Erasmus in Denmark

Author: Zuzana Ruscakova

I love Denmark! It doesn’t have anything so well-known like wine and Eiffel tower in France or pizza and Venice in Italy, but maybe this is also a reason why this country surprised me so much. Not only is it silent and not so well known, but also very beautiful and interesting to experience. I spent 6 months in Esbjerg as an Exchange student within Erasmus program. Therefore, I want to share my impressions of this country, lifestyle, nature and other things I got familiar with during my stay there.

The first thing that surprised me was that I saw nothing else but a flat and boring snowy land as I traveled by train from Copenhagen to my city on the west coast of Jutland. But it is normal here – Danes have no mountain (the biggest hill is something around 170 metres above sea level). Countryside is boring and monotonous on one hand, but on the other hand, when it gets green it is amazing. Fields with barley, wheat, rye, carrots with little farmhouses on their edges, fields with cows and sheep, flower fields; some of them also with windmills standing between the crop. Architecture style also greatly fits to this shape – houses are small, flat, with no more than one or two floors. What was spectacular for me was that people don’t put curtains in windows. So if you walk on the streets, you can see people inside having dinner together, watching TV or reading. They are not ashamed and they don’t care. I was told it was a habit from the past. When Danish men were working at sea, often sailing far away from their wives, women would put curtains aside for the other people to see and prove they are not cheating on their husbands.

In general, nature in Denmark is very clean. People take great care not to pollute it. They collect glass, paper and metal very carefully, use bikes daily and produce green energy. Also, in Esbjerg a big company Vestas is located, the biggest producer of wind turbines in the world. They are everywhere- at the seaside, near the coast, in fields etc. But it is quite natural as Denmark is windy as hell.:) But this is really one thing I like. After Chernobyl explosion they took radical steps and forbade nuclear plants. As a result, Denmark produces 20% of energy from the wind today and it makes them number 1 in this field. Another strong aspect of country is oil and gas. There are some resources of oil and gas in the North Sea and it makes the country independent from other countries and also brings money to the government. Oil and gas research is on a high level right now – among other things, scientists try to find out how to extract oil from rocks, once the reservoir is empty. It is estimated that rocks contain approximately 70% of all oil, so it’s a big motivation for them and if they manage to find some solution how to extract the rest, they will be oil-safe for next decades.

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