Ida Mikkelsen

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My choice

I decided to study at CBS due to the international bachelors that were available. Since I have grown up abroad and took my upper secondary degree in English, I felt that it was best suited for me to study a bachelor that was in English. In highschool, I was super interested in the business courses that I had and this made CBS the perfect option for me to consider as the courses offered best matched my own interets.

The reason that I chose the IST programme was definitely due to how international it is and the unique way the bachelor program is structured. Two of these unique features are the mandatory exchange and internship. I was instantly interested when I read this as it would give me a change to take a semester abroad in a culture I hadn’t experienced before and, in addition, hands on experience to support the theoretical aspects through the internship.

It should be noted that CBS wasn’t my first choice right out of high school I spent a year and a half studying Law at Copenhagen University before I realized it wasn’t the path for me. However, I definitely havn’t regretted my decision of changing to CBS and IST.

I was definitely nervous about meeting a bunch of new people but at the same time I was super excited. Excited to meet new people and make new friends – the people I would be spending the next three years with. All this excitement was combined with the nervousness of whether or not I would “match” with the people I would be studying with. Nervous about whether or not they would like me and what they would think of me. But the outcome was definitely better than anything I could have hoped for. So far I’ve met some amazing people all with different backgrounds either similar or different to my own. Everyone is in the same boat and comes in with the interest of getting through the next three years together – while having loads of fun.

My programme

One of the most exciting aspects about the IST program is the mix between subjects with a maritime focus and those that are more general. The maritime courses are taught by teachers who themselves are super interested in the industry and have an amazing knowledge of it. This interest is shown in their teaching and certain courses include guest lectures which helps broaden one’s horizons of the industry.

In my opinion, the most challenging parts of the programme was getting used to the quarter structure. This means that each semester we have four courses (two at a time). I therefore had to get use to constantly try and stay up to date. I had to learn how to structure my reading and exam preparations, but talking to my classmates definitely helped me stay more structured as everyone is super helpful.

The social aspects of the IST program are great, it is a fairly small program with about 60 students which means you get to know all your classmates. The size of the program has also created a tighter bond between me and my classmates. I feel like it’s important to highlight that that they really are your classmates and not your competition. Moreover, the size of the programme has encouraged a lot of social events. This year the first shipping gala was hosted which was a great success. It was a mix of people from the older and younger generations which made networking super interesting, while still being in a fun setting. The Shipping Union is also a great way to meet people already working within the industry, as well as people from the other generations of the programme.

The aspect that makes me and my progamme such a good match is my desire for an international future. The shipping programme, and the shipping industry, is about as international as it gets. To be able to travel in my future is something that I’ve always imagined and with the international shipping and trade programme, there is not only the chance to go on exchange but also to get real hands on experience through an internship. Both of which I have been eager to do since starting the programme.

One thing that surprised me about the programme was the amount individual work and exams. There is not a lot of group work/group exams in this programme, so it is very much up to one self.

My advice


In connection to study start I would definitely suggest to try to make to as many social events and as much of the intro week as possible. The shipping programme is fairly small and this is a part of its charm. You get to know so many of your fellow students within the intro week and its a good way to focus on the social aspects before getting more into the academic aspects associated with the semester start.


Something that I feel like I would have benefited from knowing is that it’s okay not to find the transition from high school to university easy. It’s a big change in your life and a step out of one’s comfort zone. I struggled with understanding that I couldn’t always be great at every topic of every course. The more math heavy courses such as statistics and microeconomics definitely threw me off but I got through it with the help of my study group (and remember that a re-exam isn’t the end of the world). University is an adjustment but it’s one that’s worth it in the long run.


Something that makes my everyday life work is a balance between academics, my social life and work life. It’s a difficult balance to find and it’s different from person to person but just keep trying until you find yours. You’ll definitely realize if you feel like one or the other is being neglected or overdone. But it’s a balance that is a must for me to have.