets you back to Denmark (Also for New Year’s celebrations (as the course started on the 2nd) which was something very different to home!!!) and is enjoyable.

The only one slight negative I would say about the whole Erasmus experience is the price in Denmark. I worked for 13 weeks over summer before I went out there, so I didn’t struggle too bad. But, Denmark is an expensive place so just be prepared and it won’t be such a shock! But don’t let this put you off, just try to work a little over summer before you get here!!!

I really hope these blog posts have inspired you to do Erasmus at DTU, as I do not regret going one bit and I have really enjoyed it! It has been a great experience and I have made lots of friends who I will definitely see again.  One big word of advice would be to go and get involved in everything, especially the introduction week as this is where I met a lot of my friends from the whole time there!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask and I will be more than happy to help.

 

Copenhagen, DTU - Thoughts so far

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📥  Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, Undergraduate

Hello,

I thought it would be a good time to do another blog post for my time in Copenhagen, which is going incredibly quickly! We are now half way through our time on Erasmus and have had a one week break, to catch up on work and more importantly rest. I personally have taken this opportunity to try and see a bit more of the country with a road trip to the main island of Jutland to see a few cities and places and headed home for a little bit (Be warned if you do apply to come out here, despite there being very cheap flights to and from the UK around four weeks before,  if you leave it to the week before the price is incredibly expensive!). But lots of people are spending the week also heading around new European cities and in Denmark itself.

I will start by talking about the social aspects of the Erasmus placement so far. During the week (Sunday – Wednesday) it is very focused on working and quite intense I would say, in order to get all your deadlines met. A lot of people studying with us just have to pass the Erasmus placement which is a tad annoying but I have not as of yet (Luckily!!) had anyone who hasn’t pulled their weight in group projects. However, from Thursday through to Saturday night there are so many different social activities to do which more than make up for the intense week days. This includes university nights out ranging from mini festivals on campus, 50p beers on the last Friday of the month, parties in the S-Huset (Student Union), Octoberfest, Bar crawls around the city and going out in the city itself. So there is more than enough night-out and drinking activities to get involved with and to meet people.

This said, there are also a huge range of things to do that are not drink related within the city itself – there are so many places to visit, things to see and really cool areas of Copenhagen to explore. I have been quite lucky in that I have had a few visitors come out to Copenhagen so I have spent a lot of weekends in the city with them exploring and trying new things. This includes boat tours around the harbour, swimming in the main river, Carlsberg factory, seeing the houses of parliament etc so if you are concerned that socially the Erasmus placement would not be fun – I personally would say there is nothing to worry about at all!

The only slight negative I would have is the sports at DTU do not compare at all to Bath and makes me realise how lucky we have been. I am a keen footballer and have joined the DTU Football group, sadly they only play 4-aside Danish style Futsal (which has some very interesting rules) but it is just training at the moment twice a week (one of which I can’t make due to lectures). There has been talking of trying to get us into competitive tournaments, however the standard is extremely varied between practise sessions depending on who turns up. Also the team is not limited to just students so many working professionals from the local town turn up and play. Despite this I have found it fun, and another good way to meet new people. There are other sports team such as dance, rugby, volleyball but they are limited.

The work/learning experience in DTU has been very different to Bath. As already mentioned the lectures are in four hour blocks from 8-12 or 1-5 which does make for very long days. The lectures are split normally by two hours of teaching, and then two hours of tutorial where you work on a project or examples from class. The lectures themselves require a bit of self-learning before and you are not given as much in depth detail compared to Bath; certain things are glossed over very quickly. I personally find the tutorials after the lectures where I learn the most; the teacher usually stays for this and there are always learning assistants. The learning assistants are students from the year above who have previously taken these modules, I personally have found that everyone is very approachable and more than helpful trying to help you understand anything or showing you the best way to do something. So on this front I have no problems; however, I do feel in lectures they rapidly run through things without most people understanding. I will now give you a brief run through of the subjects I am taking, which Ben and Dominique also do 3 out of the 4 with me.

-       Smart, Connected and Liveable Cities – This module focuses on looking at what concepts/features make a modern city “connected/smart” and the ways about achieving this. What certain aspects does a city need to have in order to make it reachable for all people living within it and what makes it stand out against other cities. The course started really interestingly; however, as the weeks have progressed I have found it getting a little tedious with the lectures just consisting of general knowledge about different elements of cities such as water or transport without offering any solutions to problems or really relating to any assignments. The assignments themselves seem interesting, we have to read and write a report on George Orwell 1984 which is a very good read, write a story about a utopian city and do a group project on climate adaptation within cities.

-       Structural Analysis – I quite enjoy this module and personally it is up there as one of my better modules. The work load consists of doing assignments each week that add up to the final report; we have 3 hours of tutorial to the do the work (you have to do stuff outside class too!) and then an hour lecture after which goes over next week’s work. We are using Danish building codes to design a 5 story construction in Copenhagen, looking at the use of different floors by different occupants. We have had to look at wind loading, connection details in a lot of detail, wall stability so overall I have really enjoyed this and I am learning quite a lot. However, do not expect the lecture to clear everything up for you – you really have to digest the presentation and understand it yourself.

-       Rock Physics and Rock Mechanics – This is my favourite subject I am taking at DTU, with the only slight negative being that it is assessed through examinations meaning I have to stay late in to December to take the exam. The topic itself builds on a little bit of similar stuff to soil mechanics but focuses on it from a petroleum engineering and tunnelling point of view. With a lot of the lectures focusing on the application of what we are being taught, for a potential job in the petroleum industry or tunnelling. We have had some very interesting guest lecturers from Ramboll, and a site vist but most importantly the teacher and teaching assistant are very good in this subject and very helpful during the tutorial sessions. The work is generally quite hard to get your head around with the different conventions and a lot of new content but this said I am still finding it very enjoyable.

