11 February 2022

Onboarding students in new educational projects


On 1 December, UCPH invited incoming and outgoing 4EU+ students to a Christmas reception in one of the University’s old historical buildings to meet with fellow students and exchange experiences from their respective home universities. But this was not the only reason they were invited. The student reception is one of our initiatives to create awareness among students about the 4EU+ Alliance and its educational activities. We want to make sure, that the Alliance also has a life among students and not just staff.

Happy students at UCPH 4EU+ Christmas reception.

The University of Copenhagen has been a part of the 4EU+ Alliance since 2018 and it is time to take stock of where we are now and where we need to be in the future with the Alliance.

At UCPH we often discuss how to raise student awareness of the 4EU+ Alliance and all it has to offer. The Alliance is, without a doubt, a complex administrative task but foremost a great opportunity for students. It is work in progress, and we have not reached the full potential yet.
We saw it as a welcome opportunity to kill two birds with one stone when we were able to invite our 4EU+ incoming and outgoing exchange students to a social Christmas reception and at the same time, on a more strategic level, brand the Alliance.

A Christmas reception

We invited our UCPH students going abroad to an Alliance university during spring 2022 and our current exchange students from universities within the Alliance. With the event falling on the first day of December going with a Christmas theme was the obvious choice. This included 300 of the traditional Danish æbleskiver, 25 liters of glögg, a Christmas tree, massive decoration and a welcome speech by Rector Henrik C. Wegener. The stage was set.  

Not only could the students mingle and share thoughts and ideas with each other, but they also had the opportunity to get a deeper understanding of 4EU+ from UCPH academics who talked about the Alliance and the many educational opportunities for students. Besides the traditional semester exchange, students also have research opportunities, short term mobility and the option to participate in unique educational projects from the six Alliance universities.

The highlight of the evening was a speech from Italian student Lisa Schack Iversen from the University of Milan. She gave an inspirational and personal account of her experience as an exchange student at UCPH. She did not hide that the administrative process of being nominated, applying and signing up for courses felt long and complicated, but "It was all worth it”. So much in fact that she has decided to extend her stay for the spring semester at UCPH.

Italian student Lisa Schack Iversen. 

The outcome

The Christmas reception was a small yet successful step towards raising awareness about the 4EU+ Alliance and the opportunities it brings to students. As Nikolai Carstensen, UCPH math student going to Charles University, put it:

“I didn’t really know anything about the 4EU+ Alliance before this event. I realise that it’s a much bigger deal than what I knew. I have already met two other students who are going to Charles University, so it’s great to be able to connect with each other.”
“I chose Charles University because of its math courses. I expect to meet a different type of teaching than what I’m used to in Copenhagen.”

Planning a Christmas reception is one way of engaging students in new educational initiatives and at the same time get ambassadors to the project, but there could be many other ways. What have you done at your institution to create student awareness?


By Simone Hauskov and Christina Grauballe