The European country of Denmark is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, and is quite a distinctive place to volunteer abroad. Therefore, you should know three things before volunteering abroad in Denmark. First, the Scandinavian nation is known for being one of the most socially progressive countries in the world. Secondly, it has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. And lastly, world happiness reports (yes, these really exist!) consistently ranked Denmark as number one, making it the happiest place to live on Earth (besides maybe Disneyland). Even so, volunteering in Denmark is not all delicious breakfast pastries and cute, large dogs, it is much more!
Denmark is a unique country to volunteer abroad in; it is the gateway between mainland Europe and the rest of Scandinavia. The country is renowned for connecting old and new, with its modern cities and enchanting, almost storybook-like atmosphere.
Copenhagen. With nine centuries of experience, the Danish capital of Copenhagen has certainly earned its world-class, royal status as home to the royal family at Amalienborg Palace. Be sure to take in the other historic sites and landmarks while volunteering in Copenhagen, such as the Tivoli Gardens and the statue of The Little Mermaid. Although it is fairly small, with its bike friendly streets, cozy cafés, and colorful, close quartered townhouses, Copenhagen packs in a lot of city. Consequently, the dense, urban population is ripe with need, which is where international volunteers come into play.
Aarhus. Located on the peninsula, Aarhus is a unique mix of a cosmopolitan city with small town charm. Although this distinctive blend may seem perplexing, it makes more sense when you understand how large the student population is, making it the youngest city in Denmark. With such youthful inhabitants, Aarhus has become well versed in offering a wide range of cultural events, not to mention almost everything is a fifteen-minute bike ride away! If you are young at heart, you will certainly feel at home as a volunteer in Aarhus.
If you’re interested in staying away from the bustling cities and urban areas, then volunteering in Denmark in one of the many rural areas may be more your speed. From steep, rocky coastline to green meadows, the rural lands of Denmark offer pristine, natural beauty.
Volunteer Work in Denmark
Denmark has an extraordinary healthcare system, wonderful universities, and even medieval castles to fulfill your childhood fantasies. Volunteering in Denmark may surprise you, with the various placement opportunities available throughout the country.
If you are looking for a truly meaningful opportunity to volunteer in Denmark, then look no further than community service placements. There are a variety of programs available that will allow you to give back to local communities in Denmark. But that is not the only way to volunteer in Denmark. Other volunteer opportunities in Denmark include assisting local teachers in teaching English or working at a residential home helping to care for the elderly.
Volunteering in Denmark can last anywhere from one to two weeks, all the way up to one year. Depending on the volunteer program and placement you choose, the time you’ll need to devote will vary. Don’t be troubled if you haven’t brushed up on your Danish before your journey; many Danes know multiple languages. However, if you are working in a small group of Danes, you may be left out of the conversation if you don’t speak Danish.
Costs & Affordability
There are many reasons to volunteer in Denmark, unfortunately, affordability is not one of them. When it comes to volunteering in Denmark, you get what you pay for; this Nordic country has a high standard of living, so volunteers looking to experience it will need to certainly pay the extra price. Interested in a cappuccino? That will set you back about $5. A quick meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost you about $15. A gallon of milk for your cereal will cost you around $4. These prices will certainly add up, and it’s important that you keep track of your spending and your lifestyle if you need to maintain a certain budget while volunteering in Denmark.
Although volunteer opportunities in Denmark vary in what they provide to volunteers, the majority of programs will provide food and housing in the upfront program costs. In addition, some of volunteer programs in Denmark will provide language training, monthly stipends, and in-country orientation. Volunteers are also encouraged to fundraise for their trip with online sites like FundMyTravel.
Accommodation & Visas
Choosing to volunteer in Denmark is a huge decision, primarily since the costs associated with living there will be quite costly. To help you with the extra burden, many programs offer group living accommodations with other individuals volunteering in Denmark; this might be the ideal choice to alleviate any stress you may have about finding accommodations in a foreign country. However, if you choose to forego this option and venture on your own, keep the cost of living in mind. An apartment in the city center can cost you around $900 a month.
Volunteering in Denmark for a short period of time, such as 90 days of less, does not generally require a visa (though it largely depends on your nationality). However, if you require a longer time for your volunteer program in Denmark, you will need to conduct further research on visa requirements to ensure you have your necessary documentation fulfilled. Contact or visit a Danish embassy in your home country to ensure you are aware of the visa requirements for your travel.
Benefits & Challenges
Denmark is one of the safest countries in the world, which gives you the extra benefit of exploring the urban and rural areas without feeling as if you are risking your well being. Also, for all of you nature lovers and environmentalists, you can enjoy walks across green landscapes and lush forests.
However, with such a small landmass and a high population, Denmark (especially its cities) is fairly crowded. It may be challenging to get used to the lack of personal space when you are standing close to strangers on the public transit.
Be prepared to have a life chancing experience as a volunteer in Denmark, but only if you make sure to keep an open mind. The Danes are known for their progressive beliefs and attitudes. This will be a good chance for you to experience differing or similar beliefs from your own and challenge yourself to learn more about the happiest people in the world.