Thursday, June 17, 2010

Study Opportunity, Scholarship and Advice on Universities of Copenhagen

Back in Ulaanbaatar, when i first found out that i've been accepted to the University of Copenhagen (although it wasn't MIT or Oxford, it was 48th best university in the world when i got in), the first thing i wanted to do was to reach out to my younger students at my Hobby High School and show them that it IS possible for Mongolian students to study and learn at the top universities in the world, and i remember giving a speech and advice to them on SAT, TOEFL, IELTS, application/essay, and looking for the right university for you, etc, with a help of A. Dulguun (University of Tokyo) and G. Badruun's (Stanford University). It was very nice to see positive reactions and some even contacted further for more personal advices.

 (Picture: One of four beautiful lakes near my campus)

Here, I have decided to continue advising on further studies here in Copenhagen, Denmark, to those who are already doing bachelor degrees. In Copenhagen, there are two great universities (in my opinion): University of Copenhagen and its former branch, the new Copenhagen Business School (CBS). Please, take your time and go through its various departments and decide which degree you'd like to pursue for your master (there are various degrees you can choose from - we even have a Degree on HIV!).

There are no scholarships for bachelor degrees in Denmark, but there ARE some for master degrees. So be sure to do your research thoroughly! Scholarship (stipend), for instance, at my department is a coverage of your tuition fee of 10,000EUR per year, plus a monthly amount of DKK 7569 pr month (about 1000 €) for a period of 22 months.

My sister is on a master's scholarship at Roskilde University, in Roskilde city, and so yes, it is possible.

It gets even better - you get paid to do a research! Vacant PhD scholarships in at my department of Economics are announced twice a year, with application deadlines at around May 1 and November 1. Currently, there is a Mongolian professor, U. Otgonbayar, who teaches mathematics at University of Copenhagen, and hence it is not impossible to get here, really.

PhD Scholarships are offered at each of these departments:
  • Department of Economics
  • Department of Political Science
  • Department of Sociology
  • Department of Anthropology
Employment is to begin on February 1, 2012
Current Deadline: November 1, 2011

Apply ASAP. (click here for further information regarding how to reply, requirements, etc.)

Denmark has one of the highest wages in the world. There are great graduate programs in great international companies like Novo Nordisk or Mærsk, but the competition is high and although they say Danish is not required, it's a bonus for your application, so yes, I would say it is not easy to work here. But ofcourse you can find easy part-time waitressing jobs. But do you need to work in such places when you're getting that much financial support on your masters? Think about it.

I am the only Mongolian at my university, and everywhere there are group of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese students sitting together, and i wonder, what would it be like to have some fellow Mongolian students here! This thought has provoked me into writing this. But don't think I'm lonely and miserable, there's always two sides for a story: 'thanks' to the absent Mongolians, luckily and unluckily i have made friends with many wonderful Danes and shockingly many Faroese and Icelandic people. It would just hurt to say goodbye to them when i leave to Mongolia! I don't even want to think about it.

Nevertheless, please grab this opportunity and never underestimate yourself thinking you're not good enough for Uni. Copenhagen, Harvard, Oxford, Hong Kong or whatever. If you're good, then you are good, period. Studying abroad is not easy, yes, you have to work and study twice as hard as the local people, and even more if the language is not English. So think twice before living abroad.

I don't recommend you to come for bachelor here in Copenhagen, because there are no scholarships and Copenhagen is a very expensive place to live. I have come across to many foreign students who went back home, because they couldn't afford living here. So if your parents are middle class, don't play with their savings, be smart and apply somewhere else with scholarships, like the States, Japan, etc. But if you can afford living so, then of course you should apply wherever you wish.

Do yourself a favor and apply to these wonderful scholarships, grants and working possibilities, and come if you're accepted; if not, well at least you've tried! You would be foolish not to give it a try! Me and my sister are the living examples here, and I would be delighted to see my fellow Mongolians doing well as well!

Meanwhile, when you're in deep thoughts (hopefully) for many days, take a look at one of my university's Faculty of Science's 100% CO2-free GREEN building!!!!