-       Sustainable Buildings – This topic is a 10 credit module so in essence is a double module. The work load for this has been very intense with assignments during the term and I have generally had to spend a lot of time on this one (compared to the others). It is not technically difficult but the assignments are worded very poorly so we have been spending a lot of time trying to dissect what he really wants from the questions. We have also noticed that the other people in the class are very happy to plug numbers into software without really understanding what they are doing, so a very different learning experience to Bath. The topic focuses on creating Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) in Denmark, and so far we have used different software to optimise building construction, window constructions and mechanical ventilation systems. The work I find is very interesting but it is just the time taken understanding what he really wants which takes up a large amount of your time. I would recommend it though.

The accommodation despite being very sceptical about at the start I am really enjoying. It is really nice to be sharing halls with people studying from all over Copenhagen and a good way to meet new people. The kitchens are really sociable, we have regular meals, drinks, parties, and watch tv in the living area so I really can’t complain on this front. Having the bar downstairs is also a nice way to meet new people on a Saturday night. The standard is very high compared to other friends who are in DTU accommodation (Campus Village, shared student houses in Verum etc) but the offset is it is a good 35-40 min cycle to campus (which for a 8 lecture means getting up at 6). But to be honest I think this is completely worth it even in pouring rain and being close to town is also really nice.

Sorry about the length of this blog post, but I hope it gives you an insight into the 7 weeks I have now done at DTU. Any questions please don’t hesitate to ask and I will be more than willing to help, the previous year who were at DTU were extremely helpful in helping me and the others out.

 

Team 2016 DTU - First Impressions

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📥  Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, Undergraduate

Our first month here in Copenhagen has almost past, and I think it is safe to say we are all very settled here, and have taken the opportunities when arising to explore the city. By we, I refer to myself (Dominique Pitman), Ben Buckley and Will Millar-Smith.

DTU itself

As said in last years post, DTU is one of the best engineering Universities in Europe and the highest ranked of the Nordic countries. All the courses we take are taught in English, and we are all taking Structural Analysis, Sustainable Buildings, Smart Cities this semester, and a 3 week intensive course in January. I am the only one also taking Concrete Technology. It was pretty well planned out as we now all have Fridays off! Each lecture is 4 hours long (I know it sounds horrible) but they are generally broken up into lecture and tutorial time, which is actually great incentive to get tutorials and assignments done there and then, and where there is help available.

The work load has been fairly large, as we have no exams (I have one for concrete), so all the work is made up of various assignments throughout the semester, of which one (Sustainable Buildings) has been the most intense. As said in last years post, some of the things that the lecturers want are hard to understand

The only problem we have found is a lack of societies. We definitely take them for granted in the UK! That isn't to say there isn't anything but the selection is small, there is no competitive football team (only recreational), but there are a variety of bars and events on campus, such as this Friday, beers will only cost 5kr (about 60 pence!). Unfortunately I will be working at the bar at halls for a private event, but we have another party in the halls bar this Saturday!

Social Life and Accommodation

We have been to pub crawls (both in town and on campus), hall parties (in which I was bartending), the freetown of Christiania, Nyhavn, Tivoli, boat tours, and generally cycling around the city.

Learning how to make the cocktails

Learning how to make the cocktails

Unfortunately I missed both the introduction week (a kind of freshers week) and the first week of lectures as the terms starts fairly early (late August) and I had been working in Zambia as part of the University of Bath for 6 weeks (see A2Z if you are interested! - https://ace2zambia.wordpress.com/). However, it was fairly easy to get into the routine of getting up at 6am to get to 8am lectures, and cycling everywhere. We all live in the same accommodation in Tingbjerg, which although in a little bit out the way, is great for both town and campus, has cheap shops like Aldi and Lidl very close by, green parks with lakes, and the halls themselves are really nice, ensuites, large rooms, and a great shared kitchen (much better than the accommodation on campus).

Route from Tingbjerg to Lynby Campus
Route from Tinbjerg to Lyngby campus

Route from Tingbjerg to Lyngby campus

There as some intense hills, but on the way back it is pretty great!

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Route from Tingbjerg to town

Route from Tingbjerg to town

My bike was purchased from a second hand store for 1050kr (which including a new chain and lights), approximately £120. Bikes can be purchased cheaper, but since I wanted one straight away (to avoid having to pay for buses) I bought what was available quickly (and one that had gears, which Ben found out was very important since Copenhagen isn't as flat as you might think, and a basket for groceries). I am hoping to sell it for a similar price when I leave. Cycling can be manic within the city centre, but is such a great way to get around, and also great for your fitness!

A Copenhagen requirement - A BIKE! Nyhavn in the background

A Copenhagen requirement - A BIKE!  Mine is actually the one behind me. Nyhavn in the background

Comparing us to the guys last year, we were very lucky with accommodation and got our first choice. This area is full of immigrants and foreigners, and to be honest, I haven't actually got to know any Danes! But there are plenty of great people from all around, all of whom speak great English so is not really a problem 🙂

Travel

I have only recently purchased a rejsekort (a travel card which gives you half price discount), which you are able to purchase in some shops and metro stations. The cost was 80kr for the card itself, and I also had to pay 100kr credit. From where we live (Tingbjerg) to town, instead of 24kr paying by cash, it is only 12kr! Not bad for Copenhagen. The transport costs work by zones, so you can get on one bus, change, then get off in another zone and the price only depends on the zone you end up. However, should you forget to sign out there can be a very large fine! (about 700kr = £80). I wouldn't say public transport is the best, although we have a great bus link to town, getting to Lyngby campus is another story, with 3 buses involved and about 1.5 hours travel. Biking is definately the best way unless you own a car, and only take about 40 minutes (this might seem long but you get used to it very quickly).

The Sites

Christiania the freetown is a 40 minute bike ride away, just across the river and is a lovely place day and night, with a very different vibe. If you google it you will understand why, it has a very interesting history and sees a lot of tours!

