Repeatedly ranked as a location with some of the happiest people in the world, Denmark is a prime study abroad destination for cultural enthusiasts and budding business professionals alike. Its high quality of life based on access to health care, education, and social services make it one of the most socially progressive countries in the world. Studying abroad in Denmark, the Land of the Vikings with juxtaposing modern city life and old world charm, will provide you with second to none exposure to Forbes’ named best business climate in the world.
Denmark has cities and small towns alike for urban dwellers and those that prefer a more culturally immersive experience. With Sweden only a 30 minute train ride away and Berlin a mere few hours, study abroad in Denmark is a great option for those interested in European exploration. Even though Denmark has over 400 islands, there are three main cities best suited for study abroad students.
While the nation’s capital city of Copenhagen is large in size, it still offers a welcoming, small town atmosphere that eases the transition to your home away from home. Filled with bicycle friendly streets, bustling music and DJ scene, remarkably efficient public transportation, and overflowing with modern art, studying in Copenhagen is a dream for students who want a big city study abroad experience with a friendly demeanor.
Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city, has a large university presence full of Danish charm. Even though it has a slower pace than Copenhagen, students can still take advantage of the big city amenities like museums, shops, Latin quarter, efficient public transportation, and music and art cultural events. Many students are drawn to the University of Aarhus when searching through study abroad programs in Denmark, for its School of Business and also because of its extensive nature trails.
For students looking for a tried and true Danish experience, they should look no further than study abroad in Aalborg. While many Danes are masters at English, studying in Aalborg facilitates a deeper cultural immersion into Danish life. The University of Aalborg is the most innovative in Denmark and provides many amenities to visiting international students.
Subjects & Courses
The biggest advantage of studying abroad in Denmark is the hands-on, real world application as a huge focus of its education system. As a college student in Denmark, this means you’ll have closer relationships with your professors and will be required to orally explain your work and understanding rather than rote memorization from a textbook. Discussions and project based work are the norm in a Danish university schedule. Most professors have professional work experience outside of university teaching, so your classroom learning includes practical, invaluable knowledge.
Most study abroad programs in Denmark host classes taught in English, but a course on Danish basics is a wise idea for every study abroad student to help you understand basic communication norms and give you insight into Danish culture.
For newcomers to the Danish education system, the grading scale takes some getting used to as it ranks from negative three to 12 with seven as a C and two as the bare minimum to pass. Most of your grades depend on the final exam.
Similar to the university calendar in the United States, fall semester begins late August and ends mid December while spring semester begins mid January and ends mid May.
For those who study abroad in Denmark, the opportunity to study nearly anything and everything is available. But the most popular subjects of study in Denmark are international business, sustainability, communications, political science, and architecture. The common thread between these subjects is cutting edge innovation. How are these areas diversifying? Growing? Solving international problems? These, along with many more, are among the types of questions you’ll ask yourself in a Danish classroom (or on a field specific trip)!
Scholarships & Costs
For European Union and Swiss citizens, tuition in Denmark is free of charge. For those not lucky enough to be from the EU or Switzerland, tuition can cost you a pretty penny at anywhere from 6,000 to 16,000 euros along with the cost of living. The good news is there are many scholarships available under Denmark’s Ministry of Higher Education and Science for year long and summer term study abroad programs in Denmark. Otherwise, check with your program provider for scholarships to offset any costs of studying in Denmark.
While Denmark is part of the European Union, its citizens use the kroner instead of the euro. While this fluctuates, one euro is about 7.50 Krones. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant with new friends from your architecture class can run you about $17, sharing a Coke with your language partner can cost you around $4, and shopping for a new pair of jeans can cost you around $140. Additional funds to support you while you study in Denmark are ideal, so you can enjoy the local pastries and cheeses without regret.
Accommodations & Visas
For international students studying in Denmark, the two most common options for housing are homestays with local Danish families or in a kollegium, a student residence hall. In a kollegium, students can expect to share communal spaces and live with international students from all over the world.
Depending on your study abroad program in Denmark, you may be automatically placed in one of these two. Your program provider will typically assist with a housing placement, but beware searching for an apartment on your own in August or September as high student numbers saturate the housing market and make it difficult to find one.
For United States citizens who decide to study abroad in Denmark for less than 90 days, a visa will not be required. For study abroad programs in Denmark that last longer than 90 days (such as a semester or year long experience), you will need a residence permit and the application timeframe is long and lengthy--planning ahead is strongly recommended. Some required materials to apply for this residence permit include a formal letter of acceptance from your Danish school, proof you can support yourself financially during your stay, and typically a processing fee. Be sure to check with respective governmental websites to ensure you have the appropriate documents and requirements met well in advance.
Benefits & Challenges
- Professors: Best of the Best. Denmark is one of the leading countries in the world for high quality education. The professors’ approach to hands on learning, real world application, and putting theory into practice will give you an advantage in many fields as a result of your experience studying in Denmark.
- Expensive. Denmark is one of the most expensive countries in Europe, so taking advantage of financial aid, scholarships, and crowdfunding platforms is best to have enough funds to support your experience. Careful planning and fundraising in advance will ensure you have enough kroner to keep you full of smørrebrød (traditional open faced sandwiches).