The CBS & Copenhagen experience for international students

Skrevet af Bjørn HyldkrogFelix Kasperek, translation - Foto: Jørn Albertus - 24. februar 2012 - 12:250 kommentarer
19 year old Danish-American Analisa Winther and Co. didn’t just complain about nothing much being done to introduce international students to life at CBS and in Copenhagen – they did something about it.

A new, unofficial CBS website has seen the light of day. The grass root initiative CBSlife offers entertaining articles and blogs aimed towards CBS’ strangers in a strange land.

As an international student, you start from scratch
Analisa Winther is a first year student at CBS. To be more precise, she’s in the BSc in International Business program. On top of that, she’s a Danish-American from New Jersey and has gone directly from American High School to taking a university education in Denmark, 6000 kilometers from home. Her father’s Danish network and family has supported Analisa, who has visited Denmark many times throughout her childhood, in practical matters, but in getting her bearings as a student in Copenhagen she had to start from scratch as stranger in a strange land when she came to CBS in August.

- Coming to Copenhagen was a big upheaval. Not because the culture or lifestyle is particularly different from what I’ve grown up with, but because it’s difficult to figure out your options and where you fit in best in day-to-day life in Copenhagen. CBS is an entirely new world as well and demands a lot more independence and self-discipline than what I’m used to from the United States, where there’s always someone keeping tabs on you, says Analisa Winther.

Analisa had made her preparations. She’d visited Copenhagen in November 2010 to check out CBS and had found out that the structured campus life that she knew from the United States simply doesn’t exist here. There wasn’t even a website that allowed international students to get an insight into general student life at CBS and in Copenhagen.

CBSlife: for the fun and benefit of the international students
Even though she had to start from scratch, Analisa quickly grew accustomed to life as a CBS-student and an inhabitant of Copenhagen. She had a great first semester and hopes that her second will be even better… and that the weather will be better too. But she and her fellow students had to figure out just about everything on their own, because no one at CBS really explains anything in a systematic way. What’s Nexus? Which canteen has the best food? Thursday Bar at CBS? Where do you go out at night in Copenhagen? She and her friends wanted to do something about that, and the solution was creating CBSlife.

- This is why I and handful of Danish and international IB-students decided to create a blog-website with the purpose of uncovering how CBS and Copenhagen works. We just want to lay the best possible foundation for other international students having as much fun as possible while studying here in Copenhagen. We also aim to provide better transparency and greater insight into the possibilities that different student organizations at CBS give access to, Analisa Winther explains.

But the CBSlife site content not all fun and games. Articles include guides to finding an apartment in Copenhagen and ‘how-to’s about stuff like public transportation or finding a bicycle. Need-to-know information (big things as well as small things) is mixed with plenty of nice-to-know and fun-to-know on how to survive as a CBS student.

Have as much fun as possible – and then write where and how
The website was launched in the beginning of November 2011 with inspiration garnered from American students regarding similar websites in the US. There wasn’t a lot of content in the beginning; a lot of time and effort went into getting the site structured, figuring out the best layout and finding writers.

- It’s a typical start-up story; we bumbled around in the dark, looking for the best solution until we found out how to do it. It took about a month before we were anywhere near satisfied with the result. The real success story was when we came back from the Christmas break and the writers themselves couldn’t wait to get started. That’s when we knew we had something, says Analisa Winther and goes on to tell about the community that came out of creating CBSlife:

- We’ve become a mini-community who go on adventures together. In general, we just do cool stuff with each other and then share it with others through CBSlife. It’s a win/win situation. We’ve become a fantastic network of new friends and at the same time, we’re mapping out the good student life at CBS and the good student life in Copenhagen for others.

We here at CBS OBSERVER hereby give our warmest recommendations to CBSlife. Should you be interested in experiencing and writing about all the fun, then write an email to cbsculture@gmail.com. Check out CBSlife’s Facebook page and of course, check out CBSlife.