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Shots of the freetown of Christiania

Shots of the freetown of Christiania

The skyline has a lot of spires, and the city itself is incredibly pretty, with little roads full of cafe's and life. We will find out if this remains the same through winter! There are lots of museums, and an incredible amusement park, it has an interesting mix of rides, shows, gigs, beautiful restaurants and a great view at night with all the lights lit up. Although not cheap, it is a great day out!

Next blog post will probably be more study orientated I'm sure!

 

DTU (First Week)

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📥  Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, Undergraduate

Hello,

(Sorry this post is a bit dated as I have had troubled logging into to upload this to the moodle page! But should still be useful)

My name is Will Millar-Smith and I am one of the current University of Bath students on Erasmus to the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in Copenhagen. DTU is one of the biggest Universities in Denmark, and has a really good rating as one of the best technical Nordic Universities. I have been told the number of people studying at DTU is similar to Bath, and in a way it is similar to Bath in that it is a Campus University outside of the city, however, it is almost four times the size in area and almost dwarfs the campus we have at Claverton Down.

I applied to undertake the Erasmus programme at DTU as I have always wanted to work and live outside of the UK, to see if it was something I would like to do once I graduate from University. Denmark (DTU) seemed like the ideal place to live in, with amazing scenery, style of life and a University that offered the courses in English. Although, this said attempting to learn a new language was also a large attraction as this is something I have never done (However, Danish appears to be extremely tricky to learn- be warned).

From living in Copenhagen for all of one week, it appears to be an incredibly friendly city with a strong focus on green and sustainable living. Everyone cycles everywhere on an impressive cycle network (which if you do choose to come to Denmark is a must in order to get about) or failing this makes use of a large public transport network. One word of warning I have noticed so far is that it is an incredibly expensive place, I would say cost wise more than London and transport is VERY expensive which I guess is a reason for everyone cycling everywhere. However, this said flight wise to London it is extremely well connected with budget airlines.

I guess it may be useful to talk about the application process and then go to introduction and getting settled into Denmark. Once you have been accepted by Bath University for the Moodle application to DTU there is a bit of a lull before you apply online and in paper to DTU official which I think has to be done in April. At this time you also have to pick your course modules from an online database in order to fit within a specific timetable, which is easier said than done. In total you have to take 30 ETCS credits which work out to be slightly more modules than you would in Bath but the term is a longer period so I guess it all evens out. Also you have to build your timetable to ensure no modules overlap as some take place at the same time (which is a bit annoying as it does rule out doing certain things). A module (5 ETCS) takes place across a 4 hour period from either 8-12 or 13-17. However, I have yet to have any lectures so I cannot comment on this style of learning yet.

Once you have applied and been accepted by DTU then comes the rush! DTU is heavily oversubscribed and lacks a lot student accommodation! I think it makes the Bath rush around Christmas seem over dramatized for the student housing. Copenhagen itself also seems to have a limited number of student style or just rented apartments which then further compounds this problem. As will be pointed out to you, DTU provides no guarantee of accommodation so when the email comes through to apply it is a big rush to look at the DTU accommodation on offer and apply quickly as it works on a first come first saved basis. Also a word of warning, this isn’t a thinly veiled comment, I have met many people who are currently in hostels or airbnb rooms, as the lack of accommodation is severe. There is a range of accommodation on offer, as mentioned before DTU is a campus university location roughly 17km from central Copenhagen. They have accommodation on campus called Campus Village (Which reminded me of shipping containers – it looked pretty poor when I visited last week), other student halls on campus, student halls located across the city suburbs, student houses to the North of the campus (further away from Copenhagen) and the option of living with a family around the city itself (which some friends do seem to be enjoying). I and two others from Bath opted for student accommodation in the suburbs of Copenhagen, where we have ended up in Tingbjerg which is in the north west of the city. The map below should be able to give you some scale from the city, our halls and the campus.

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The location of our halls (Tingbjerg) to DTU. Note the distance to Copenhagen as well!

The student residence we are staying in is slightly odd; you stay in a building made from large corridors with up 15 other students all living off the corridor and all sharing a kitchen which is really nice as it is very sociable. The rooms have all been recently renovated with en-suites, and within the student halls itself there is also a bar and gym so there is plenty of activities to be doing. However, a slight moan would be the student halls are not just for students from DTU and are used my people studying at Universities all over Copenhagen. So not everyone is in the same boat as you, some people I have met have been living there for five years, so when you first arrive it is a bit of a shock that it is not a load of nervous international students all studying and joining DTU at the same time. So that could be a bit overwhelming, however, I have found everyone to be extremely friendly and sociable so far! I really can’t complain, it is a bit of a hassle getting to campus without a bike (roughly an hour on public transport) but now I have one it is roughly 30 mins to campus and 30 to the city (which I think is great! Providing lots of opportunities to nip into town to explore, see the sights and go out on an evening).

At DTU they run an introduction week for new exchange students in order to allow you to meet new people, make friends and also learn about the University and how it works. The week is very different to a typical English fresher’s week with more activities during the day which include lessons about Danish Culture, language lessons and team bonding activities, there was also opportunities to have a tour around the city which was very useful! I attended the week, and to be fair even though it was different; I really enjoyed it and it was a great way to meet new people! Although it isn’t as alcohol/night out focused as a British fresher’s week, every evening most people ended up in the bar so it was a good way to socialise and they also held a large party on the last night.

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Me and my buddy group on the city tour ( I am the small one, with the checked shirt)

I will try and write another blog once I have had some lectures to provide more information on this side of the Erasmus programme and also on how it is going during term time. If you have any questions or would like further information about DTU give me a message on Facebook or drop me an email at wfms20@bath.ac.uk and I will be more than happy to help.

