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Growing number of Chinese students in Aarhus

Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University. Photo by Denis Selnihhin

Over the past three years, the Department of Computer Science has received increasing numbers of applications from international students for the master’s programme in Computer Science. These students come from all over the world, but in 2020 especially the number of Chinese applicants increased.

We invited Chuanwei Lin, Shuwen Liu and Yijing Pan, who all were admitted in 2020, to talk about their reasons for choosing Aarhus University and share their experience of studying and living in Denmark’s second-largest city. When it comes to choosing Aarhus University they all agree that the most important factors were: the eye-catching subject ranking, the flexible programme structure, and the possibility for scholarships for non-EU students.

“Aarhus University’s ranking in computer science is very eye-catching. The theoretical computer courses the department offer are very attractive to me. This seems to differ from the computer science master programmes offered by most other universities. It may be the most theoretical computer science master programme, I think. Besides, the three-course curriculum per semester gives me time to both study and experience life here,” says Chuanwei.

Nordic-style teaching atmosphere

At Aarhus University, we are committed to providing the highest quality education in an informal teaching environment, and our Chinese students call it a Nordic-style teaching atmosphere.

Shuwen explains; “The academic atmosphere here is relatively equal, and it pays great attention to the communication between professors and students. There are no 'silly questions', and you can discuss anything, you don't understand, with the professors. Professors encourage students to think independently. The overall academic pressure is not too heavy, and the grade accounts for a very high proportion of the final exam. Most of the exams are oral tests (for example, a topic is drawn on the spot, and you make a presentation for about 10 minutes), which develops your expressive skills.”

“I think the relationship between teachers and students is very good. The teachers are very kind, and I feel that there is no sense of distance between us - we are very equal. If you want to do projects, it is easy to find relevant teachers for guidance. The course schedule is also very reasonable so that students can combine study and rest. Most of the exams here is not a traditional written test, but an oral test, which requires face-to-face communication with the examiner. It is very helpful to exercise our communication skills. It also encourages me to have a deeper understanding of the course contents," says Yijing.

Living and working in Aarhus

The three Chinese students are not just excited about studying at Aarhus University - Aarhus also offers great job opportunities for both computer science students and graduates.
“For international students at the department there is a lot of help to find a relevant job via Destination AARhus. They organize regular workshops to help revise and deliver our resumes, and they can help establish contact to local companies who are looking for new students workers,” Yijing says.

Shuwen, who has several years’ work experience in China, says, "for a computer science student, it is easy to find a job in Denmark. The Department of Computer Science at Aarhus University is highly recognized in local companies. As long as you are well-prepared, it is not difficult to find a job with exciting tasks and a satisfactory salary no matter if it is a student job, or a full-time job after graduation. Moreover, as an IT specialist speaking Danish is not a must, as most Danes have very good English skills."

All three are also very happy with living in Aarhus. "Aarhus is the second-largest city in Denmark. It is a young and energetic university city with a relaxed and comfortable daily life. Everyone pays great attention to the balance of work and life” says Shuwen, and continues with a laugh “but during the Nordic winter,  you only get a few hours of sunshine each day. So maybe you need to take vitamin D to fight depression and fatigue ;-)”

Why study computer science at Aarhus University?

If you are interested in complex algorithms, machine learning, IT and cyber security, logic and semantics, pervasive computing, or something completely different within the field of computer science - then Aarhus University could be the right place for you! Our master’s programme allows you to specialise in up to three areas of your choice.

At Aarhus University, you will be able to study in the top 1 department of computer science in Denmark according to the QS Subject Ranking. Moreover, Aarhus University has been ranked in the top 100 for computer science by both QS and THE, and within Cryptology, the department is among the very best in the world.

The programme is highly theoretical, but since the university has a strong corporation with the local business community there are plenty of opportunities to use your knowledge in student jobs or project work.

As an international student at the department, you are offered your own office space and like all AU students, you have 24/7 access to the libraries.

Furthermore, the department has a collaboration with the industrial network Destination AARhus, which represents some of the biggest IT companies in the region, like Danske Bank, LEGO and Grundfos. They are all looking for talented graduates for their companies, and many offer attractive student jobs.