Who wouldn’t want to learn a new language in a country that is considered one of the happiest nations in the world? Denmark is a prime location for language learning that is filled with beautiful blonde people, stunningly simple landscapes, melt-in-your-mouth pastries, and an indescribable charm. There are language programs located throughout Denmark, so you can practice your Danish as you explore cobbled streets and candlelit cafés in one of the world’s most livable countries. Dive into this European hub and embark on the endless quest for hygge (hue-gah), a uniquely Danish social nirvana that you won’t find anywhere else!
While hygge is an untranslatable Danish trait, it can best be described as a type of “cozy togetherness” that is emphasized by Denmark’s size. Nestled between Germany and Sweden, with over 400 tiny islands surrounded by the North and Baltic Seas, Denmark is one of Europe’s smaller countries with only three main cities. There may be a slim selection of language courses in Denmark, but with a little research, you will undoubtedly find a program that allows you to bask in the pure, honest culture and relax in good company as you learn a new language.
The most popular city for language programs in Denmark is Copenhagen, the nation’s capital and largest city. While Europe is filled with hip cities, unreal landscapes, and authentic food, Copenhagen has an “X factor.” In other words, it’s the city to beat, or the city to be. With its world-class museums, industrial-chic design, and magical Nordic scenery, learning Danish in Copenhagen will be the ultimate European experience. Spend your days biking by colorful townhouses, your nights out on the town, and practice your Danish while feasting at some of the world’s best restaurants.
Aarhus is Denmark’s second largest city; Copenhagen’s shy little sister. Although it often falls in Copenhagen’s shadow, Aarhus is not to be underrated with its top-notch museums, delicious restaurants, lively nightlife, and insane amount of festivals that celebrate everything from music to food to Christmas. The city has the largest student population in Denmark, so the streets are always pulsing. Language students will have the opportunity to make heaps of friends in this big city, while embracing its relaxed, friendly vibes.
For those who want to step right into a fairy tale, consider language courses in Denmark based in Odense. Denmark’s third largest city is the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, and thus the place that influenced many of the magical stories of our childhoods. Fans can learn Andersen’s native language while visiting related attractions, museums, and public sculptures that encapsulate his stories. Non-fans can practice their Danish while exploring the endless breweries, cafés, and farmers’ markets. Odense is also considered the best home base for independent types who want to explore more of the country and of Europe, as it is the main transport hub of Denmark.
Language Courses in Denmark
Danes grow up hearing English on TV shows and in music, so English can be found everywhere in Denmark. But why travel abroad to speak your native language when you could immerse yourself in a new culture and the country’s only national language? Danish grammar is simple to master, and the language is so similar to Swedish and Norwegian that you’ll find yourself able to communicate in two other countries without any extra study. A three-for-one deal is hard to pass up! Not to mention, you’ll be able to form much closer friendships with your new Dane friends.
While options for language programs in Denmark are limited, the search is well worth it. The most common, and most effective, language program in Denmark includes full immersion. Most language students choose to live with a host family, learning Danish in one-on-one classes outside of a classroom. A “lesson” could include chatting over pastries at breakfast or watching TV with your teacher’s family members. Speaking Danish at home will ensure a confidence when exploring your city and practicing language skills on your own.
Students looking for more independence can choose to study at a language school in Denmark with semi-private or private tutoring. Whether you are new to Danish or a linguistic expert, tutors will be matched based on experience. Lessons are held Monday through Friday for several hours, and can last for a week, a month, or as long as an academic term.
Costs & Affordability
Language programs in Denmark range widely in cost depending on your length of stay, program type, and country of origin. Language schools often offer free tuition for European Union and Swiss citizens, but Denmark tends to be an expensive destination for everyone else. Homestay programs come with a program fee of several thousand dollars that include daily classes, accommodation, meals, cultural excursions, orientation, an academic assessment, and even travel insurance. The good news is that there are many scholarships available and fundraising platforms to get you started.
Although Denmark is part of the European Union, it is one of the few countries that doesn’t use the Euro. Instead, Danish currency comes in the Danish Krone; one Euro comes to about 7.5 DKK. Be prepared to save before embarking on a language program in Denmark and stick to a budget. Shop at cheap grocery stores like Aldi during the week, and you won’t feel guilty indulging in an “inexpensive” meal out with new friends on the weekend for $15 to $20. Splurge on a bicycle to save heaps on public transportation (and a gym membership)!
Accommodation & Visas
Most language programs abroad in Denmark offer homestays. Students live with their teachers in their own private rooms, with meals and cultural excursions provided. Language schools offer group housing in dorms called kollegiums. These, however, are more common for study abroad students earning college credit at their home universities.
While no visa is required for a stay of less than 90 days, residence permits are needed for longer programs. Remember to plan ahead if you choose to study language in Denmark, as the application process for a residence permit will take at least three months. Some required materials include an acceptance letter from a language school in Denmark, proof of financial support throughout your stay, and a processing fee. Be sure to check GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory to make sure you have all needed documents.
Benefits & Challenges
Denmark is absolutely one of the best locations for language courses abroad. Not only will you fall in love with a magical land of beautiful, happy people, but you will also have the whole of Europe at your fingertips. A train ride to Berlin takes a few hours, and Sweden is a mere 30 minutes away. Not to mention, there are 400 Danish islands to explore in your free time.
Denmark is also known for its high quality of education. It has the best professors with prestigious degrees who are passionate about learning. Every language teacher will come with real qualifications, so you are sure to have a successful language learning experience in Denmark.
Unfortunately, Denmark is also one of the most expensive destinations in Europe. While this factor worries most, students who are interested should take advantage of financial aid, scholarships, and fundraising. If you utilize all your platforms and plan ahead, you’re bound to have more than enough Danish Krone to keep you full of wienerbrød, Denmark’s most famous Viennese treat.
Hygge is real. There’s a reason Denmark is one of the world’s happiest nations. The country has a sense of social support and a culture of generosity that is hard to find elsewhere. Language students will undoubtedly be welcomed into the country and the culture wholeheartedly, and it will become impossible not to fall in love with the camaraderie of this Danish heaven.