 

 

 

 

 

Reflecting on my time at DTU

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📥  Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, Undergraduate

Author: Adam Engstrom


Hey guys so I have now come back to Bath from my stay at DTU. After a bit of reflection I’d like to in this post give my impressions of the exchange overall as I’ve already gone into quite a bit of detail on the university bit in my previous post.

The most important thing to know is that Copenhagen is an amazing city, absolutely loved it. I loved how though it’s a big city it still has a very relaxed feel to it, like Amsterdam. I really enjoyed everything being just a short bike ride away instead of having to get on a bus or metro to get around. It would have been nice to have been there during the spring/summer to make better use of the fact that the best way to see and enjoy the city is by bike but there’s not too much to do about that. There’s still loads of things I haven’t been to during my stay such as Christiania or getting to know Nørrebro better.

In terms of accommodation Elliot and I definitely didn’t have the best of luck, but it was still much better than others. Loads of people didn’t have a place to live for about the first month. Some of the other dormitories we heard about also didn’t sound good, especially Albertslund. I think the main issue about many of the dorms was that they were not completely rented out by students, for our dorm locals lived on the first floor. In many cases they were actually worse than us with people throwing underage parties in the student common rooms, absolutely trashing the place. The thing that was the biggest problem with our dorm was the fact that there were no common kitchens and therefore not very much interaction between people as everyone would cook and stick to their rooms unless you really made an effort to gather people together. Although living on campus would have been really fun and easy, it was really nice to be quite close to town so you could enjoy the city in your free time.

The most enjoyable and, in my opinion, biggest reason to go on Erasmus is to meet new people. It was really cool to meet people from certain countries which you don’t see many from here in England such as Iceland and the Faroe Islands and learn about their cultures etc. In general, the Erasmus crowd are a really good bunch as everyone is in the same situation as you and there to meet as many new people and do and see as many things as possible. Everyone has a really positive and outgoing attitude. The one negative about our Erasmus experience was the fact that our grades mattered while we were over there meaning we had to still work. This meant we couldn’t participate in a lot of Erasmus trips and doing things with other students etc. The fact that we were only in Copenhagen for a semester was a bit of shame as it was only towards the final months that we got settled in and had made good friends with people. Working with other Erasmus students who were on a pass/fail was a bit frustrating as they would more often than not only put in minimal effort into projects. I would also recommend doing a sport while over as it’s another way to meet more people. As DTU didn’t have a floorball team I ended up playing with a local team, getting to know loads of Danish people. Also, on a personal note, I ended up seeing a really good friend for the first time in about 10 years. It was great to hang out and catch up with him again.

In conclusion, the Erasmus has been a really great experience. Meeting and making friends with loads of people from all around Europe was a lot of fun. Do be aware however that it can be quite tough to make friends with Danish students as more often than not you’re group together with international and Erasmus students. In terms of the university, it was really cool to do quite different subjects which has probably helped me grow as a person and had an influence on the type of things I would like to do as for a career. Although studying at DTU was fun, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to do my entire degree there as I was a bit underwhelmed by the quality of teaching and some other aspects. Hopefully our blogs will help students in other years decide what to do and stay clear of the bad courses which Elliot and I sadly had to experience. Also, the campus was really cool due to the number of bars creating a really good student life.

I would definitely recommend as many people as possible to go on Erasmus as it is quite an eye-opening experience and a lot of fun. Just remember that you still have to work while over there!

 

 

Further insights from DTU

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📥  Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, Undergraduate

Author: Adam Engstrom


Hi again. It’s been a while since I last wrote, coursework, exams etc really piled on towards the end of the semester to say the least. What I thought I’d do in this post is to describe my experiences in the courses I wrote about last time and give a final evaluation of my time in Copenhagen.

Right after my last blog post, we had a week holiday. This was really nice as it gave us a little break after having quite a few deadlines the week before. I decided to stay in Copenhagen this week and tried to every day do some sightseeing I hadn’t already done. I ended up going to quite a few museums as the weather wasn’t great. Most museums have free entry every Wednesday and you can find those that are free on other days as well, so you can basically go to something for free every day. The Danish Architecture Centre had an exhibition about the most iconic constructions by Danish architects and engineers which was free for DTU students which I highly recommend. They also have a really cool bookshop which I bought a couple of books from. That holiday was needed as it had gotten pretty hectic with groupwork and individual assignments.

One common trend that both Elliot and I have noticed is that working in groups here has for the most part been bad. The quality is not up to standard that we’re used to back in Bath. We both had experiences of group members not pulling their weight, not producing pieces of reports they were responsible for etc, and when finally producing a piece of writing it was often so badly that it had to be rewritten by one of us others. What I also noticed is that when group work is planned for in the schedule, people wouldn’t work past the designated hours even though there was still work to do. This was very frustrating.

Another trend I’ve noticed is that courses and students here are heavily computer reliant. Most of the lectures rely on you bringing a laptop and working on it. I don’t particularly mind this but would have been annoying if I had a large laptop I had to carry around. What I don’t particularly like about this is that the Danish students seem to be very reliant on computers. Whereas Elliot and I are used to working out for example structural questions visually and by hand, students here seem to almost directly chuck it into a program like Robot or start coding on Matlab. It seems like they don’t really analyze it themselves at any point.

Right, let’s get into the courses.

