By Elisa Morberg Wejse, former university chaplain at Aarhus University
Life as a student may be hard, especially if you are an exchange student in a foreign country far away from home. The university chaplains are available for personal counselling or just an informal talk about anything, not limited to spiritual issues. Loneliness, relationships, grief, stress, self-esteem, worries, finding your path, ethical issues and the meaning of life are just some of the things students might want to discuss in full confidentiality.
The university chaplains work as pastors in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark and the service of counselling is totally free of charge and open to all students regardless of their religious background. You may contact the university chaplains via e-mail or mobile phone to make an appointment. Some students only come for counselling once; others come several times over a period of time. It is the student who decides what is preferable and it is also always the student who sets the tone for the counselling.
If you are looking for a church or another denomination, the university chaplains will be happy to help you.
Besides offering counselling the university chaplains work together with the Christian student congregations to organize activities for students. The student congregations are groups of students connected to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark who meet regularly, for example to hold Christian worship services with an ecumenical liturgy. Other possible activities are different gatherings with a speaker, retreats, a choir, meditation, a Bible study group and several other offers open to all students who are looking for a Christian fellowship. The student congregations are led by students and it is students who decide the programme for each semester.
One activity at the student congregation in Aarhus is a midday prayer and quiet contemplation at Stillerummet (the quiet room) where everyone is invited for a liturgical break in the middle of a stressful day. This is in Danish, but may be in English, if requested.