Hi! I’m typing this blog-post? with information I think that’s useful to anyone going to SDU for an exchange! Hope it helps and feel free to contact me if you’ve got any questions!
About my GEXP
My GEXP was at the University of Southern Denmark located in Odense, Denmark. I left Singapore on 28th January and arrived back home on 4th July.
Upon landing at Copenhagen airport, I bought a train ticket to Odense from Copenhagen airport (If you want cheaper rates, I’d suggest buying them in advance online from dsb.dk but do plan for possible delays in your flight). As my move in date for my dormitory started on Feb 1st, I stayed at an Airbnb for a couple of days before subsequently moving into Rasmus Rask Kollegiet, the biggest dormitory in Odense.
Studying in a different university was an interesting experience where I took 3 master level courses and 1 bachelor course. Funnily, I found the latter course, which had 3 sessions weekly, to be the toughest compared to the other 3 master level courses which only had 1 session a week.
The 3 master courses comprised of projects and oral exams that I found relatively reasonable to complete. On the other hand, the bachelor level course was challenging and more like the standard that I was used to. It consisted of an individual project and a 4 hour written exam.
Apart from the anomaly of the bachelor course, I found the experience of studying overseas to be more relaxed but that could also be attributed to grades being converted to pass/fail grade in my home university.
I also enjoyed some of the group projects that enabled me to interact with individuals of various backgrounds.
On most days, I ate breakfast and dinner at home and ate lunch at school. In general, unless you’ve got a high budget, I’d avoid eating out as it’s expensive, by Singapore standards. Groceries however are bit more reasonably priced and I’d recommend saving money to travel instead of eating out!
There are 3 main canteens and 2 café shops located at SDU. 2 canteens and 2 café shops are located in the main building while 1 of the canteens are located at the TEK building. Personally, I preferred eating at the TEK building as they offered freshly served hot food for a relatively low price of 35kr compared to the other canteens. Another pro tip: the café shop closer to SDU tram station sells a bag of unsold bakery items before they close up. It’s a really good deal!
I’d also suggest downloading Too Good to Go app which “lets you rescue unsold food at your favorite spots from an untimely fate”.
Most people cycle here, and you can consider buying a second hand bike from Facebook Marketplace, etc. In fact, you can bring in your cycle into buses/trams and they even have reserved areas.
However, as I was not used to the cold and stayed pretty far from campus, I ended up choosing public transportation instead.
While the trams have a good frequency, I can’t say the same for the buses. It’s important to plan your travel times in advance especially if you don’t stay near a tram station.
If you do decide to travel using public transportation, buy an hourly student ticket for trams and buses from https://webshop.fynbus.dk/ or download the fynbus app. If you get caught without a ticket (especially by conductors who check on trams), you might face some hefty fines!
If you’re travelling to school everyday, I’d suggest purchasing a monthly pass from the FYNbus office (located at Odense Central Station) as it might be more worth it.
I personally hadn’t experienced such cold before, so for me, I found the initial month or 2 to be pretty cold requiring 2-3 layers of clothing. It didn’t really snow while I was there, but there were occasionally some drizzles, so I’d advise wearing a windbreaker or carrying an umbrella.
To be honest, I had mixed feelings about the place. It did have basic necessities in a room namely- a heater, window, table/ shelf (that you need to assemble), a thin mattress, a small side table and 2 chairs.
You share a kitchen (with induction stove, fridge) and a toilet/shower with another person
- Has really cool facilities including a sauna, gym and bar (with a pool table, dart board, etc)
- Laundry and dryer system was smooth and was directly added to monthly bill
- Generally quiet and away from the road
- Park/ Nature nearby, nice place to jog/ walk.
- Janitor is really responsive and any faulty items are swapped out quickly
- It’s far from everything really…
- You’ve got to time the bus that takes you the tram station if not the next bus could take a while.
- You could alternatively cycle to the tram stop.
- There’s barely any furniture included (different rooms have different layouts)
- I had no curtains, wardrobe and I found the mattress provided to be thin
- Found the heater to be ineffective. (Might be because I’m not used to the cold)
All in all, I eventually got used to the accommodation and fortunately had a tidy housemate. I’ve heard of other exchange students who managed to request a change in dorm before accepting the tenant agreement and if you’re super picky, I’d advise you to do so too.
I managed to travel to 10 countries around Europe during my GEXP. While I thought that was plenty I heard of exchange students who travelled to 15-20 different countries, so do use this opportunity to travel, travel, travel!
While travelling in a group is definitely more fun, safer and cheaper, sometimes schedules don’t align up, so if you’re open to it, a solo trip can be a fun adventure too! That’s what I ended up doing in Spain and Portugal where I did a solo roadtrip and I had a memorable experience. Speaking of roadtrips, they’re really a great way to see a country’s nature with more flexibility.
I had a great time and definitely had no regrets. Make good use of this opportunity to travel around Europe!