My Name is Pascal D’Andrea and I am studying Mechanical Engineering at the ZHAW School of Engineering in Winterthur. I spent my 4th semester at the Aarhus University in Denmark as an exchange Student. Since I really enjoy meeting new people it was a great opportunity for me to participate in an exchange semester. Nowadays it is important to be able to work and communicate with people from all around the world. Therefore, I decided to apply for a semester abroad not only to have a great time and meet new people but also to enhance my ability to work with international people and improve my English.
My idea was to spend one semester in Europe and one in either Asia or America. Since most Universities in America and Asia start their spring semester in the beginning of January it was easier to stay first in Europe. The Aarhus University offered me one of the most interesting study programs and therefore it was an easy decision form me.
The department where I studied was housed on a new, modern campus. The building was right at the harbor and we had sea view from our lecture halls. Various workshops, laboratories and test centers were also available to the students on the lower floors. However, the building was not only reserved for the university, there were various small companies, startups and the port authority on the upper floors. This was helpful for students who could work on projects with the startups or even gave them the opportunity to write their bachelor’s thesis at a company on campus.
The lecturers in Aarhus were very professional, but not as helpful as at the ZHAW. At Aarhus University, the integration of practical work has a very high priority. A practical part was planned in four out of five modules. However, due to the Corona virus, this had to be canceled because we would have needed access to the laboratories and workshops. This was a shame, of course, but the lecturers found other ways to explain the subject in a practical way.
The integration for international students was excellent. An event for the international students was organized every Tuesday (before the Corona Lockdown), for example a pizza evening or a bowling tournament. On Fridays the Danish students invited us to various student bars. Each department has its own student bar, so you could get to know other students from other departments. Thanks to the excellent integration of the international students, I was able to make many new friends from all over the world.
I recommend everyone to do an exchange semester at Aarhus University. It involves a certain degree of independence. Since the lecturers are not as helpful and motivated as at the ZHAW, you have to get important information yourself and teach yourself certain topics in self-study.
I am very grateful that the ZHAW gives us the opportunity to have such an experience and would definitely do it again