International full degree students at CBS need better support in getting introduced to and integrated into Danish culture and student life at CBS. In order to facilitate this, a new initiative has been started up, aiming to step up CBS' service and support of the school's foreign students.
Neglected IFDS-integration needs to be adressed
With over 3000 international full degree students (IFDS) at CBS, there has for years been a growing demand for better assisting foreign students at CBS with getting integrated into day-to-day life in Denmark and student life at CBS.
- For a long time, this has been a group of students at CBS who has not really been anybody’s responsibility. That’s why there has been a need for an effort aimed at them, so we can continue to attract talented students from the rest of the world, says Candice L. Progler-Thomsen, Manager of International Outreach and Services at CBS’ International Office.
Candice L. Progler-Thomsen is from the United States and has personally experienced the kind of obstacles foreign students can face when studying in another country first hand.
Taking IFDS-support to a new, CBS-wide level
800 new students face a new life at CBS and in Copenhagen this semester.
- Many of these students will be studying at CBS for at least two years, so it’s quite an upheaval in their lives having to adapt to a new culture and study environment, says Candice L. Progler-Thomsen.
The effort to support this group of students has previously been limited to specific study programs. In 2011 a committee was assembled in order to get an overview of current efforts as well as coordinate and develop future activities. Additionally, the purpose was to spread the information all over CBS so future IFDS’s feel well-informed.
The IFDS support program has been allocated DKK 185,000 and the committee behind it has developed a service initiative for the students that they describe as ‘ambitious, but not unrealistic’. The purpose of the initiative is to meet the concerns that international students might have and make them feel welcome, so they can focus on their studies.
Seminars about student life and the Danish job market
- I think the students will appreciate having some of the challenges in student life brought to their attention. When we make an effort to support this group of students, we hope to make them feel every bit as much at home at CBS as their Danish counterparts, stresses Candice L. Progler-Thomsen.
Among the initiatives are four introductory seminars held over the four weeks of September, each dealing with a specific subject. The first seminar will be held on Saturday September 8th and will be an introduction to the new student life in Denmark.
Other seminars will deal with subjects such as social life at CBS as well as how to tackle the pitfalls of student life. A seminar will also be held about working in Denmark, where the IFD students can learn more about how to find a student job or an internship in Denmark.
International activities and student ambassadors
In addition to the seminars there a number of activities aimed at the international students will be initiated. Among other things, culture and language café events will be held as well as lectures, tours around campus and Copenhagen and movie nights.
Parallel to this, a number of international student ambassadors will help easing the transition to the IFDS’ new life in Copenhagen. The ambassadors are student volunteers (Danish as well as international) and will be in charge of arranging a number of cultural and social events, designed to assist the international students bonding with each other.
Information about all the IFDS- related activities can be found on CBS’ webpage. You can also read about the initiative and activities (and the support group’s stated mission) in the attached PowerPoint presentation.