Smart, Connected & Liveable Cities has probably been my favorite course. I really enjoyed the broad scope of it and how it made me think about what I value in a city. I enjoyed how different it was in its outline compared to most of the courses I have studied throughout university. The final coursework which consisted of writing a short story about a dystopian future for a city we also wrote a report on was challenging as I, personally , hadn’t done such a thing since like 11th grade of high school. Though different, it made sense why we were given this assignment as it made you think critically about the values of a city, how it functioned etc. The field trips that were part of this course was also a nice as it let me see certain parts of Copenhagen I hadn’t been to before.
I ended up being quite disappointed by Building Energy – Technical Services and Integrated Design. I had hoped it would have been a course where I would’ve learnt about building environment in combination with an energy modeling program but it ended up solely focusing on learning how to use the computer program. It was just not interesting at all, with the lectures just going through certain issues you might run into when using the program instead of teaching us about the subject. I was also placed in a really bad group in this class with none of my group members having any real experience in building environment or building design in general. As I was the only one with any experience of using design programs such as Sketchup or CAD, I ended up doing the architectural bits of the project while others dedicated time to the program and creating the building in it. This created a problem, as a few days before the final hand-in when going through the energy model I noticed they had created a building with 1.5m thick walls! I managed to halve the thicknesses but it was still very thick walls. I couldn’t really trust the engineering judgment of my group members. To summarize, what I thought would be a building environment design project ended up solely focusing on a piece of software, which at least in the UK is not widely used. There was apparently a 10 credit course similar to this called Sustainable Buildings which sounded better and more interesting (although from some I’ve heard it was also a bit useless) which might have been better.

Building Energy was still not as disappointing as Bridge Structures however. As I described in my first post, it started out quite well but as it went on just got worse and worse. Elliot and I didn’t really learn much new and within the fields new to us, not much was learnt as the teaching was really bad. Throughout the course the teacher was very distant, you could just tell he didn’t care. The only reading material we were given was a textbook which he was a co-author on. This book was really bad, as it went deep into the maths of bridges, with pages full of complicated equations that were never actually explained. Most of the courseworks for the class consisted of finding some obscure equation in this book, and then trying to work out what each symbol actually meant, instead of actually testing our understanding of bridges. This was especially true for the last coursework on dynamic loading of bridges, which became a test of our mathematical abilities instead of engineering abilities. The teacher assumed we had done dynamic loading before. As we hadn’t, the coursework was basically impossible to do. The tutorials, where we could get help, were also pretty useless as there was only one assistant there to help 100 students. This meant just sitting around for 2 hours to try and get help, which we didn’t manage for this particular coursework. We also tried to get in touch with the lecturer to get help but he never responded to us and was never in his office. We also never got any feedback on the coursework, so throughout the course we had no idea if we were actually doing things correctly.
The exam was equally as bad. It was an oral exam where Elliot and I were examined together. This exam was really unpleasant. I’ve had oral exams before and I’ve found them really good as it’s usually a quite relaxed atmosphere where the teachers are there to guide you, helping you show as much of your knowledge as you can. This was not the case for this exam. It mostly involved the teachers pitting me and Elliot against each other, when one of us answered a question they would always ask the other one if they agreed with the answer creating doubt. They also asked us very technical questions, such as moduli of various types of cables. In the end we were given a 7, which we thought was low as we had still been able to answer most questions etc. It turned out it was because we hadn’t done well on the dynamic loading coursework, this was infuriating as we had tried to seek assistance countless times and so on.
We ended up filing a complaint about this exam and the course as we felt we had not been treated fairly and had not actually been tested on our understanding of bridges. Looking at the feedback from other students, it’s clear we weren’t the only ones. There were a lot of complaint about the teacher and his behavior such as sitting on his phone, checking mails etc. during the examinations and in some cases even walking out midway through certain peoples’.
I would definitely not recommend this course.

Daylight and Lighting Design was a course I was very happy with and recommend to anyone doing Architectural Engineering or is particularly interested in lighting design, as me. In the end, I ended up learning how to use Velux Daylight Visualizer, DIALux and Daysim. The course also taught me how to use SketchUp well. The only thing I would say for anyone interested is that this course is very computer reliant. All these programs are PC only, which meant I had to run them on Bootcamp for Mac which was a bit complicated. There were also a lot of cases where, as some of these programs are still a bit buggy, the programs would not work and people therefore had a lot of problems completing the courseworks. There’s a computer room on campus with these programs installed but apparently there were a lot of difficulties with those computers as well.
The exam for this course was quite easy. I asked the teacher about this, as I thought that this course was evaluated 100% exam. It turns out he only used the exam as a formal check just to make sure people were not simply copying other peoples’ courseworks. The majority of the grade was based on the courseworks. Again, no feedback was given the coursework which was annoying, but that is about the only bad thing I can say about that course. I really enjoyed it.

In the end, I quite enjoyed Energy & Sustainability. The teaching was not very good, so it relied a lot on the subject being self-taught. When reading it on your own, I found the subject really interesting. The biggest negative about the course was that it was way too much work for 5 credits, with two large pieces of coursework. I described the first assignment in my previous blog, so I won’t write about it again. The second assignment was less work heavy and consisted of performing a lifecycle assessment on a combination of renewable energy systems. We then had to create a poster about this. Our group won a prize for ours. This was one of the few modules where I was happy with my group.
The exam for this course was quite bizarre. It was an electronic exam which meant the exam was taken and answered on your laptop you brought to the exam hall. It was pretty much like taking a written exam but more annoying as it would take ages to type out equations etc. I didn’t see any point in having the exam be electronic as there were no really complicated calculations or real need to use Excel.
To summarize, for this course you do need a real prior interest in sustainability and the environment as the teachers do not really get you enthusiastic about it. I enjoyed it and I do think engineers should take courses like these as an understanding about the taught topics are, in my opinion, really important and a I would expect an even heavier focus on sustainability to become more common in the building industry.

