Reflections on Studying Abroad at the Copenhagen Business School

Guest Post By: Accounting & IS Senior Conner York. He is a Global Business Center Study Abroad Scholarship Recipient who participated in an exchange program at the Copenhagen Business School in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Going on exchange in Copenhagen was an amazing experience. This was my first time outside of North America and taking the time to travel around Europe allowed me to experience cultures and cities that I will take with me for the rest of my life. On top of that, studying at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) exposed me to an educational system very different from the one at UW, which pushed me to become a better student.

At CBS, education is very self-driven, as professors for the most part do not direct your learning but simply show up to class and discuss the topics that you are supposed to be learning from textbooks and other materials. Expectations are not as clearly laid out, and the grade for the entire class lies on one final examination. This was initially intimidating as a student coming from UW where professors direct classes more and provide midterms, homework, and group projects to establish expectations. This educational “culture-shock” caught up with me in my first class when I received a lower grade than I wished. However, that wake-up call showed me that I wasn’t doing enough and drove me to figure out how to become more self-driven. I studied harder for my finals in December and received much better grades in the end. This experience definitely helped me become a better student by placing me in a different educational style and pushing me to own my education.

While I had some difficulties with the education part of this exchange, meeting other international students and exploring Denmark was the best part of the experience. I lived in a dorm with sixty other international students, and a group of about ten of us became very close and went on many adventures together. We took bike-rides into the countryside to find famous troll statues, went to the amusement park in downtown Copenhagen, explored castles in other towns, and took a weekend trip to Finland to visit Santa’s Village. Our group is still close and continues to talk on our WhatsApp group chat. I would highly recommend any future CBS exchange students to live in the dorms, as this was a very rewarding experience and led to lasting relationships.

All in all, I loved my exchange to Denmark. While the academics had a difficult learning curve, it ended up making me a better student, and the opportunity to meet and befriend other national students is worthwhile and fosters relationships that will last a lifetime.