City council members from Odense, Denmark visited The Ohio State University College of Medicine as part of a program with the Columbus Sister Cities International last week to explore student life and student recruitment at a major American university and to learn how best practices at Ohio State can help them engage current and incoming students at their own medical school at the University of Southern Denmark. Council members were led by Tammy Carl, Program Manager at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. The group toured Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center campus and met with students in search of new opportunities to take back to the Danish school.
The visiting group included deputy mayor Brian Dybro, senior consultant and international coordinator Henrik Poulsen, senior consultant and assistant for the board of directors, Morten Moller Iversen, and special advisor Steen Kaern Christiansen.
The council members related that their own teaching hospital at the University of Southern Denmark is going through an expansion of its own, but finds student life and university pride lacking. They wanted to meet with College of Medicine student life leaders to discuss new ways to attract students and increase student life activities. Ohio State students emphasized University backing and funding to get more students to participate in student-led groups and activities. The students also pointed out the need for a physical space for students to meet. Having a space designated for students and student life gives students a place to meet, plan and execute activities designed to engage their peers.
The Danish council members found student life at Ohio State quite different from their home school. Among the differences included working medical students. Medical students at the University of Denmark tend to have after-school jobs, though their education is far less expensive or, in some cases, free. In the United States, more of the cost of medical education is passed on to the student, and students at Ohio State normally rely on scholarships and grants or student loans to cover tuition and room and board, which allows them focus on their studies during medical school rather than work a job to make ends meet.
Council members said they found their experience at Ohio State very enlightening. “A lot of great things are happening here. It’s a great model for us,” said Poulsen of Ohio State. “We hope to bring back some of the best aspects to use at our growing University.”
Photo: (Standing) Tammy Carl (Program Manager, OSUCOM), Michael C. Lindner (OSU alum and president of the Scandinavian Club of Columbus), Henrik Poulsen (Senior Consultant, City of Odense), Adam Carl – (current OSU student and president of the newly formed OSU Scandinavian Club). Seated are Brian Dybro (Deputy Mayor, City of Odense), Steen Kærn Christiansen (Special Advisor, University of Southern Denmark), and Morten Møller Iversen (Senior Consultant, City of Odense).