At the end of the semester in which I studied at the DTU, I needed to find information about exams. The dates are decided well in advance, but the times and the place are told only a few days before.
At the beginning I was a bit afraid, then I was able to find everything. I discovered that the most important information about exams is given only in Danish. For this reason, I want to give some advice to those who are in the same situation.
There’s nothing worse than knowing the day of an exam, but not knowing where it will be. Look at the difference between the page in Danish and the one in English:
It seems that at DTU it is not common to give some examples of old written exams to the students. Given that I attended the Computer Science Modelling course, I was able to access a “fake” exam and I scanned a copy of the real examination I did in June 2013. As a bonus, I used an OCR software (article in Italian) to make the PDF searchable. 😉
A short update: today was my first day of lessons. I had a problem with the alarm clock but I managed to be on time and to find the bus stop. 😀 The DTU is a bit less “infinite” than what I was thinking and I start to understand the various buildings. The lessons have been interesting, I hope they will continue to be so. See you soon! 😉
I apologize for not keeping you updated: about in the middle of October I received the official email confirming that I’ve been accepted at the DTU!
Dear Andrea Lazzarotto,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted as an exchange student at The Technical University of Denmark. You will find your Acceptance Letter and some practical information about your studies at the DTU in the attachment. This Email is the official DTU Acceptance Letter and you will not receive a copy of it by post.
Bjørn Sparre Johansson
Exchange Students Admission Officer
As written in the email, I didn’t receive the confirmation by post. However, if it can be useful to you, keep in mind that the signed learning agreement was sent back to me. So I could have sent the original without caring to make a certified copy.
Attached to the email there were three PDF documents:
Information sheets which summarize what you find on the website, to download them click here
I also received the confirmation that I will take part in the Danish language EILC course, so I bought the plane ticket: I’ll leave on the 6th of January! I’ll write a more detailed article about that. 😉
Some days ago I sent the documentation to the DTU. The complete list of the necessary can be found on the official site, both for Erasmus students and for other international exchanges. In this post I want to briefly talk about the documents I had to send.
To avoid confusion, given that the requirements could change, here you find the note I have saved to exactly know what to send. As you can see I used Evernote to clip a part of the page, to add some notes and to insert the checkboxes in order to remember what was missing. I’ll talk more in detail about this tool in a future article.
Back to the documents, here are some notes and suggestions of mine:
Print of the application form: I already covered this theme in a previous article, if you use Linux or Mac it’s difficult to fill in but it can be done.
Certified copy of the transcript of grades: this is the list of the exams you have done with the corresponding marks. In my case I printed it from the reserved area of the site of my university and then I got it stamped and signed by the international relations office.
Letter documenting the English proficiency: the requisite is a bit vague and honestly I didn’t get much clarification from the DTU. So I decided to simply send a photocopy of the PET test I passed three years ago. Also, in my transcript of grades it’s written that I have passed the English exam, so it should be sufficient.
Learning agreement: here you must pay attention. Once you’ve got the learning agreement signed by your teacher and by the international relations office, don’t send the original! You must always keep it. I sent an email to Lyngby asking for information: the DTU doesn’t accept a simple photocopy, so you’ll have to ask your university to stamp it and sign it in order to guarantee it is a conformed copy.
Now I’m waiting for the confirmation email. I’ll let you know!
In order to participate to the Erasmus program at the DTU, as in every other university, you need to fill in an Application Form on the internet. The problem with the one I had to fill in is that it’s expressely designed to work only with Internet Explorer, a browser which is available only for Windows. In the official page you read a very clear sentence:
Please note that this page is optimized for Microsoft Internet Explorer. Trying to fill the form with other browsers might cause you trouble.
This is a problem for all of those who don’t use Windows: in fact the process becomes complicated for Linux users (like me) or Mac ones, because these operating systems are not officially supported. But the most ridiculous thing is that it doesn’t even work with all versions of Windows: in fact here’s what happens when using the Consumer Preview version of Windows 8 (with Internet Explorer 10):
Judging from the source code, the page has been generated with a Microsoft software and it is declared to be compatible only with Internet Explorer.
So apparently it’s impossible to fill it in with and operating system different from Windows (and neither on Windows 8). This is quite frustrating, but luckily there’s a not so elegant solution that works. It is about installing Internet Explorer 6 through Wine.
Installing Internet Explorer 6
The process I describe is valid for Linux users who have installed Wine and the winetricks script, but Internet Explorer should work with Mac OS X using WineBottler. You can read this article for further information.
First of all I suggest you to start with a clean Wine profile, without any Windows program installed. If you use the software on a 64 bit Linux system, you first have to create a 32 bit Wine environment in this way:
Simply close the window which opens up. Then proceed to the installation of Internet Explorer:
You will be shown a folder and a URL to the OldVersion.com website will be opened, from which you’ll have to download the executable and save it in the right directory. Repeat the above command and the real installation will start. When you’ve finished, start Internet Explorer in this way:
At this point you can fill in the form in all of its parts. A very important thing: never user the calendar-shaped button to select dates, otherwise Internet Explorer will crash and you’ll have to start again. Always insert them with the keyboard.
Printing the signature page
Arrived at step 6, after you’ve given the confirmation the site will show you a final report of all the data you’ve inserted. On Windows the printing dialog is automatically fired up, but in Wine it doesn’t work. In order to have a safe copy of the page save it from the File menu of Internet Explorer and be sure to choose a folder from which you can easily retrieve it.
Go in the chosen directory and open DTU Incoming Students_files, inside you’ll find a file called icn. Rename this file in icn.html and then open it in any browser (e.g. Firefox). Now you’ll be able to print the page with a printer and if you want also to use the “print to PDF” function to secure another digital copy of the document.
At this point you can delete the Wine folder and if you want uninstall it.
At the beginning I was afraid to have to find a computer with Windows in order to complete the procedure, but then I was able to work without abandoning Linux. In my opinion it’s a real pity that the DTU developed the form so badly, this can create problems to people who don’t use Windows and it’s a bit discriminatory. I hope that in the future they can provide a more effective solution.