University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Sylvester studies at the new Sino-Danish Center in Beijing

The House of the Danish Industry Foundation is the new home of the Sino-Danish Center in Beijing, China, where Danish students can choose between seven different master's programmes. Nanotechnology student Sylvester Langvad talked to us about his experiences in Beijing.

The new House of the Danish Industry Foundation which will host the Sino-Danish Center – the Danish-Chinese University Center in Beijing, opened on 25th September.

Sino-Danish Center

The Sino-Danish Center (SDC) cooperates with all eight Danish universities. For UCPH students, the cooperation means that they can choose to study seven different master’s programs at the SDC in Beijing free of charge.

You can apply to the two below programmes via UCPH:


(15 seats, 9 applied in 2017)

Water and Environment

(15 seats, 25 applied in 2017)

The other programmes must be applied for via the other Danish universities.

See more on SDC’s website.

The inauguration included a run on the Great Wall of China. The Crown Prince Frederik participated. Minister for Education Søren Pind (V) also participated.

But more importantly: Danish and Chinese students who use the new study Center also put on their running gear to celebrate the opening of their new academic home.

One of them is Sylvester Langvad, who decided a couple of months ago that he could just as well study nanotechnology in Beijing as in Copenhagen.

Two months into his stay in Beijing, the University Post talked to Sylvester about his student life and about his life here.

Interview continues under the picture.


What made you choose to study at the Sino-Danish Center?

The nanoscience and technology programme at SDC is very close to the NanoScience master’s programme at the University of Copenhagen, so it was rather a ‘why not’ rather than a ‘why’. Here I had the opportunity to get the teaching I would still get in Denmark, but in a completely foreign and exciting place instead. I chose to take one semester only – mainly because of my girlfriend at home, and I had already agreed to write my thesis at home in Copenhagen.

How far have you got in your studies now?

I am halfway through the first block, and I’m about a quarter of the way through my stay here. It’s a bit of a cliché to say it, but time has really flown.

What do you get at the SDC in Beijing, which you would not get in Denmark?

Friends for life. Another cliché, but it’s not quite a lie. I have really met some amazing people who have made a great impression on me already in the two months I’ve been here. The actual nanotechnology teaching is in many ways the same as in Denmark. However, we will be offered some seminars and business visits here, which we would not experience in Denmark. I am also excited about the concept of drawing on knowledge from both Danish and Chinese instructors, but this only starts in the next block.

(The interview continues under the picture)


What has been the hardest thing about being here?

Hmm, for me, the hardest thing was the decision to leave, but I have not regretted it for one second. There were a few bureaucratic antics that had to be organized when I came here, but this was not too bad. Our Chinese fellow students have been very helpful when we repeatedly received Chinese text messages.

What has been the best thing?

It is the adventure itself, and the people. In many ways, our Chinese fellow students of nanotechnology are more like us than say Danish students at Copenhagen Business School – and in many ways not so. But it’s a great experience to come out and live among new people who have new ways of doing things. It is also not bad that after a lecture you can go out and play tennis at the foot of a mountain overlooking the Great Wall of China, or avoid cooking and doing the dishes every day.

Finally, I would like to say that if you need a breath of fresh air, this trip really has given me renewed energy and a willingness to study. I was happy with my study all the way through my bachelor’s degree, but I can still feel that I feel much more motivated to study now that I am in China.

(The interview continues under the picture)


Why should others, who may be considering it, take the leap, and go?

If you are already considering it as an option, I would say: Do it! If you are not considering it, well then, just consider it. If you don’t have anything to lose, then it’s a great opportunity. No matter whether you are into scientific seminars, new friends, or what they in Innovation Management call ‘networking’, you have an excellent opportunity to do it here. Did I mention that the food over here is really good? It is, however, a good thing to like rice.