Study Abroad in Denmark Student Spotlight: Morgan Hayes

An undergraduate student in Ecosystem Science & Sustainability
July 25, 2023
Morgan Hayes and another student with construction hats in front of a ladder

My name is Morgan Hayes, and I am a CSU student studying Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. I recently had the opportunity to travel to Copenhagen, Denmark to study sustainable energy futures thanks to the CSU Energy Institute Education Abroad Scholarship. This scholarship provided me with financial assistance that opened doors to a unique academic experience and cultural immersion.

Copenhagen, the historic capital of Denmark, served as the setting for my learning journey. Copenhagen, recognized as one of the most sustainable capital cities in the world, inspired and motivated me with its ambitious goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025. Throughout the program, I witnessed firsthand how technology, cultural initiatives, and community involvement worked together to make this city a model of sustainability practices.  

During my 10-day program, I was able to visit several sites that left a lasting impression. The Samsø Energy Academy, located on the island of Samsø, demonstrated the need for community involvement and collaboration in accelerating the shift to sustainable energy sources. Additionally, the Middelgrunden Wind Farm, which is partially owned by the local community, represented Denmark’s commitment to sustainable energy and development. Finally, Amager Resource Center, a waste-to-energy and recycling facility, exemplified resource recovery from waste, while also contributing to a circular economy and providing district heating to community households.  

Denmark’s dedication to sustainability went beyond large-scale projects. Daily sustainability advancements, such as self-draining sidewalks that effectively controlled runoff, solar energy-powered electric vehicles, and Power-to-X advertisements, raising awareness about clean energy solutions, amazed me.   

My time abroad taught me about the intricate connections between culture, history, communication, and energy technology. By contrasting energy transitions in the United States and Denmark, I acquired insight into the unique challenges and opportunities faced by each country. Furthermore, by working with a variety of stakeholders, I improved my critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving abilities. 

Based on my experience, I would advise aspiring international scholars to thoroughly research and identify programs that align with your academic and personal interests. I urge students to plan carefully and explore various scholarship opportunities, as financial limitations should not prevent you from pursuing education abroad. I am grateful for the support that the CSU Energy Institute Education Abroad Scholarship provided, and I encourage others to take advantage of similar opportunities to extend your perspectives and make a positive impact on our world.