Study Abroad

Old Nov 30th, 2022, 03:18 PM
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Study Abroad

Hey all,

I am currently a college Sophomore and I am applying to study abroad next year. I am having trouble deciding where I want to go, because everywhere seems like it could be a unique experience. Right now I'm thinking Copenhagen could be fun but I have heard it is very expensive. Compared to a city like Florence, does anyone know how much it would be extra per month, or a rough estimate? Through the things I have read, it seems like it isn't too much more expensive, but then again I have heard otherwise from friends and family. Please let me know!
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Old Nov 30th, 2022, 05:01 PM
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You should be able to get information from the study abroad organization/s on anticipated living costs. Some expenses depend on any travel you intend or hope to do, where you'd go, how you'd go (bus, train, plane), etc. You could look into air fares, train passes.

Outside of costs, are the programs in Copenhagen and Florence equally appealing and/or relevant to your major?
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Old Nov 30th, 2022, 05:05 PM
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Are these programs run through your college or university? They should be able to give estimated living expenses.
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Old Nov 30th, 2022, 09:03 PM
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Do you know Numbeo? It's a cost of living comparison website, very entertaining. Here there are comparisons with Copenhagen and my city (Sydney), but you can adjust it to something that's more meaningful for you:
https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Copenhagen

Lavandula
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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 11:31 AM
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I think you need to explain your base expenses for people to compare. some idea of what you are talking about. The school costs are obvioulsy fixed by the school, so they have to tell you that. I would presume they also arrange or have housing and that should be a known cost.

SO I am guessing, but don't know, that you mean costs for local transportation, eating out, stuff like that, is that right? Because that varies widely by person to begin with. Some people blow a lot of money doing that stuff, buying expensive coffee for example when they can make a cup for five cents, etc. SO that's what I think you need to state, in general what expenses you are talking about and what kind of consumer you are.

Numbeo is a good idea. Basically, Copenhagen is very expensive, I'd say maybe 25 pct more than Florence.

I wonder where you read it isn't too expensive as I've never heard that.

Here's another rough index for the countries as a whole
https://livingcost.org/cost/denmark/italy

here's another by city
https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-l...ce/copenhagen?
It isn't clear where their data is coming from, I think they claim they gather it themself. I find some of their stats a little hard to believe (eg, they claim Boston is more expensive than London, and that DC and LA and Seattle are more expensive than Copenhagen).
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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 11:38 AM
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The Numbeo site above indicates Florence is usually cheaper in comparison to Copenhagen. However, university fee costs could differ as well as their charges for student housing, meals, etc. Your school's Study Abroad program should be able to assist you or you can contact the programs you are considering and ask for a breakdown of typical costs.

When my daughter studied in London, she received a discount card to for use on public transportation and the university also arranged for a few inexpensive weekend trips so there are multiple factors you may wish to consider.

You will want to take into account how well the different programs will suit your study requirements. Will all of your units be accepted by your home university and useful for your degree?
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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 11:56 AM
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Don't assume the school/university will organise your accommodation. It is important you establish that early on as finding somewhere to live otherwise could be tricky.
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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 12:23 PM
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Our son studied just outside of Copenhagen in Lyngby, in 2015. The study abroad programs vary so much, as you probably already know. He was the only student that year from his regular university, and only one of about 6 Americans there at the time. His regular university did not organize anything for the study abroad, all of it was done through DTU. The one thing I remember about the financial side of the application was that he had to have a bank account with at least 5K US dollars in it, and only in his name. He had to have proof of that, basically to show that he could afford to live there. DTU did arrange for his accommodations as they have an international student housing area. That was for non europeans. For European students, they were on their own to find housing and our son said quite a few of the students were still scrambling to find a place even after they arrived.

FWIW, our son had a great experience in Denmark, both socially as well as academically. I hope this all works out for you!
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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 12:24 PM
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The university will tell you early on if you can arrange accommodation centrally through them or if you have to make other arrangements. Some of the unis we deal with have their own foreign student housing service with rooms at a reduced cost. I don't know about the particular insititution you are looking at, but if you find the university's website they will have a page for exchange students (sometimes they call these 'incoming' students, i.e. the students coming into Denmark, not 'outgoing', i.e. Danish students going abroad) and you will find what you need regarding housing there. All unis are a bit different.

