We welcome back Blond Kavaja, Erza Selmani and Fatbardha Gashi from their recent study exchange in Denmark!
Three of our Public Service Management (PSM) students recently returned from a three-month study exchange at University College Lillebaelt, Denmark. IBCM international exchanges like these are made possible through ERASMUS+ exchange mobility funding, which provides students with financial support for transport and accommodation.
We chatted to Blond, Erza and Fatbardha about their experience as students in Denmark: how they settled in; what was being a student like; and how this amazing opportunity has changed their lives.
“Student exchange is an opportunity to do and see things you could never dream of… just do it!
First of all, tell us how you got the opportunity to apply for an Erasmus+ Exchange Scholarship?
Blond: The Erasmus+ exchange programme was presented to us to by IBCM’s International Relations coordinator, who informed us about the criteria for being selected.
Fatbardha: To be accepted, we had to have good academic standing, a good attendance record, knowledge of the English language and to demonstrate cross cultural competencies
What was the role of IBCM during the application process?
Blond: During the process IBCM helped us in many ways such as finding more information so we could be totally prepared, also the IBCM staff helped us to prepare documents get access to Erasmus+ funds order to make it easier to move there.
Fatbardha: Well, without IBCM, Europe would be just another dream.
What was your first impression of Denmark and its people when you arrived there?
Fatbarda: My first days in Denmark were a crazy combination of terrified and excited feelings! There were too many things that surprised me in the beginning, like, where will I buy food or how will I cook, how will I be the bike master, how will I make friends or simply how will I be able to get included in Danish society and culture? But people in Denmark were ready to help and willing to accept international students so it was not a huge problem, even though their traditions and their lifestyle is so different from ours.
What was different or similar about being a student at IBCM and University College Lillebaelt?
Erza: In learning methods, IBCM and UCL do not differ a lot. Presentations, guest speakers, field trips are the main ways of studying in both colleges.
Fatbardha: One of the similarities I noticed was that they both work with the idea “From theory to Practice”, which is great for us as students because it provides higher opportunities for a brighter future.
Can you share with us some of the subjects or projects you were involved in during your exchange period at University College Lillebaelt?
Ezra: I would to mention the analysis we did of the minority issue between Germans in Denmark, and Danish people in Germany, and the border control because of the refugees. We visited some of the German institutions in Denmark, and Danish institutions in Germany, to explore this phenomenon.
Fatbardha: The project that I would like to mention is the project about “Kosovar and Danish Families with Children in Poverty”. I worked with Danish students where we discussed the conditions of poor families in Kosovo and Denmark, how families are affected by poverty. We made different kind of researches to figure out how these two countries face poverty.
If you could choose only one memory from this trip to Denmark, which one would you choose and why?
Erza: It is beyond hard to choose only one, but I would chose the traditional dinner we had in class. We had to bring traditional food from our countries, talk about them, discuss and enjoy each other’s food, with professors. I had so much fun, maybe because I am a food lover! It was amazing having Chinese, Spanish, Ukrainian, Danish and Albanian food on only one table, knowing that their recipes have passed through generations.
Blond: Apart from the friends there who form a big part of my memories, I would also mention the short internships, where I had the chance to learn about the international working environment and methods which I think will help me a lot in professional aspect.
Finally, based on your personal experience, what would you say to the other students who are planning to go on exchange programs abroad?
Erza: Go for it!!! Maybe in the beginning you will cry for going, but if you go out, make new friends, explore the city and enjoy to the fullest, in the end I am sure that you will cry for leaving.
Blond: Based on my personal experience I had there, I will strongly encourage students to take a chance and do it. While it would help them a lot in many ways; it will make them more independent and ready for the outside world.
Fatbardha: Just do it! Student exchange is the opportunity to do and see things you could never dream of. Gain a second family, new friends and become a local in another culture.
Thank you Blond, Fatbardha and Erza for taking the time to talk to us, and welcome back to IBCM!
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