Finally, I also took a 3-week intensive course in January called Environmental Engineering in Developing Countries. This was a very enjoyable course, very different from what we’re used to back in Bath. At the beginning of the course, we were assigned groups and a location either in India or Tanzania that we were going to act as an NGO for and provide sanitation and water supply solutions. What was good about this course was that it was very hands-on. This was largely down to being assigned a real location where we were intervening and that we were really acting as a real NGO. Be warned however that these 3-week courses are very intense, with normal working hours being 9-5 every day. Everyday basically consisted of a short lecture in the morning followed by groupwork for the rest of the day. The first two weeks were spent on coming up with what sanitation and water supply solutions were the most suitable and economical for our area. The final week was spent drafting an application for funding to carry the project, giving an impression of what work within an NGO is really like. It was also really enlightening to talk with the teacher and assistants about the personal experiences of work both in the project areas or elsewhere such as South Sudan.
This course was made available to both bachelor and master students meaning the level of English was not always great as bachelor students are taught in Danish. Everyone in my group were bachelor students. As I speak Swedish we ended up just speaking Danish within the group and gave me some good language practice. I got along really well with the group, the only downside was that none of the others were used to writing in English which meant I ended up proofreading and rewriting other peoples’ sections in the reports we produced.
These courses also seemed much less formal than normal ones as you see the same group of people everyday for three weeks straight. During the first day the lecturer brought his guitar and played a song as part of his presentation and he also arranged a course party during the first week which I sadly couldn’t attend but heard it was good fun.

Lastly, one thing I would like to also talk about is hteir feedback system which was quite different from back in Bath and seemed to be quite an important thing for DTU with teachers taking the feedback very seriously. We were asked to halfway through and at the end of a course to evaluate it and provide feedback, not very different from Bath. What was different however was feedback sessions were held during lectures, summarizing the received feedback, creating a open discussion between lecturer and students where they could voice their opinion. I really enjoyed this as I felt we as students had more say in how things were done, it felt as we had a much greater impact on the course. I felt this also us as students care more about the course and our education.

 

Post Five: End of Exchange

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📥  Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, Undergraduate

I think it would only be correct to write an overall summary of being a part of an exchange scheme. I would say overall I had a excellent time, I made some great friends and learnt a lot whilst at the University. Although I complained quite a bit about the accommodation, it was quite poor, it was however good to live in college dormitory with my friends, probably the main reason I stayed. It is nice to live with thirty or so friends and a chance to create a friends group. One of my concerns moving to Denmark was that it would be difficult to make friends but this definitely was not the case and was assisted by the living. It’s probably worth pointing out, I did not meet a single English person at the University. There were a few, maybe three, in the rugby club. There are a lot of Spanish, Germans and Norwegians, and Danish (obviously), but they are all good fun and friendly none the less.

However, a few negatives whilst being on exchange. I had zero grasp of the language, I tried but failed.  The language is not too hard to read but to speak is incredibly difficult. I would try and say the basics but it would result in a volley of Danish back and I would have to say ‘Sorry, I can only speak English’. Although not a huge problem as every Dane I met spoke perfect English, I could not understand anything going on around me, which feels a little strange for six months. The other slight negative is that the exchange is in the final year, it is worth quite a lot of to my overall degree and is quite a risk. I ‘think’ I have good grades overall but we shall see in due course. Overall this means that you do actually have to work and work quite hard at that. I would describe the work load similar to second semester third year.

I thought it would be good to briefly talk about some misconceptions. Everyone I spoke to before coming out here said either ‘the weather is awful’ or ‘its very expensive’. Yes it is expensive, the prices are similar to Bath or London. However, careful budgeting should deal with this just fine. On a side note, I am writing this post on my flight back to England, the flight cost 39dkk (£3.90!!) (standard airfare), so at least the international transport is cheap. The weather being awful is not exactly true. I would generally say the weather is better than in England. There are long periods of clear skies and sunny weather, followed by shorter periods of bad weather. However, when it does rain, it really rains. Equally, January was cold, lows of -15deg at night and -10deg during the day. This meant that we got a lot of snow!

With respect to the teaching at DTU, it is a little hit and miss. Some lecturers are great and are always willing to help and spend extra time trying to help. Some are less so. The content of lectures are a little different, with most lectures requiring a lot of pre-reading in order for the lecture to make sense. Also, it is probably worth mentioning that what you expect in a course from the course description is not the same as what is taught or the style of teaching. This can make starting at the University a little confusing.

In conclusion, I would say if you are willing to try out something a bit different to Bath, meet new people, live in an amazing city and cycle a lot (!) I would highly recommend the exchange. Please read the previous posts as they give more of an idea about the teaching and learning. Sorry I did not post more! If you want more information about my experience living abroad please do not hesitate to contact me. My email is eann20@bath.ac.uk or social media. I hope these posts helped!

 

End of Exchange - Final Day

End of Exchange - Final Day

 

Post Four: January Course

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📥  Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, Undergraduate

The intensive January course sure did live up to the name, it was intensive. I took Environmental Engineering in Developing Countries as I have an interest in persuing some NGO work post-University. The course was split into  small teams and each team focused on an area in India or Africa. The course aimed to educate about hygiene and sanitation problems in those areas and was assessed by reports and an overall application for funding.

At the start I thought it would be great to only have one course and my sole focus was on that module, as did many feel the same way. However, after spending three weeks of just focusing on the design of a water project, I felt I needed a change. The course was very interesting and the lecturer very helpful, he even threw us a party on the first week and provided free drinks, in return we had to cook!

The work involved creating a technical report of our proposed solutions and subsequent reasonings and calculations. The technical report was further supplimented with three working papers. After the technical report, we had to produce a 15 page application for funding to a Danish Government Ministry. So quite a lot of work in total!

The lecturer also held a small competition for the best drawings, presentations and reports. Our team won one of the prizes for best drawing was awarded 200dkk (£20).  Bearing in mind we had just worked on a project in a area with low income, we decided to give our winnings to a charity working in the area.

I would say overall, I would highly recommend this course, however there is quite a lot of work to do but is a great chance to do something a little different and still apply our engineering knowledge.

 

Frozen Lakes - Peblinge Sø

Frozen Lakes - Peblinge Sø

 

Post Three: Before Christmas

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📥  Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, Undergraduate

Hello,

I am very conscious that I have not posted for quite some time, I think it would be best to provide a general overview of the exchange programme and elaborate a little on each module, explaining a little about the course.

