UNC versus CBS: University Life

Since moving to UNC, I’ve noticed a lot of differences in American student life compared to what I’ve been used to back home in Denmark, so I thought I’d share some of my experiences so far:

  1. Everyone- and I mean everyone- wears backpacks at UNC, which is so different to the shoulder bag trend in CBS.

  2. Students at UNC will always refer to their classes by its number, not the name. If you’re enrolled in BUSI 505: Entrepreneurial Consulting, you better be calling it 505, because most students here won’t otherwise know what class you’re talking about.

  3. At CBS the general dress code is business casual/professional, mostly because students will have a part-time job to tend to before/after classes. In UNC, you will only wear business dress when you have a formal meeting or presentation- on any other day you’ll be wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

  4. UNC professors actually know your name! All business students are given name cards at the beginning of the semester and professors will make an effort to get to know you.

  5. Chapel Hill is UNC, and UNC is Chapel Hill- you cannot separate the two. Being in a city where it is simply an extension of the campus is very strange to us from CBS, but we love it!

  6. Expect weekly homeworks, midterm examinations, group projects, quizzes and a final exam for pretty much every course you have at Kenan-Flagler. I think I speak on behalf of all CBS students when I say that this was a bit of shock, since we were very used to the self-study style of learning in the International Business course back home, where your final written/take-home/oral exam counted for 100% of your grade!

  7. Classes at Kenan-Flagler are typically 75 minutes and have around 25-40 students in each section, with few exceptions, whereas in CBS, most of our lectures were 2 hours and 45 minutes in a hall full of at least 80 students.

  8. Expect to meet a wider range of different people at UNC. Since there are many different majors and minors offered at the college, it is inevitable that you will talk to non-business students as well, which is something that I have definitely appreciated during my time here: it’s always refreshing to meet people that have different interests and perspectives!

During our time here, we’ve talked about which style of university life we prefer, but I don’t believe that anyone has given a definite answer, since it’s difficult to compare lifestyles that are so different from one another. With that being said, there’s no doubt that we all enjoy the opportunity to be able to try out both experiences, and we are definitely looking forward to adding our semester in Hong Kong to the list!

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