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Internationals at Pol. Sci. UCPH: Hailee Tao

It’s not only Danish students that go on exchanges to learn about the world. Every semester, exchange students from all corners of the world flock to the Department of Political Science to study and live in Copenhagen. MED ANDRE ORD has asked four of them about their time at the Department of Political Science and in Copenhagen.

Skrevet af Ida Lous Jensen
Illustreret af Ida Lous Jensen

Hailee Tao, Bachelor, Peking University

What has been the best and worst thing about being an exchange student?

Best: The best thing is being in a whole new country, because I like being immersed in a new environment, learning about new cultures, meeting new people.

Worst: You just started to get to know people and the city and then it’s time for you to leave.

What has surprised you about spending a semester as an exchange student in Denmark?

No one seems to be in a hurry here. Even at UCPH the people are not that competitive especially compared to where I come from [China]. I talked to a lot of Danish students about taking a gap year. Here everyone does it. I feel like it’s a really good concept to let students take it slow and try different things. If I get the chance, I want to do it. It gives you so much opportunity to see what you can do with your life, you know yourself better, makes you a better person in general.

Would you recommend an exchange at the Department of Political Science at UCPH to others? Why?

Of course, I will recommend it. Probably in the spring semester instead due to the weather. Mostly because the program is really relaxed, so you get to explore what you want to focus on compared to China where you take 5-6 courses a semester. I feel like people in Political Science have the most interesting exchange due to the mentor group [Mentorgruppen på statskundskab] compared to other departments at UCPH.

Why did you want to study at UCPH?

It’s a long story. My home university has many opportunities, so I struggled a little bit, but then I decided to do something in Europe. I heard about Nordic Talks; a series of events around sustainability held by the Nordic embassies in Beijing. I was doing an internship, so my boss and I were invited. I met the Danish ambassador in China and talked to him. He graduated from here and told me I wouldn’t regret it. I did a bit of research by myself afterwards and thought it sounded like a nice choice; I didn’t need to speak a new language, and it was opening during covid.

What is the difference between Denmark and your home country?

The biggest difference is that here there are multiple ways to be a student. There’s not one correct way of doing it. At home people try to define what the correct and successful way of being a student is. In China, if you study Political Science, people will tell you working for the government or prestigious companies is the best. If you choose to do something else, you’re a loser.