Following my last post we had a one week semester break in October to relax a little after the first 6 weeks. There was a great event on the last day of term called Kulturnatten where the city was opened up and you could visit places that are normally closed to the public, for example Parliament, military bases or the UN Head Office. The city was full and there was free food on open fire pits, free drinks on boats and street parties. The event ran from 3pm to 5am and was an excellent way to see another side of the city and see attractions you would not normally see. I decided to spend  the remainder of the break to visit the city some more and catch up on my work.

The second half of the term however was very intensive with multiple hand ins each week, mid term exams and many presentations. I would describe the work load as rather heavy and gave little time to really appreciate the exchange. The final three weeks of term were especially difficult with exams and coursework ongoing at the same time. Thankfully I finished on the 18th December and a group of friends came over to visit (the flight cost 50dkk or £5 each, very cheap). The one key benefit of exams before the Christmas break was that there was no work to be completed over the holiday. It was a time to rest and recuperate before the intensive January course.... and visit the Christmas Market.

Christmas Market

 

I also played rugby for DTU 1st XV later in the term in the last game of the season. We played a team called Hundested, a team in the North of the island. They were top of 1st division and we were playing in the quarter finals. I played in the second row position for the full game (I am not built for that). The final score was unfortunately 3-64 to Hundested. We were taught a lesson and took quite a battering unfortunately. I had an okay game and put in some good tackles and made a few good runs but this was not good enough to change the score line. In my opinion, joining the rugby club was a great decision as I got to meet a lot of new people and play sport as part of a team. Although I did pick up a few injuries, it was great social and great fitness.

I will go through each of the modules explain what I thought about each, in no particular order.

Transport, Economics, Planning, Organisation and policy

Although the title is a bit long winded, it was an excellent management module and made me really think about policy implementation. The module was focused around a central piece of coursework, about 15,000 words in length, with lectures from people in industry. Lecturers included CEO's of public bodies, Operations Directors and senior researchers. Although not strictly civil engineering it was still a really good module to understand the processes and difficulties in implementing policies. We also got the chance to go to the Danish Parliament and see areas closed to the public, in addition, we also had a two hour meeting with the current Transport Minister.

 

Danish Parliment

 

Smart Connected Liveable Cities

Probably my favourite module. The module focused on urban planning and the various sections that need to be considered in the design of a city. The course was rather 'holistic' and used slightly different methods of assessment than normal. There were six small courseworks that were completed generally in class. There was one reading assignment, where we had to review a utopian or dystopian book. We also had a writing assignment where we had to right a short story, 5000 words, about the development and growth of a city in the next 100 years. The story had to incorporate all the values taught earlier in the course. We also had a number of visits to various parts of the Copenhagen region. These were also very interesting and aided the learning intentions of the course. I would highly recommend this course!

Fire Structural Design

Fire structural design is exactly as it sounds. The design of various structural elements under a fire load, applying eurocode and including the Danish and Swedish annex. The module builds upon what is taught in structures 1,2 and 3 plus structural design and construction but not too heavily. All is explained well and the supplementary notes and textbook are very helpful. Although the tutorials were very difficult and took quite some time to understand, if you do take this course persevere with the tutorials, you will get there! The lecturer was very good and has appeared on National Geographic a number of times. The module was not too difficult and developed my structural engineering skills. I would recommend this course!

Water Resources Management
Water resources management was probably by far the hardest and least satisfying module. The module focused on solving water shortages on the North China Plain.  The coursework was centred around matlab programming at a much higher level than that I had been taught, using optimisation operators within a dynamic script linked with a function for over 25 variables. We received quite a lot of assistance but this did not really help in producing a quality piece of work.

The mid term exam was equally not good as it was negatively marked. Overall I would say to a prospective Bath student to avoid this module. There is little or nothing taught at Bath that relates to this module. It greatly sapped any time that I had and I spent nearly every day working on the programmes.

Bridge Engineering

I would unfortunately say that this class is on the same level as water resources management. The course was poorly explained, examination method was highly unfair and no help provided. I hoped that this module would develop on what was taught at Bath by Mark but did little to develop our bridge engineering skills. The courseworks focused upon our ability to plug numbers into complex equations to provide an answer that had little or no meaning. Equally, I would avoid this course.

Apologies for the two bits of negativity but I feel it is important to explain the course. I am in the process of completing an intensive January course. I will post an overall review of exchange in the next fortnight or so.

 

First post from DTU in Copenhagen

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📥  Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, Undergraduate

Author: Adam Engstrom


Hi there! My name is Adam and this will be my first entry about my time on Erasmus at DTU in Copenhagen. I decided to give my stay some time before posting my first time so I had a better idea and impression of my stay so far both at and outside of university.

Best place to start is probably our Introduction Week at university. This week was sort of like a Freshers week for all international and Erasmus to get to know each other. We were split into groups and paired with a "buddy", a current student who is there to offer guidance throughout our stay. During this week we got familiar with the layout of campus, sorting out things like residence permits and seeing Copenhagen. Most of these days ended with a couple of beers if people were up for it, which I would suggest you do.

buddy group My Buddy Group

This week was a lot of fun, though never got really crazy. That we got assigned a buddy for the entire semester is really good. My buddy is a lot of fun and has organised events for us all to join in nearly every week, such as dinners and parties on campus. My buddy group has not been keen on every event, which is a shame, but can't fault my buddy for trying. The only thing about this week that was a bit of a shame was that it didn't really allow for us to get to meet the rest of the people living in our dorm, like you would at Freshers where you hang out with your housemates for a week.

