Fresher’s trip on campus: “Here you can both participate and take a breather”

Wednesday 25 Aug 21

Fresher’s trips at DTU

At DTU, new students can choose between different fresher’s trips. These include:

  • A 1-day fresher’s trip at Lyngby Campus. This model has a more academic aim.

  • A 4-day fresher’s trip at Lyngby Campus. The students participate in social and academic activities from 9.00 a.m. to 10.30 p.m. Alcohol is only sold between 5.00 and 9.00 p.m. and everyone sleeps at home.

  • A more traditional weekend fresher’s trip with overnight cabin accommodation. Here, the students can register for a trip with or without alcohol.

  • A 4-day fresher’s trip with overnight cabin accommodation. Here, students can choose to take part in a trip with alcohol, a trip without alcohol—or an English-language trip with or without alcohol.

This year, the traditional fresher’s trip at DTU has competition. A four-day fresher’s trip on campus is an alternative for those sometimes in need of a break.

On a Monday morning on Lyngby campus, we find 43 new students camped out on a sunny spot between Buildings 341 and 342. Their enthusiastic dance moves and brightly coloured clothes cause them to stand out from the normal campus setting. If you did not know better, you might think they had missed the bus for the fresher’s trip—but actually nothing could be further from the truth.

The students are in fact participating in a new four-day fresher’s trip at Lyngby Campus without overnight accommodation which DTU’s student association PF has chosen to offer based on the experience of last year’s corona situation.

“Last year we organized all the fresher’s trips on campus. We could see from the feedback that many of the students were really positive about the initiative and could see themselves participating—even if they still had the opportunity to participate in the traditional fresher’s trips. That’s why we chose to hold this fresher’s trip this year,” explains PF President Andreas Baltzer Skov. 

A presentation of a diploma ends in a spontaneous proposal. (Photo: Mikal Schlosser)

The choice has proved popular. Out of the four fresher’s trip models that new DTU students could choose from, it was the campus model that saw the fastest uptake. 

"Every now and then I need a breather. You can’t do that on the traditional fresher’s trip and that’s challenging for someone who’s a little more introverted like me. Here, the atmosphere is quieter and we chat and get to know each other. "
Katrine Bøgelund, student, Strategic Analysis and Systems Design

Time for meaningful conversation
The on-campus fresher’s trip differs from its traditional counterpart in that alcohol is only sold for four hours in the evening and students are able to return home and sleep when the activities end at 10.30 p.m.

Through the day the new students’ conversations centre more on the studies ahead rather than the upcoming festivities. One of them, Katrine Bøgelund, 21, initially registered for the traditional fresher’s trip, but she found the intense atmosphere overwhelming and after 24 hours opted for the campus fresher’s trip instead. Having this option has meant a lot to her.

“I’ve nothing against meeting a lot of new people, but every now and then I need a breather. You can’t do that on the traditional fresher’s trip and that’s challenging for someone who’s a little more introverted like me. Here, the atmosphere is quieter and we chat and get to know each other. I feel I’ve really got to know people. It’s been a lot more personal,” she explains. 

After 24 hours Katrine Bøgelund (3. th.) asked to be moved from the traditional fresher's trip to the campus fresher's trip. (Photo: Mikal Schlosser)

According to Katharina Ahrens, BSc study start coordinator for the campus fresher’s trip, participants have indicated that not having to be ‘on their toes’ and ready to party all the time has been an important aspect of the model.

“From what I’ve heard, less focus on alcohol consumption is seen as a positive thing. It means a lot for those who want to go on a trip and have a beer in the evening, but who don’t want to drink the whole time. The trip is aimed at students who don’t have an appetite for several days of partying in a cabin setting with overnight accommodation—as well as the slightly older participants who want to be with their children in the evening,” she explains. 

Important to address the different needs

A glance at the on-campus crowd reveals a wide target group. Among the 43 students are different age groups and personality types, and furthermore there is a wide representation of study programmes and students from both Ballerup and Lyngby.

The fresher's trip on campus contains both social and more academic activities just like the traditional fresher's trip. Photo: Mikal Schlosser.

For PF, it has just been important to signal inclusiveness and send a clear signal to the new students:

“You’re welcome here, no matter who you are, what your background is, and who you are as a person. We want the best for our students and we strive for flexibility. We really want to talk to the students and start a dialogue with them about their needs. We’re here to give the new students the best start to the study programme, and the possibility of a fresher’s trip on campus is part of that,” says PF President Andreas Baltzer Skov.

Soon, all the fresher’s trip and study start organizers will be evaluating the new students’ feedback and decide whether the four-day fresher’s trip on campus should be offered again next year. If it were up to the PF President, there would be no debate.

“We’ll just repeat the success and increase the number of places so that more people can join in,” he says. 

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