Mark Dale

Denmark, MSc Management

“When we travelled to Oxford here in August, it was the first time seeing the city and I just knew by then that this was the perfect place for me. You can't really compare it to anything in Denmark for sure, it’s fantastic here!”

Why did you choose to study in the UK?

My mom and dad are actually both born and raised in England. So I'm also a British citizen as well, and I haven't really had the time throughout my childhood to actually visit England that much, so actually this was a great opportunity for me to explore my roots. But most importantly, because throughout the last years, I've been working full time and studying during the week and at evenings as well, which means that I haven't really had the time to enjoy myself or have an adventure, so I saw this as a great opportunity to do so.

Why did you decide to come to Oxford Brookes University specifically?

I chose Oxford Brookes University because, the most important thing was, of course, the programme. I really wanted to start on the Master’s degree with the focus on people communication and on cross-cultural acknowledgments as well. So from a theoretical point of view surely the programme, and from an experience point of view it was the city. I think when you just take the bike down to the city and just see what's around you, all the architecture, it's fantastic! So, I think that is just a combination about the city and the programme for sure.

What were your first impressions of Oxford?

You can't really compare it to anything in Denmark for sure, it’s fantastic here! I’m very fortunate that I have a girlfriend who's half British, half Danish as well, like me! She actually took her bachelor's in Cambridge, so when I met her two years ago she talked about her experience about studying in the UK, that actually encouraged me to think about it, and it actually helped me to make a decision, and when we travelled to Oxford here in August, it was the first time seeing the city and I just knew by then that this was the perfect place for me. It's not the largest city, however, it’s not the smallest. So it's a good environment for a new adventure I am sure to say. The first time here in Oxford, I used all the time actually taking the bike or having a run through the city just to get to know the places. One of the first things that I really wanted to do, it was to subscribe to a local gym in the city, because then I knew that I would force myself out every day and see something new.

How have you found studying during the pandemic?

To be honest, I actually think it was quite good. However, I would say it requires more structure and some organising ability to get through the weeks. But then again, I actually found it was quite useful because I had some very stressful years, and this year has actually given me the opportunity to step back and just pause at the moment and just look at where I'm actually at the moment and enjoy it. I would say this year, I have definitely used it to explore more of myself, my strengths and weaknesses too and especially, one of the courses is called ‘Developing skills in the business dealership.’ I've actually talked a bit about it to one of my friends back at home and said that I can't really understand why Danish universities do not offer a practical course like this firstly, and secondly, cause it focus to help the individual student to get on the labour market to understand how to act in an interview, assessment centre and and most of the students when they finished in Denmark, for instance, it's all new to them. And of course, you know, what you're good at and what you're not good at, however, it is actually very difficult to phrase it down into a statement, and I've specifically used this course to improve my awareness of myself. That has been good!

What would you say has been your favourite thing about your course so far?

I would say that even though you have so many courses across both semesters, they are very much interrelated, so you can use them next to each other. And also the teachers are very good at mentioning that when we are about to approach the final exam, or course work you can integrate some of the elements from other courses as well, because they are that interrelated. I think that this is a very good thing, especially when you have that many courses in just one year.

How have you found the facilities we have on campus?

I think it's fantastic! It's very modern, and I think this nice feeling you get when you actually approach the John Henry Brookes building, it is amazing! You just get like a student atmosphere, which is quite nice. I remember when I first saw the university in August, when I was here the first time to collect my keys for the flat and I said to my girlfriend - you could just feel that there is a very, very intriguing and calm student atmosphere here that would suit me perfectly.

Do you live in student accommodation or private accommodation?

I actually chose to find a private flat, both because I think I'm a bit older, so I actually enjoyed that I have a bit more space and I'm actually living in the shared flat with another guy who was a bit older than me. He's a professor at Oxford University, so it actually gives some support when you're quite new to the environment and surroundings to get some tips where to, for instance in Denmark we like rye bread and again to get some tip of where to actually buy this.

What would be your top tips for future international students that are looking to come to the UK or come to Oxford Brookes?

My top tips for a postgraduate student would definitely be, to, when you're about to approach a new environment, honestly, just be yourself. However, remember to be open. Be yourself!

Could you describe your time at Oxford Brookes in one word, if you can?

I think if I should put one word and use one word for the time so far - it would be self-discovery. I think it just very reflects on the journey that you have a student theoretically and privately as a person. And I think even though I'm only here for 12 months or something like that and regardless where I'm heading afterwards, I think I have grown significantly throughout the year and I am more aware of who I am and what my capabilities are. This is a strength that I very much appreciate!