Asmita Dalela is somewhat of a ‘global citizen’ – she was born in Mumbai in India, but she has also lived in Helsinki and Paris. Today, Asmita, her husband and their two children live in Østerbro in Copenhagen and Asmita is studying Techno-Anthropology at AAU CPH.
Although India and Denmark are very far apart, Asmita feels right at home on campus; not least because of its beautiful location right by the water in Sydhavnen in Copenhagen:
‘I love to take a walk alongside the water; it reminds me of India and my hometown Mumbai which is also located by the sea. Apart from that, the two countries are very different. Denmark has its own charm, and everything seems more simple and straightforward here. This is also reflected in the buildings; for instance, the University campus is very bright and the design is simple with large windows with a beautiful view of the waterfront.
The atmosphere is very vibrant and there’s a positive vibe here, but whenever I look out and catch a glimpse of the water I immediately feel a sense of calm,’ says Asmita.
Among the less calm areas of Denmark are the Copenhagen cycle paths – fortunately, campus is not far from the Copenhagen city centre which means that you can get there by train, bus or bike.
‘I always take the train here, it’s easy and comfortable, and I don’t feel confident riding my bike just yet. I’d love to ride my bike to and from campus, though, it’s so easy here in Copenhagen and it’s great exercise, but I’m still too intimidated by the number of people on the cycle paths - and by how fast they go. I might need a little more practice,’ Asmita laughs.
Luckily, there are other ways to stay fit around campus. Students at AAU CPH can join the campus fitness club, sign up for yoga classes or go kayaking in the University’s kayaks; there are also saunas and shower areas available. You can also opt for exercising your chuckle muscle along with your fellow students in the Friday bar. Asmita, however, primarily spends her time on campus on quiet study:
‘I use the campus library a lot; it’s a nice place to do some reading. I often come here to study after my lectures – it’s a very quiet and calm place. When we work in groups we often use the Techno-Anthropology group rooms.
My group and I typically start working in the morning and stay until late in the afternoon. We try to meet up at least three times a week but many of us have student jobs and need to set aside time for that as well.’
An international atmosphere
Almost 25 percent of students and 20 percent of staff members at AAU CPH are international, and many different languages and nationalities are represented on campus.
‘My master's degree programme is offered in English, but many of my fellow students are Danish. However, most Danes are fluent in English and language is not really a barrier. My fellow students are really sweet and often speak English whenever I’m around; this allows me to feel included regardless of whether we’re studying or socialising.’