Hello everyone, we’re Robert de Hoop and Nicole Schoute from the Netherlands. In June we got our bachelor’s degree in Archaeology at Saxion University of Applied Sciences (Deventer). During the 4 years that we studied there, we got really interested in maritime archaeology. There is however no integrated academic degree programme for maritime archaeology at any Dutch university. To become a professional maritime archaeologist you have to go abroad to obtain a degree. We decided to do this at the University of Southern Denmark. In the next two years we will keep you updated on the programme here, the diving course that we will be following and about moving to and living in Denmark.
The Maritime Archaeology Programme (MAP) at the University of Southern Denmark is based in Esbjerg, the 5th largest city of Denmark, on the Danish North Sea coast. The programme is internationally oriented and all teaching is conducted in English. MAP is a two-year master programme that was created with employability in mind. That is why the course is structured around skills which are necessary in the fields of heritage management, consultancy and archaeological contract work. Education is free in Denmark, which is why the maritime archaeology masters course is free of charge for students from European Union/EEA countries. Only students from outside the EU/EEA are charged an annual tuition fee. At the University of Southern Denmark students also have the opportunity to obtain an internationally-recognised commercial SCUBA diving qualification at relatively low cost. As an approved commercial diving school, the masters programme can issue the Danish “SCUBA erhvervsdykker” certificate (equivalent to HSE SCUBA).
Before the classes started there were a couple of introduction days. The first introduction day we had a barbeque. During this barbeque we met most of our classmates and some other international students. Our class consists of 15 people and is comprised of a lot of nationalities: American, Spanish, Greek, Dutch, Scottish, Canadian and Danish people.
The second introduction day we went with all our classmates to Ribe, which is the oldest town in Denmark. We’ve got some information there about the Archaeology Society Esbjerg (MASE) and about the diving course. MASE is a student run group for the students of the Maritime Archaeology Programme at the University of Southern Denmark. They take on all different kind of projects in their spare time. Every student can join and help out on these projects. We’ll definitely be doing that as well to get more experience during the programme. Right now MASE is doing a survey in the river Ribe Å, which runs through Ribe, where we got to take a look. The point of this survey is to find the harbour construction that should have been here in the Viking age.
After we visited the site, we headed to the Vikings Museum of Ribe. We got a tour through Ribe and were told all about the history of this old town. After the tour we all headed back to Esbjerg, where we met in the Dive Lab, which is close to the student housing. This is a lab especially for the divers and the dive students. Wood from shipwrecks is preserved here and the drysuits and other technical stuff for diving is been stored here. The day ended with another barbeque, for all the new Maritime Archaeology students.
The next day began with an introduction on the University where we got an explanation about all things that have to be taken care of when you move to Denmark, like a residence permit and CPR-number (your civil registration number). More information and tips about this aspect will follow in a later blog.
On Tuesday the 1st of September our classes started with an introduction by Thijs Maarleveld, one of our professors. We also met the other professors there and were told all about the programme. This semester we’ll get the following courses:
- Archaeology and Management
- Introduction to Methods in Maritime Archaeology
- Man and Sea
In the next blog we will give an overview of these classes and what can be expected from them. Also we’ll be talking more in depth about the diving course. Until next time!
Robert de Hoop & Nicole Schoute