Debora studies social education at the university college Copenhagen in Denmark and spend the summer term 2013 as a student at ASH Berlin.
Debora, you are originally from Denmark, what is your home university?
I study at Fröbel University, like Friedrich Fröbel. It’s in Copenhagen.
What do you study at home?
It’s a bachelor programme. A mix between Social Work and Early Childhood Education.
What do you study at ASH Berlin?
Do you like it here at ASH Berlin?
I like the fact that you can choose between a lot of different subjects and courses. And you can mix between the different semesters. I like the freedom in that. And I appreciate that you can choose how you do the exams, as well. Also I liked the professors very much.
What do you like less at ASH or Berlin?
In one course I visited in the beginning I had the impression that some regular students from ASH are very focussed on political correctness, so that we could not move on with the discussion about the topic but discussed a long time about words that were used in a quote.
Where do you see differences between ASH Berlin and your home university?
As I mentioned here you have the freedom to choose which kind of exam you would like to prepare whereas at my university each semester is like a complete package. And the way you do the exams are also different.
The way you talk in a class is different, too. It is more academic here and less practical than at Fröbel University, which I think is good and also bad in some ways. Sometimes I like to end with a practical example when I talked about a topic for a while. But the building and some other things are very similar.
Why did you choose ASH Berlin for your exchange programme?
Because I found the courses I found at Vorlesungsverzeichnis (course overview) very interesting.
Why did you choose Berlin?
I chose Berlin, because I wanted to live in a bigger city than Copenhagen, Oakland or New Zealand. I have been to Berlin before several times and I liked it, still do. There are so many possibilities: You can go swing dancing, I live in a very nice WG with 5 other people and there is not one day when people don’t ask ‘do you want to go out’ or ‘do you like to do this and that’.
How did you experience the contact between lecturers and students?
Really good! I was a little concerned in the beginning because you call lecturers Herr … or Frau … and in Denmark we always use the first name. So I thought it might be very formal, but it is not. It is quite casual. And I am really surprised how much the students have to say here.
What kind of cultural activities did you experience in Berlin?
I went to a beergarden, of course. I started swing dancing with some of my friends. We are doing yoga today and there are so many options. And I love to go out, so we went to a lot of clubs and to other locations where there’s electronic music. You could go out every day if you like.
Do you have any suggestions for someone who is new at the University or in Berlin?
I had a bit of rough start here, because I came directly from a backpacking trip and was not prepared at all, so I did not have a room or anything. So maybe you should start a little earlier with that. And try to understand the Vorlesungsverzeichnis. It was very confusing, because it works very different as it does at my university.