Exchange story - Natasha Beljic

Natasha BeljicNatasha Beljic was our Bachelor of Engineering in Civil and Environmental Engineering student. She graduated in 2013.

In semester 2 of 2012, I went on exchange to Denmark Technical University (DTU) in Copenhagen. I study both civil and environmental engineering and was able to do my studies overseas as usual without having to extend my time at university.

My degree is five years and I knew early on that I wanted to go on exchange to help break it up and keep it interesting. My sister had also gone on exchange while she was at university and told me I would be missing out on the best experience of my life if I didn’t go. Sure enough, it most definitely was the best experience of my life. 

There were so many great things about exchange, but the BEST things included:

  • The travelling before and after exchange
  • Meeting all my amazing friends who came from all parts of the world
  • Living in Denmark in general – so different to Australia. Everyone in Copenhagen has a bike, and that’s basically your best option for getting around. Whether you’re going to the shops to do the groceries, going to uni or even going to the city for a night out, you will use your bike.
  • Learning about different cultures through your exotic friends and in particular, learning about Danish culture.
  • Having much less responsibility than back at home – I didn’t have to work for the first time in my degree and uni wasn’t particularly stressful since exchange students are only required to pass (your grades from overseas are not shown on your UNSW academic transcript).

Probably the first of my two biggest challenges was when I initially got there and the first couple of days of shock when I realised that I was in a completely different country and didn’t know anyone – although this feeling didn’t last for very long! The second biggest challenge for me was coming home and trying to readjust to the daily grind. 

I can’t recommend exchange enough. It makes your degree and time as a student much more interesting and, as clichéd as it sounds, you will have memories that last a lifetime.