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Achim from Germany – Electrical Engineering

Achim Klein-Hitpass is 27 years old and comes from near Münster in Germany. He is studying for an MSc in electrical engineering at Aarhus University (AU) and he lives in the heart of the new Aarhus Docklands district on the waterfront.

Why did you come to Denmark to study?

"I’ve always wanted to travel and experience new people and cultures; to live abroad. But I had to be able to read and work in English. I considered many different places, because I really wanted to try to get a long way away from Germany. But instead, I ended up choosing one of the countries closest to Germany," he laughs and continues.

"I looked at both Sweden and Denmark, but ended up applying to DTU and AU in Denmark. I got a place in both universities, so I took a closer look at the courses they offered and the social aspects, and I concluded that AU made the most sense for me. Among other things, I saw that the university hosts this gigantic Regatta, and it was clear that there was huge focus on student life at AU."

What is special about Aarhus city?

"It's a young city, in that the average age of the population is low. That’s because so many students live here. And that’s good for your social life. Also, it's a big city without being too big. You can cycle to everything, and Aarhus is by the sea, so sometimes living here is a bit like being on holiday. When my sister visits me, she always says that I'm not studying, but just on holiday. That’s not quite true, because the programme is tough, but the surroundings are so beautiful that I really enjoy life here. In my spare time, I enjoy many of social opportunities Aarhus has to offer. For example the outdoor summer cinema in the middle of the forest at Moesgaard Museum. There’s an incredible number of cultural events, both large and small. "

What about the social aspect?

"I love going to a Friday bar and going from one Friday bar to another. There are 41 different Friday bars at the university, and you can simply hop from one to the other. There are no closed doors, and it's super cool. There are lots of different people, and it’s probably the easiest way to meet new friends. I think it's been pretty easy to make friends here. Many people say that it can be difficult to get Danish friends, but it hasn’t happened for me," he says.

The best experience at the university

"Definitely the Regatta in 2019. Unfortunately, it was cancelled due to corona in 2020. But it’s what I tell everyone about. It was super cool and fun. Back then, I’d only been at the university for three or four months, but I already had a number of Danish friends. We went there very early, at three o’clock at night and enjoyed ourselves until it all started. The Regatta is a kind of one-day festival, and everyone joins in. There are more than 30,000 young people, and the vast majority are students at AU, and that's great. The students themselves are responsible for the event, and I think it says a lot about the university that the students are allowed to arrange such a huge event."

What’s the teaching like at AU?

"We're in small classes, and I think that's super cool. It makes it easier to interact with both teaching staff and fellow students. The teachers really want you to understand the material. They don't think it's annoying if you ask questions, and they really want be challenged and help you. And we have a lot of group work. I think that's important, because you work in groups a lot in working life, so it prepares you for a job outside. And it makes it easier for me to understand things," says Achim.

What would you say to someone considering coming here to study?

"First and foremost, academically it’s a very good university, and the professors are very interested in making sure you understand things. There’s a flat structure, and it‘s always easy to talk to the teachers. Furthermore, there’s a fantastic social life – everything’s are open. There are also a lot of like-minded and international students. I've never regretted coming to AU – it's been a fantastic experience."

What happens now?

"I want to stay here in Aarhus. It depends on the work opportunities afterwards, but Aarhus is a great place, and it’s not too far from my home. My mum very much likes that," he laughs and continues.

"I'm really fond of Aarhus and I'm learning Danish, so I really hope that I can stay. I haven't made many specific plans yet, but I just want to stay here."

Achim has a BSc in engineering from Germany, where he worked for 3½ years as an engineer for Mercedes-Benz.

He had always thought he would take an MSc so he could specialise, and he always wanted to study and live abroad.