Benjamin Tuckwell

Date: SP5, 2016
Degree Program: Urban and Regional Planning
Host University: Roskilde University
Host Country: Denmark


Why did you choose your host university?

I decided to attend Roskilde University in Denmark as it was highly recommended by my peers and by the Urban and Regional Planning faculty. As an Urban Planning student going to Denmark and visiting other European cities would help my learning process and broaden my horizon in how worldly cities have evolved, how they are perceived and used in everyday life.

What was the university like?

Roskilde University reminded me of Mawson Lakes although it was more student orientated with integrated living on campus facilities and areas specifically designed for students. The campus was large and sprawl out with many buildings which was surrounded by farmland and a picturesque lake which definitely has some reminiscences of Mawson Lakes. The classes I participated in were all quite small besides one class which had over 200 students, besides that the classes were very interactive as were the students, the smaller classes were discussion orientated and allowed us to openly express thoughts and opinions. Many resources were available but access to printing and library material was a hassle and complicated, so I continued to use UniSA resources while abroad and had my tablet for those required readings.

What did you gain from your exchange experience and has it changed the way you think or altered your approach to life?

TThe Student Exchange has made me appreciate Adelaide and Australia as a whole, we are spoilt for choice and we should be embracing some more European influences. I learnt to live by myself as well as sharing common areas with 13 other international students and I was also introduced to a variety of languages, and a variety of new skills. I did attend Roskilde with a few classmates but was majority of the time surrounded by new friends. I had the chance to embrace myself into other cultures and to discover what it's like to be free of judgement and just be myself, if I wasn't myself I would have not enjoyed this experience.

What accommodation options were available to you?  How affordable was accommodation and would you recommend the same option to others?

In terms of accommodation, Denmark can be a little expensive and in high demand, luckily there are several dormitories available on campus to international students which I would highly recommend. You are able to meet and live with other international students from around the globe, learn new things and be immersed into the student culture at Roskilde University. Just be quick and apply as soon as the appropriate forms come through, there were a few instances where students had to stay on campus or in other people's dorm as rooms were unavailable.

Describe your travel experiences; did you travel locally or to neighbouring countries? 

While in Europe I was lucky enough to travel around multiple countries and multiple regions in Denmark. Over the Christmas break it was amazing to see snow for the first time in Denmark and around various places in Europe. Visiting new international friend’s homes from the University, able to visit world famous landmarks, watch the Eiffel Tower light up on New Year's Eve and discover the small streets and charm of the small towns in between, which I loved especially relating it to my studies.

Describe how you adjusted to life in a different country and how you met new people.

I fortunately did not have any culture shock and was prepared in settling in fairly quickly. I’ve travelled around Australia and lived in various places for a short time so I was able to adjust reasonably well. In an exchange setting you will meet a lot of people, we attended an orientation course which you socialise with the other exchange students and if you live in a dorm you will definitely meet some new interesting characters.

Can you see any benefits from this exchange to your future career?

I personally think this will give me a slight advantage as I can take this experience and use a lot of the things I have learned into my profession. Some of the things we learning were about we don’t necessarily discuss in our course. Therefore I believe that this experience will hopefully give me that small edge.

What advice would you give to a student who was hesitant or considering joining the exchange program?

The rewards from doing the exchange are enormous and mostly outweigh the negatives, mind you the process can be quite stressful where there’s a lot of patience required. I am very happy I was able to be a part of a program like this to be able to visit places I never thought I’d be able to visit and meet incredible people that you will be able to visit when you go back, it’s a great feeling.

Top Tips:

Be yourself, let go of your insecurities and just enjoy life while you can, and download google translate the best thing I ever did. Food shopping in Danish is not the easiest thing in the world.

Areas of study and research

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