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Education at the University of Copenhagen

Good day. My name is Akhasaev Oleg, and I was lucky to participate in the program of academic mobility of Erasmus Mundus IAMONET project in the academic year of 2008/09. I studied at the University of Copenhagen and I would like to share my personal experience of participation in the program and the lessons learnt while living in Denmark.

It's been my first time in Copenhagen, and of course I ran into difficulties. It was a problem for me to adapt to a new place with unfamiliar culture and customs, but the Danish courses that I attended in January, helped me a lot in my interaction with many international students and wonderful Danish people, whom I would like to speak about separately.

Externally enclosed and severe, the Danes were exceptionally friendly, smiling and sociable people, and I would sound strange but I found that they have much in common with Russian people, but more responsible and punctual. After living for several months among these people, I got used to some of their customs – I was no longer late for meetings, became more responsible to various assignments. Unfortunately, here back home because of this, I always come first, and so I have to wait for a long time. However, despite this so called disadvantage, I learned that lesson for life.

My second experience in living in Denmark, happened completely unexpected. My friends and I were walking through the park in search of a place somewhere to play the guitar and sing songs and passing by a cheerful group of guys, we saw that they were smiling at us. We were surprised but smiled back and they invited us to join them. We had a wonderful day playing football and singing songs to the guitar until sunset. It turned out that the oldest in this company was 15 years old! But despite this big age difference and the language barrier - their English was horrible, as well as our Danish, we had a wonderful experience of this communication. We sang Russian songs, and they gave us Danish. So my second lesson is: "Keep smiling, because the smile brings people together."

And finally, I would like to talk about the latest and most important lesson I learnt. In the educational systems of Denmark and Russia there are many differences. First in teaching methods: group work is very common there, the use of modern IT during lectures and practical classes. Second: much time is given to students independent studies. Lecture materials are placed in the lecturer's web page and students should read them and be ready for the discussion during the lesson. These unusual for Russia methods, as well as my entire life in Copenhagen helped me understand the following: "Cultural and scientific exchanges help to look at many things, on the other hand, from new point of view".

That's all I wanted to tell you today. Thank you for your attention and patience.