Meet the 2017 cohort

14 July 2017

What is it like to study in a country on the other side of the world? What is it like to spend two years away from your usual everyday life? What is it like to make a choice that is different from many others?

Get to know some of the new students when we introduce xx of the 2017 cohort of Master’s students. This group will be the first group of students studying in SDC’s new building at UCAS’ Yanqihu campus. We are going to follow them when they get ready for their adventure, when they settle down in their new surroundings and when their studies become hard work.

Mia Bodenhoff

Age: 26 years

Study programme: Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Background: Bachelor degree in Engineering – Chemistry and Business Economy from the Technical University of Denmark

Mia has studied abroad before. She previously spent one semester at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, but for her there is a huge difference between a one-semester exchange and taking a full Master’s programme abroad.

“No matter what, it is a great experience to study abroad, but it never becomes your everyday life, when you know you are going home within a few months. I am sure two years will let me settle down, get to know people much better, be part of a different culture etc.,” says Mia.

She is a bit anxious to meet the Chinese teaching tradition, form of examination and the way it is all structured, but it only makes her more eager to go.

“I have learned that you should never let your first fear frighten you and thereby miss out on a great experience. So, I will give it time and make an effort,” she says.

Andreas Fønss Møller

Name: Andreas Fønss Møller

Age: 23 years

Study programme: Omics

Background: Bachelor degree in Biomedicine from the University of Southern Denmark

Andreas made a pros-and-cons list before he filled out the admission application. However, in the end the opportunity to earn a Master’s degree focusing on bioinformatics and database mining with additional advantages defeated the long distance from Denmark to China.

“In addition to the academic content I believe we really learn how to adapt to new situations. Everything will be different: teaching methods, the culture etc. I am sure it will be a very valuable experience for the future,” says Andreas.

He is really looking forward to getting to know his fellow students.

“The fact that we are a whole group of Scandinavian students sharing the experience actually made the decision about going easier. When everything else is new I think it is going to be great to share the experience with someone you also share a cultural background with,” he says.

Aydan Najafi-Ahrabi

Age: 23 years

Study programme: Innovation Management

Background: Bachelor degree in Business Administration and Service Management in Art and Culture from Copenhagen Business School

An opportunity to focus on innovation management for two years and to combine it with case-based learning and an internship are the main reasons Aydan wants to continue her studies in China and complete a full Master’s degree at SDC.

She says “I think it is important to move out of your comfort zone – especially when you study a field like innovation management. It seems natural to study innovation in new cultural surroundings, with new people and new professional networks to join. Influences I cannot otherwise obtain if I continue my studies here.”

Jon Hindsgaul Hansen

Age: 23 years

Study programme: Nanoscience and Technology

Background: Bachelor degree in Physics from the University of Copenhagen

“I have a splendid time when I am abroad. I really like the energy when I am exploring a new country and culture. Especially, I enjoy a metropolis’ vibrant culture and intense pulse from rapid developments and a busy environment.”

For Jon, it is all about making the most of all opportunities. He has studied in London and Beijing, taken language courses in Shanghai and travelled a lot. At the moment he is working in Copenhagen but living in Sweden to experience the neighbouring country.

Soon he will be on an aeroplane to Beijing to combine the cultural experience with further studies in natural sciences.

“The combination of Chemistry, Biology and Physics convinced me that I will spend the next two years studying Nanoscience and Technology. And the new cutting-edge technological advancements within the field are just very cool,” Jon says.

Kathrine Faurholt

Age: 24 years

Study programme: Public Management and Social Development

Background: Bachelor degree in Communications from the Danish School of Media and Journalism

The academic content of the study programme caught Kathrine’s attention, as she was looking for a Master’s degree with a social science perspective.

“My student job as a communication project assistant at the City of Aarhus opened my eyes to the public sector, and my interest in the area has grown as I currently deal with municipal development in my job at a consulting company,” says Kathrine.

During her bachelor studies, Kathrine spent a semester at the Communication University of China in Beijing, and she believes that China is the one of the most interesting places to study social science.

“As far as the welfare society is concerned I believe we can learn much more from China than we think. Even though the Danish welfare model is well-known and respected,” says Kathrine.

Lasse Larsen

Age: 27 years

Study programme: Water and Environment

Background: Bachelor degree in Geology – Geoscience from University of Copenhagen

Students and teachers challenging his point of view. This is what Lasse is really looking forward to when he is going to study two years in Beijing.

“When you have been studying a Bachelor’s Programme for three years you end up doing things in a certain way. I think it is very useful to get a new perspective on things,” Lasse says.

At first, the practical aspect of the study programme attracted him, but also the worldwide issues related to water and environment attract him. He believes China is the ideal place to study the field, as they do a lot to overcome their extensive water challenges.

“I am aware that studying in China will be very different from studying in Denmark. It is not just a different culture, but also different teaching traditions and fellow students with very different backgrounds, both academically and in terms of nationality,” he says.

Natasha Dratinskaia Christiansen

Age: 26 years

Study programme: Neuroscience and Neuroimaging

Background: Bachelor degree in Biology from University of Copenhagen

“You can apply neuroscience to everything and direct it to business, research, medication or whatever you want. The academic structure of the programme attracts me, and to be honest I did not attach great importance to the fact that it takes place in Beijing. It is just the way it is, and of course it is exciting,” says Natasha.

She is very interested in medicine and in applying new technologies into neuroscience, she aims to work with cognitive neuroscience, but first two years in China lies ahead.

Natasha has friends living in among other places Hong Kong, but even though she has heard a lot about living in Asia, she is very aware that all experiences are individual, and she soon will gain her own experiences.

“You cannot help being very excited when you pack all your things and plan to store them for two years. It is like you reset yourself,” Natasha says.