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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 12:27 PM
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Our son studied just outside of Copenhagen in Lyngby, in 2015. The study abroad programs vary so much, as you probably already know. He was the only student that year from his regular university, and only one of about 6 Americans there at the time. His regular university did not organize anything for the study abroad, all of it was done through DTU. The one thing I remember about the financial side of the application was that he had to have a bank account with at least 5K US dollars in it, and only in his name. He had to have proof of that, basically to show that he could afford to live there. DTU did arrange for his accommodations as they have an international student housing area. That was for non europeans. For European students, they were on their own to find housing and our son said quite a few of the students were still scrambling to find a place even after they arrived.

FWIW, our son had a great experience in Denmark, both socially as well as academically. I hope this all works out for you!
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Old Dec 5th, 2022, 12:57 PM
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It sounds like you want to travel, not study, in Europe. So don't combine them: study at home, then travel to Europe.

There are endless pitfalls with study abroad:

1. Will you get credit for your classes at your home university (you would be surprised how many get stung with this one and the credits don't transfer)?
2. Will your registration for classes go through or will you show up with no classes (again, this happens and no, you can't "sit in" on university classes you may want to add if you are not registered for them, you have to wait to get approved first, and will miss the first week or two of classes).
3. American Universities love to publish pages of foreign universities that they allow their students to study abroad at, but the connection may be microscopically thin and no one at the US university may know much about the European university, so you are really on your own.
4. European universities grade by final only, so there's less work during the year (homework is not turned in) but huge stress over the 2 hours that will determine your grade.

Studying with a home university professor on a trip and remotely in Europe, or at an American university in Europe, can avoid a lot of pitfalls.

These programs are popular because they are huge money makers, and often the student pays full tuition to each university. The American university really makes out financially getting full tuition and providing nothing but negligible support.

My general advice: don't study abroad.

Last edited by tom_mn; Dec 5th, 2022 at 12:59 PM.
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Old Dec 5th, 2022, 01:46 PM
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We send all our students abroad as a matter of course every year, as a defined part of their degree with us, and I have been covering for a colleague who normally oversees this study abroad while she is on leave this semester (sharp learning curve). It is true that some universities are worse than others at smoothing the pathway. You can guess at this by looking at what they provide online in the way of guidance: if it is hard to find information, avoid! It is not true, however, that all European universities assess by final examination, there are many that do not and have normal assessments throughout the semester. Also - some countries like Germany do not charge fees for higher education, although this is discussed regularly at a political level. The fees that are there are a matter of a few hundred euros, not thousands as you might pay in the US (or Australia). There are also sometimes special programs for exchange students who want to study exclusively in English at some European universities. My tip? Pick a smaller university. They generally look after their incoming students very well, and you are a name, not a number. It will be easier for you to integrate into social / student life there, and often there are special events organised specifically for the exchange students (i.e. trips to big cities, sports events, cultural events, music, etc).

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Old Dec 5th, 2022, 02:32 PM
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Tom those are some pretty sweeping generalizations. Both of our kids studied abroad and had great experiences. Both earned credits towards their degrees. Our daughters were towards her minor and our sons was toward his major. Neither paid extra tuition. Our daughters grades were all based on her finals, but our sons was totally different. Both had help with figuring out housing and nothing was left hanging upon their arrivals. Based on our kids experiences, we highly recommend a study abroad, but of course it depends on so many variables.
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Old Dec 5th, 2022, 11:08 PM
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Both of my children had terrific study abroad experiences. They learned a lot both inside and outside the classroom. You definitely need to research the programs you are considering carefully and make sure you are choosing a program that you will enjoy and benefit from.
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Old Dec 6th, 2022, 10:24 AM
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Welcome Bennygrillz. My late husband and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting a group of youngsters in Perugia who stayed there after they graduated they loved it so much. As you continue with your search, take a look at Perugia.
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Old Dec 6th, 2022, 10:45 AM
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Our kidsí colleges required that they could speak the language of the country where they were going to be studying. The programs/ classes were all given in the local languages.
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Old Dec 6th, 2022, 12:44 PM
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You can in most cases enrol in language classes for the host country's language, and many German and Swiss unis have classes you can take in English - more and more this is the case.

Lavandula
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Old Dec 18th, 2022, 02:25 PM
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I wish I'd discovered Copenhagen half my life ago.

Yes, it's expensive, but that applies mainly to tourists who are shopping and eating out their entire time here. Residents and long-stay visitors who live outside center city and eat most of their meals at home can enjoy the city on a moderate budget. The dollar is down more than 10% vs the DKK since the spring of this year, but that's just part of the cyclical nature of things.
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