In terms of housing, Elliot, the other civil engineer from Bath, and I share a room in the dorm Hyrdevangen 9. Sharing a room is not ideal but we make it work. The block in itself is quite nice although it's missing a good big social space to hang out with other students. The university is a little over 10 km North and the center of Copenhagen being at most 5km away. I normally cycle to university but there is otherwise a bus stop really close by which will take you about 40 mins to get to campus. The only issue with public transport is the price, I would say, with a return journey to campus running you about 50 dkk or £5. It would have been fun to live at one of the campus dorms but being close to the city center also has its perks.

I will now talk a little about how I find my courses. At Bath, I study civil & architectural engineering but while here, I chose courses that I thought looked interesting and a bit different from what was being taught back at the home university. I study Bridge Structures, Daylighting & Lighting Design, Building Services - Integrated Design, Energy & Sustainability and Smart, Connected and Liveable Cities. I will then participate in a 3-week course in January called Environmental Engineering in Developing Countries.

Bridge Structures is quite a good course, with bits of knowledge being added to what was previously taught in year 3. Building Services is a 100% coursework module, where in groups we have to design a new low-energy teaching block meant to be situated on campus. This also quite interesting, since we learn how to use the energy modelling program IDA. These lectures usually consists of a 2-hour group work/tutorial before having a lecture. These lectures can be a bit dull as they usually center around how to use the design software. I am really interested in lighting design so I was very excited about doing a course solely centered on it. I don't really have much to say about this course, I'm enjoying it. It's set up so we have a 1-2 hour lecture and are then given a tutorial to do, learning how to use various lighting design programs. The only "problem" is that it is taught on a Friday afternoon, meaning friends will start meeting up at the student bars before your lecture finishes.

My two other courses are quite different from what is taught in Bath. In Energy & Sustainability  we have been taught about the principles of sustainability and how various climatic systems are affected by global warming, renewable energy sources and will later be taught about life-cycle assessments. The subjects, taught in themselves, have been really interesting as the environment and a sustainable future is something I really care about. Unfortunately, the course is not taught particularly well and is a lot of work. It used to be a 10 credit course and has been made into a 5 credit course but the workload doesn't really reflect this. For this course, we have had to write a group report where envisaged a better future and determined steps to realize this vision.  Although our group got on really well, I was not overly impressed by the effort some of my teammates put into it. Nevertheless, I would suggest this course, or a similar one called Feasibility of Renewable Energy Systems, for all engineers. Either because, like me they're already interested in this topic or to just get the mindset of always striving for a sustainable design/future.

So far, my favorite course has probably been Smart, Connected and Liveable Cities. I expected this course to be about city-planning and quite technical but was suprised to find that it was something completely different. The course is more philosophical and tries to answer the question of makes a city great (or even a city). I really enjoy the broad scope of this module, where one week we talk about waste management and the other alternative transport systems. The classes are quite interactive, where we usually have to prepare and present a topic during a lecture. The assignments are also quite different from what we're used to. We have to write a book report on a novel depicting a dystopian future and will also have to write a short story about our own created dystopia.

If you haven't already noticed, the teaching methods and lecture setups are quite different. Lectures run from 8-12 and 13-17 but usually only half of this time is assigned to a lecture, with the rest assigned to tutorials where students from the past year are around to help out. I'm not a huge fan of the 8am starts as even though if I don't have a lecture in the afternoon I'm usually exhausted and struggle to get much work done afterwards. When picking modules, their teaching times are already included which means you have to pick modules which creates a schedule with no clashes. This is easier said than done. I am quite happy with my final schedule, I have Tuesdays off and lie-ins on Thursdays and Fridays. You're also expected to do much more reading on your own than is usually expected back in Bath, with teachers posting loads of material which you're expected to read before the next lecture. It is of course not obligatory but definitely makes you understand the next lecture better.

I think that's enough about university for now. So now I will write a little about my impressions outside of study.

First thing you have to do when moving here is to get a bike. It is by far the best way to get around and the best way to see the city. There is a used bike sale up at DTU during the first week, which is where I got mine. You won't find a race bike or similar at these sales but you will find reliable and sturdy bikes which you can return to the seller when moving and get at least half of what you paid for it back. Biking makes it super-easy to nip into town or go to campus.

So far, I'm really enjoying Copenhagen as a city. It has a very relaxed feel to it with loads of things to visit and see. It has probably helped that I already knew some locals before moving here who I have been meeting up with quite a lot who have shown me some of the cooler, less touristy spots. I am Swedish but have not lived there since I was three so living in a Scandinavian country is an exciting experience. In terms of language, I usually get by speaking in Swedish. Otherwise most people speak English.

Social life on campus is very different from Bath. Of course, you don't have to drink to have fun but I seriously suggest that if you go here you do enjoy it. The university culture is heavily centered around drinking beer with campus having up to ten different bars, situated inside departmental buildings, meaning you can do bar crawls during a night without having to even leave campus! It is quite strange that it is normal to have bars open right next to lecture rooms and it being acceptable for students to be passed in hallways or bringing in beers to lectures. These bars are always really cheap as well, usually about 3£ for four beers and every last friday of the month they have clearance and all beers cost 50p each. They love a drink here, with sessions usually starting at just past noon and going into the early hours of morning, so you do need to pace yourself!

There are lots of events for Erasmus students to take part in with societies like the ESN organizing loads of trips to place like Norway, Lappland and within Denmark. These trips are often during term time however and as our grades count while we're here can't afford to take a week off.

I spend a lot of my free time doing sports. The university has some clubs but comes nowhere near offering the same variety as in Bath. They don't have a floorball team so I have joined a local team who trains just around the corner from the dorm. I would definitely recommend doing some form of sport as it's a great way to meet new people and also practice Danish. I've played quite a few matches since starting which has been loads of fun. The only shame has been that these matches have been on Sundays which has meant sitting out dorm parties which are usually on Saturdays meaning I've not gotten to know our neighbors as much as I'd like to.

I think that's all I have to say for now, so far I'm enjoying my time here but hope to see even more of the city as I have not done all the touristy things yet.