Internships in Denmark allow students to explore a Nordic country known for Vikings and the birthplace of Legos. A nation of 5 million people, interning in Denmark provides interns with a modern economic and political experience, as it is a leader in political change and well known for its robust economy. Denmark is known for several successful industries, including agriculture, international trade and shipping, renewable energy, and pharmaceuticals. Obtaining training and work experience in Denmark will undoubtedly make interns more attractive and valuable to future employers. To top it all off, Denmark is often referred to as the happiest country in the world.
Copenhagen is Denmark’s capital city and home to nearly 2 million people, and it is the location of most internship programs in Denmark. The capital is known for being the economic and cultural scene of the country. Internships in Copenhagen include jobs that focus on various industries, such as business and consulting, communication and marketing, and sales and client care. Placement include internships at international companies, like IBM, Siemens, and L'Oreal. As an intern, it is helpful to speak at least some Danish while interning in Denmark, but employees at most internship companies will speak English.
Copenhagen offers several museums, theatres, and other venues. It also hosts numerous festivals throughout the year, from music and films to food or dance focused. For example, Copenhagen Distortion is a huge party that celebrates the city’s clubs and nightlife, while Copenhagen Cooking is a week-long festival that tempts your taste buds with all kinds of Nordic delectables.
Odense is the third largest city in Denmark. Do you remember Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales? This famous storyteller was born in Odense in 1805. Today, Odense is a commercial city with a major shopping district that offers various industries from breweries to vegetable and fruit dealers.
If you are an outdoorsy person, you may want to intern in Silkeborg, known for its forests and lakes. Silkeborg is home to various industries, including a large paper factory and tourism-related companies.
Internships in Denmark
Most internships in Denmark occur during the summer months, but internships can last from a few weeks, to a few months, all the way to more than a year. Individuals who choose to intern in Denmark will typically work 20 to 40 hours per week. Fortunately, Danish internships usually include a salary or stipend too!
Interning abroad in Denmark will allow interns to work in a variety of placements, such as sales, social media, web design, software development, engineering, agricultural, customer service, clinical research, and much more. However, sales and computer science are most common and most popular.
Those who intern in Copenhagen will gain a taste of what it is like to live and work in Scandinavia. Compared to the United States, those who work in Copenhagen and other Scandinavian areas pay a lot more in taxes and government fees - equaling about 60 percent of their paychecks. However, that tax and fee money generates higher-quality hospitals, child care, nursing homes, and correctional facilities. Scandinavian workers typically do not work past 5 p.m. and they definitely do not work on weekends! Also, Scandinavian residents tend to liver farther away from their neighbors than those in the United States. Apparently, a fence and extra land make for good neighbor relations and happier living.
Danish people communicate informally and enjoy humor and kindness, and aren’t afraid to talk about their personal lives. However, they know when it is necessary to be more formal when dealing with work matters. Workers are considered equals, whether you are an intern in Denmark or a top-level manager the work environment is a comfortable one that encourages communication and respect.
Most internships in Denmark require participants to meet certain requirements and have experience in certain areas. For example, many internships require interns to have at least a bachelor’s degree, be proficient in Microsoft Word/Excel, be a multi-tasker, be able to perform basic administrative tasks, and have strong communication skills.
Salaries & Costs
One very special and unique benefit regarding internships in Denmark: unlike placements in many other countries, most Danish internships are paid. Due to government requirements, interns in Denmark typically make between $650 and $1,300 a month.
Those who want to complete an internship in Denmark should be sure they have around $1,000 per month to cover basic living costs, including housing and food. Both fortunately and unfortunately, Denmark has one of the highest standards of living, so interns on a tight starting budget may not be best suited for internships in Denmark. However, the financial awards of interning in Denmark can be significant if interns know how to budget well.
Average prices to keep in mind:
- Housing: $450 to $700 per month
- Coffee: $3.50 to $7 a cup
- Alcohol: $5 to $9 per glass or beer
- Dinner: $35 per person
Interns can get to most cities in Denmark by bus, train, or ferry. But interns are advised to rent, purchase, or borrow a bicycle if interning in Copenhagen, as it is clearly the best way to get around. Copenhagen is considered one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world with miles of bike paths. Just be sure to wear a helmet!
Accommodations & Visas
Individuals who intern abroad in Denmark may find themselves in a range of accommodations, from host families to hostels, or apartments, houses, and residence halls. It is important to find and reserve a room or housing before arriving in Denmark, because it is often very difficult to secure accommodations on the spot. Luckily, most internship providers and universities assist with obtaining housing to make the transition easier for interns.
Unless you’ll be interning in Denmark for three months or less, you will have to apply for a residence permit as well as a work permit (if required, make sure you ask!). Interns should quite easily be able to acquire the appropriate residence and work permit, which will be valid for the duration of their internship in Denmark.
To obtain residence and work permits, potential interns must meet certain requirements, such as be between the ages of 18 and 34 years of age, have minimum amount of funds available in their bank account, and be joining internships related to the educational endeavors or degree focus of the intern. Visas are also available for individuals who will be interning in Denmark for less than a three-month period too.
Benefits & Challenges
- Denmark offers several opportunities in different disciplines for internships. So whether you are into computers or construction, there will most likely be an internship in Denmark to meet your interests and provide a valuable experience.
- Denmark’s economic model has lower unemployment rates than the United States, as well as less inequality and lower budget deficits and the nation additionally has the world’s most flexible labor market. This is on top of the fact that Denmark ranks fifth in terms of nominal GDP in the world, which increases the desirability of Denmark as as an intern abroad destination.