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Aarhus attracts overseas lecturers

Rick Edgeman from the United States and Ajay Kumar Jain from India are looking forward to teaching at this year's Summer University. In fact, they are so delighted with the opportunity to teach in Aarhus that they both applied for full-time positions at Aarhus University.

2012.06.26 | Peter Nicolaisen

Rick Edgeman

Rick Edgeman

Ajay Kumar Jain

Ajay Kumar Jain

Professors Rick Edgeman and Ajay Kumar Jain will both be teaching students at this year's Summer University, which means they have chosen to spend their summer in the lecture hall rather than at the beach. Rick Edgeman is a professor in sustainability and has taught many classes at auditoriums in a variety of American universities. As he sees it, teaching at the Summer University is an opportunity to teach at a more intensive level than usual.

"I love teaching at the Summer University. It is an intensive programme that is limited to just a few weeks. I am also delighted that the students are not only from Denmark, but travel from countries all over Europe – and even from the United States – to attend the course," says Rick Edgeman.

Professor Ajay Kumar Jain shares his colleague's positive view of the multinational composition of the classes.

"The best thing about the Summer University is that it provides me with a wonderful opportunity to share my knowledge with students of different nationalities. When I was teaching in India, the classes were very homogeneous, but the students here come from a wide variety of backgrounds. I see this as a major advantage, because I can make use of the cultural differences in my teaching," explains the Indian professor of psychology, who teaches classes in subjects such as conflict management and organisation culture.

Aarhus is a hit

The two professors also agree that Aarhus is a wonderful city. In fact, they are so delighted with the city that they have left their homes in the United States and India and relocated to Aarhus. Both have been appointed to full-time positions at Aarhus University. Rick Edgeman is a now professor of sustainability at ICOA (Interdisciplinary Center for Organizational Architecture) at Business and Social Sciences, while Ajay Kumar Jain joined the staff of the Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences in May this year.

Both have quickly settled into life in Aarhus, and both emphasise the cultural facilities of the city and the hospitality of the local citizens.

"Generally speaking, I find that the people here are very open and willing to chat. If I have doubts about anything while I'm out shopping, there is always someone willing to help," relates Ajay Kumar Jain.

During his career, Rick Edgeman has lived in a number of big American cities such as Dallas and Washington D.C. Nevertheless, he has not found Aarhus dull in comparison.

"There are all kinds of interesting places to visit, such as Den Gamle By (The Old Town) and the Botanical Gardens. Having lived in big cities for many years, it is great to come to a more relaxed place – even though I would like to live somewhere even more peaceful," says Rick Edgeman, who has chosen to settle in Odder, south of Aarhus.

It is rare to hear a native Dane praise the Danish summer, but Ajay Kuma Jain thinks that the weather is one of the beauties of Aarhus, and that it calls to mind another famous university city.

"I like the summers here because the weather is relatively stable. The summer weather is good for working, not like in India, where weather conditions can be extreme. Sometimes it is very hot, and other times very cold. The weather here actually reminds me of Oxford. Actually, there are several similarities between Oxford and Aarhus, because both cities have a relaxed atmosphere, and neither has serious traffic issues," he concludes.

Read more about the Summer University at Aarhus University

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