Welcome to “The world’s smallest big city” or “The biggest village of the world” as called by locals. After being selected as a Youth Goodwill Ambassador, Denmark, I came to know more into details about the development being done and initiated by Aarhus Municipality in Branding AarhUS. It also broadened my knowledge in knowing the effort that they are putting to make the city more internationalized and the process is quite visible. Already Aarhus is a house for more than 40 thousand students and is also defined as Youth City of Denmark, as its maximum population lies in Youth. Here I have tried compiling my thoughts about this happiest city into 4Bs.
1B is Books which is nothing but Students. Aarhus University (AU) stands in top ranks universities of the world and students from all over the world are keen to get into AU for their higher studies. AU as an international university has a University International centre
(UIC; http://www.au.dk/en/facultiesdepartmentsetc/index/internationalcentre/) which is keen and active in finding the solution for all the problems of students, so the Internationals feel at home. From CPR registration (Health Insurance card) to finding accommodation, it has given a relief to some extent. Believe me it was much difficult for me 2 years back when I had to find everything on my own. Dealing with everyday practical issues is not an easy job for newcomer. “The Mentor Buddy program” initiated by various faculties has helped many newcomers to get sync into the new place culturally and socially. Good news for all new comers is that Aarhus is looking forward to build a complete International Dormitory which will be soon available for new comers, now I envy all of you and wish that these facilities were there when I was a newcomer ;-).
2B is Bike which is an important means of transportation of any student living in Aarhus. Don’t get surprised when you see everyone here (Professor to Students) on bike. It’s healthy, convenient and yes economical too. Not all but almost everything is in hand’s reach by bike here. The Aarhusians are really bike lovers. Whether it is cold, dark winters or bright sunny summers they have no excuses in escaping bike ride. I was impressed by the reply given to me by my supervisor when I was finding excuses from the winters here. Once I asked, Isn’t it too cold during winters to ride bike. And the reply was you don’t have to excuse the weather it is more to blame what you are wearing. So don’t find excuses rather find the right clothes :-).
3B is for Business which means jobs. There are many lectures being conducted by AU as well as International community in Denmark to find the place for you (future goals) and for your girl friend/ spouse (present time). Till your companion is not able to find jobs/position, UIC keeps organizing lectures for all the researchers. The University is internationalized and so far I didn’t found language as a barrier in the campus but I must admit language is the first barrier if you are looking for jobs or something on public website and UIC provides many language courses within university premises to make things easy for you and your spouse if you have long term plans in Denmark. I am six time drop out from the language course but still I have not lost faith. It’s all how you cope up your timings with work and after work language classes.
Aros Rainbow Panaroma View, which makes into headlines of New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/15/arts/15iht-scdenmark15.html?ref=arts
4B is Beer, which is actually the cultural / social activity. As from my last blog I said that Danes are like pineapples so you need a pint of beer to peel that first layer. It’s a funny saying which I rhyme usually that If you want to be a friend with Dane, have a mug of beer but if you want to be a close friend bring crate of beer, then rest is the history :-). We, as Asians, our every gossip start and end at “Cup of Tea”. Here the gossips are same, only the “Tea Stalls” have been replaced by “Beer Bars”. Well if you are interested in knowing Indian culture or festivals, indiansinaarhus.com is the website which will bring you closer to Indian culture here in Aarhus. You can have a glimpse of Bollywood dancing from the below video. Yes, yes I know I am a horrible Dancer ;-).
Dr Mohit Kothari, BDS, PhD Fellow
School of Dentistry, Aarhus University, Denmark