Well see you next time! I'll keep on blogging, if you keep on giving me your piece of mind as well! Ask questions, and i'll answer them as best as i can.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

The World Economy in a Nutshell

Video of the day for me: How can broke economies lend money to other broke economies who haven't got any money? LOL!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I'm an idiot. Most of the foreigners here in Copenhagen are learning Danish thoroughly to make friends with Danes, marrying a Dane, working the exact hours as stated in law, and learning its history and culture to have a Danish citizenship and benefit from the great economic advantages Danish Government gives for its citizens; I, on the other hand, pay 10,000 euro/year and cover my living expense without any scholarships, and yes, with no thought of becoming a Dane. Here the education, nursery and health-care system (except Dentist) is free for Danes [Obama just made USA follow the same system], and every student gets paid to study (called SU): 5,000 kr/month, which is approx equivalent to 1,000USD a month [which is enough to cover your 2,500kr room rent and rest for food]; elders get their pensions happily, and the unemployed and homeless people also get free money as well. Everybody's 'happy' drinking Carlsberg/Tuborg and living here - in fact, Denmark is known as the happiest nation in the whole world!

Yes, how is this possible? Well, these crazy Danes pay almost half of its income to a tax, because they (well, most of them) believe it's completely worth it and they believe they get a lot out of it. Amazingly, i think the same now. At first i thought: whoa how did the Danish Government manage to brainwash the whole nation and make them pay these huge amount of tax! Well, here in Denmark, people are in love with the tax, and vice versa. Tax is the reason there is a free edu, health care (if you get cancer, all your surgery and pills will be free!), SU, unemployment and homeless insurances. Plus every year, people get a holiday money from the tax amount they've paid, and everybody likes to travel abroad and get out of this tiny peninsula once in a while and when they have the time. Danes travel a lot. I would say Danes are very nomadic. And btw, I just got my own holiday money as well, because yes, i pay tax too.

Tax was one of the big cultural shocks i faced. Biking was another for a taxi lover like me. In Mongolia, i used to bike at my summer house for fun. But here, businessmen, housewives, teachers, students, old grandparents and well everybody bikes daily in the city. It is without a doubt, the reason most of the population are very fit and healthy, besides the healthy food and cigaret bans [Danes are obsessed with organic products]: you would see a lot of people running near the parks and avenues, and most good dormitories have gym, etc. Plus, having a car is a complete luxury, since the petroleum is expensive and it is so hard to find a parking space in Copenhagen. Students rarely have their own car, if they do, well then it's likely to be family shared or he/she is ridiculously rich.

But being rich is no big deal in Denmark, people actually PREFER to be average and humble, surprisingly humble, and very un-American. Majority of the people are middle class, so the gap between the rich and poor are small, compared to the other unequal developing nations. I really feel like in the 1900s Mongolia wanted to build this kind of society through socialism, but sadly we failed. Anyways, i am really enjoying living in Denmark, even if it rains every 2 days and yes it's always windy, because there are no mountains! i feel it's a very safe place to be, even though i lived in a street for a half year where several shootings and bombs took place. Ofcourse it can never be PERFECT: The "cartoon drama", "failed COP15" and "war in Iraq" etc darkens the Danish image and reputation on the world stage.

However, Denmark is a very green country, and i mean very green. There are grass, trees and so many parks every where. People live happily next to the cemetery, because its gardens are very beautiful, and I was once very shocked to see people have a lunch and 'picnic' there. Anyways, technologically it's very green too, like the Netherlands, they have offshore and onshore windmills producing electricity, district heating homes and buildings efficiently, but a bit petroleum too, they own a bit of oil in the North Sea, besides the Norway [Danes joke and say that Denmark only gave away its oil in the North Sea to Norway, because the Prime Minister at that time was drunk when signing the deal]. But people really prefer biking, because they love everything environment-friendly (cars pollute the air, remember?) and they even worry about cows polluting the air! Let the cows poop and fart, you climate freaks!

Being a foreigner is an experience you shouldn't miss. Everybody's blond and blue-eyed, but i, on the other hand, have a black hair and yes very Asian face. People would ask me whether i'm Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Thai,etc and say Nihao and Konichiwa! Some even ask: what on Earth are you doing in Denmark from Mongolia? How come you don't have no accent?Your English is so good! Did you live at states or something? Do you ride horse? Wow you're the first Mongolian person i've ever met! etc. I once promised myself i would hug and kiss anybody who says SAIN BAINA UU? But sadly, that time might only come to my kids generation, maybe even my grandchildren's era, where Mongolia may get developed and be in the same stage with other developed nations.

I'm a very patriotic girl, it's in my blood and family. My grandfather fought in the WWII and Khalkh Goliin Battle for his homeland; and my mother is an idiot too, she came back to Mongolia, although she could have stayed in Germany and work, but she chose her homeland over her lust in wealth [money is only paper, dear, she says to me] and now she has developed the first micro-financed saving credit union, which benefits many of its members still after the saving credit unions' crisis.

