Petar Dimitrov Petrov

7 BIG QUESTIONS - 7 GOOD ANSWERS

Name: Petar Dimitrov Petrov

Country of origin: Bulgaria

Field of study: BA in Marketing and Management Communication

 

What is the best thing about being a student at Aarhus University?

This would be the hardest one for me if I thought about the answer  let‘s say a week ago. It is difficult to answer when you are a bachelor student and you are in the beginning of your first university experience ever. Fortunately, I had the unique possibility to visit a friend studying in London last week (University College London).  His university is considered to be one of the world leaders when it comes to Economics major. I was very curious to be present at a lecture there, see the study places, library and get the feel of the atmosphere as a whole - especially in an university with such high reputation. Nevertheless, I was not that impressed. And after thinking about why, I came to an unexpected - for me - answer. I‘ve never actually had the possibility to compare my University with another. Aarhus University resulted to be way more technologically advanced, way more study friendly with all those available study places, libraries that have 24/7 access. The university campus is placed in the heart of the city while at the same time in a wonderful and somehow natural park. This is a huge advantage that I didn‘t consider at all until I faced the concrete building ‘nature’ in London. I feel that I have space for thought and I certainly feel more inspired and creative in a place like Aarhus.

Another thing that I appreciate is the high levels of cooperation promoted between students and students-teachers involved in the studies. This approach may be sometimes hard to execute especially when it comes to student-student relationships but it’s definitely more rewarding when its successful than the ‘everybody for himself’ approach. In the university where I went, there is a fierce competition encouraged. It is hard to determine whether it is beneficial or harmful for the students’ motivation but I can most certainly say that the cooperation approach installed here in Aarhus makes me feel good, protected and I can see its relation to real-world team-based work scenarios in the future. I also believe that stress is lowered when cooperation and support are part of the organization culture than merely bottom line results and competition. Even though it is hard to argue which approach is better in general, I can firmly say that the balance between cooperation and autonomy that Aarhus University tries to achieve appeals to me more (sometimes I wish more competition but not as fierce as I experienced in London).

What worries did you have before applying?

My main concern before I applied wasn’t whether this is the right programme for me. I carefully checked the programme structure, I came here a year ago before applying to see the university myself, I contacted another Bulgarian who luckily graduated the same bachelor and who gave me valuable insight. The thing that has always been a concern for me maybe until I made that trip to London, was whether Aarhus University is as recognized and established not so much in regards to rankings but in the sense of worldwide companies and employers recognition. I want to pursue an international career and I want to build the foundation of that here in Denmark.

I had no doubt about the education’s quality but I was concerned about the perception of AU in the outside world i.e. how to convince friends and employers in future that the “brand” Aarhus University (BSS especially) is a head start? After the trip I realized that Aarhus University outperforms with a lot the study environment in UCL (of course having in mind my limited information about the other place and the fact that I can’t be entirely objective as if I were an outside observer for example).

What is the biggest difference between studying at Aarhus University and where you studied before (please include where you studied before)?

Please see answer to question 1.

What would you like to have known before applying?

I would have and still want more clear and accessible information when it comes to student ‘societies’ (clubs) focused on financial/economical/political/business issues. Also, the flow of information about events, possibilities, careers, companies etc. is a bit confusing meaning that I wish it was a bit more centralized. I understand that it is hard and maybe even impossible to put all the information coming from one channel, however, I believe that the less dispersed it is, the more the students will be able to find things not so much by chance but by focused interest.

Please give 3 good tips to keeping living costs down as a student in Denmark

First and most important: build the habit of cooking yourself (preferably things that you can eat multiple times throughout the week). The life of an international student is very dynamic, from lectures to tutorials to Danish classes straight to the gym or other hobbies and so on. Therefore you must be prepared as much as possible with food during the day, otherwise it will cost a fortune eating outside everyday even in the canteens where the prices are student-friendly.

Second tip might be to buy meat when it is on sale and put packages in the freezer. You do not save considerable amounts from that but it is easy and it’s still something. There is a convenient app called “Minetilbud” that gives you access to all the leaflets of different supermarkets and stores. It’s convenient and even fun to hunt for the best offers from time to time, in the bus for example.

Third: If you are lucky enough to live in the centre or close to the university, you can save up to 375dkk for bus transport a month. It’s true that the rents are usually more expensive but have in mind that sunk cost when searching for an accommodation. The 375dkk bus card is monthly and it is for 1,2 and 3 zones which cover up the whole city area. It is the cheapest option if you travel at least twice per day. If you live near the university or in the centre, or if you don’t have a problem biking up and down the hills of Aarhus, then a bike is definitely a good investment to make.

Fourth: Make yourself a daily budget and stick to it (for example 100DKK). It is easy to navigate that way. For instance when I go below my budget maximum for the day, I know I have more funds for entertainment during Friday night and the weekend. This is crucial for me and I can say that except rare occasions, I’ve never went over my weekly budget.

What is it like to study and live in Aarhus and in Denmark?

The study life in Aarhus is a strange combination between lively and dynamic, and relaxing, calm and peaceful. I’ve thought of this so many times and I can firmly say that the city has a unique atmosphere. You can chose at any time to be either highly social and involved with any kind of activities, both in university or in the city as a whole, or have a relaxing walk at the seashore/in one of the many wonderful parks that are more natural and unspoiled than anywhere I’ve been. You have different choices for different state of mind and mood. That’s delightful and distinctive. About Denmark, I like the way the Danish society works. I like how humble the people are and the way they respect everyone. I am not provoked in any negative way here; sometimes I even catch myself smiling for no reason. And with all my respect to Mr. Shakespeare, I can’t see what is ‘rotten’ here - though salty liquorice is something impossible to like if you come from outside Scandinavia.

What are your plans after you graduate?

My plans for the future are rather vague but I have some vision to take my masters in Denmark (Aarhus or CBS) and then pursue a career in one of the big international companies that are here. I really hope that the link university-to-job will become easier as I climb up the ladder to the master’s level and then graduating. Right now, at the bachelor level, the chance of getting an internship/study job relevant to my studies is close to zero without knowing the Danish language.