I never understood really why we failed to employ our own people in Mongolia till i came here and worked. There are so many young people who are willing to develop and see Mongolia succeed no matter what - so patriotic that sometimes, they are bit scary and stupid. Well, there ARE great minds being educated in and abroad Mongolia. Brain drain and brain gain is a major issues right now, yes, but we need to see actions; empty words and talks are not enough to attract back the educated people abroad. But now i understand. Who would go back to Mongolia and get paid approx 25$/day, when abroad we can earn 25$/hour at least?! This hesitation is scaring me. I would feel very sad to receive such a low value for myself and my work; and i believe this is a great cause of brain drain, besides the working environment, corruption, pollution, etc.

I don't want to hesitate going back home. and i believe the only way Mongolia can shine and develop is through the individual success. First educate myself, then my family, then my bigger family and friends, and then help the governance. I do not wish to enter politics. it's dirty. it's too dirty for person like me. I see so many of my respected politicians threatened or killed, it's scary. I believe there is another way for a clean pure hearted students like us: help our nation economically, socially and educationally!

See you next time, and i'm looking forward to see feedbacks and i'm looking forward to read interesting blogs too. Suggestions, very welcome, thank you!


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Losing Hopenhagen

My article has been published by my university on their newspaper website regarding my thoughts on COP15 and climate issues. You can click on the link below and see the feedbacks, and i hope you'll enjoy it as my very first blogging as well!

The voices of the developing countries are unheard at COP 15, writes Mongolian University of Copenhagen student, Batzul Gerelsaikhan, in a letter to the University Post

I came here in Copenhagen all the way from Mongolia in January for my Bachelor's degree in Economics at the University of Copenhagen, so I had the privilege to volunteer and attend as many conferences and events as I can handle until this moment – IARU Int. Scientific Congress on Climate Change in March, Local Government Climate Change Leadership Summit in June, and Bright Green Expo during the COP15 this December to name the biggest.

Hence, I was looking forward to COP15 for a long time with a hope of seeing a 'sharing' mutual understanding between the developed and the developing countries, but to much disappointment, the gap between the two remained the same; and I have seen and heard only the voices of the developed countries, where they explained what they will do in the future and which new technology they will be using for themselves.

Climate refugees

No comments on how the developing countries are suffering from the developed countries’ 'mistakes' were said. Only China, India and Brazil were mentioned a bit, but surely they are not the only developing countries out there.

There are many developing countries like theTulun islands, for instance, where the people don’t even use cars, not even electricity, are facing the sea level rise, and they are estimated to be drowned down in 10 years, leaving its people to become refugees along with many other climate refugees in the world.

These developing countries are indeed the most innocent victims of climate change, and people are giving little (almost no) attention to these vulnerable countries.

The same mistakes again

So far, I have heard three Nobel Peace Prize winners, many royalty, PMs, MPs, ministers, governors and researchers speak of the dangers of climate change in the future; but why don’t they understand that the developing countries will be repeating the exact same mistakes they have taken, to become like them?

All this new technology and renewable energies are economically very expensive, for some countries too expensive, or more like impossible to get; hence we’ll keep using the old technologies with not much choice, unless the developed countries are willing to give a hand and help us jump the polluting steps of becoming a developed nation (and no, we are not talking about “$10 billion to Africa” kind of aid, we know you spend trillions for your defense, when you’re not at a war!).

So the question is: how willing are the developed countries to help tackling this climate issue they’ve created and how willing are they to help others who are suffering from their mistakes?

Mere talk is not enough

I’m surprised to see that people find it so shocking that G77 and China leave the conference in midst of it; that protestors stand outside Bella Center in this freezing weather,and that Obama chooses to get his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo rather than coming to Copenhagen immediately to help solve this issue.

Those people want an immediate action and not mere talk – since time is running out. Also, it is becoming clear that COP15 is most likely to fail like Kyoto protocol, because like mentioned above there are no mutual bindings between the developed and developing countries.

Whether it’s 2 degrees, or 1.5 degrees, it is important that countries should have a differentiated responsibility for each of their actions, since it is not fair for the developing countries to pay a tax for the C02 they haven’t created.


Hopenhageners like me, however, are still hoping that politicians can break the wall between the rich and poor like Germans did to its Berlin Wall. After all, we are all the same and everybody will be affected more or less on this one planet by this climate change.

It is only matter of time when we will all finally realize that sharing is the best solution now. If we fail to do so, it will be even more expensive and more impossible to reach any goal we’ll set in the future.

Batzul Gerelsaikhan, Mongolia
Dec 16, 2009