Denmark is a land of old kings and ancient traditions dating back to the early Vikings, who ruled the lands long ago. Here one will find a diverse culture settled deep within Nordic customs.
Prospective students will also find advanced universities and student life unique to their own. Danish students flourish in their studies and attend many festivals and social events to celebrate their way of life.
These are just a few of the many reasons why you should study in Denmark.
1. Top-Rated Universities
The University of Copenhagen is ranked high amongst its fellow schools in Denmark. It boasts a high international student exchange rate with a myriad of courses from which you can choose. It's also one of the largest centers for research and education in the Nordic countries.
The University of Southern Denmark also offers competitive study abroad programs for international students. Its application process is simple and it provides accommodation ideas for students moving to Denmark from abroad. The university enjoys welcoming exchange students and offers a number of courses in English.
Other popular universities include:
2. Scholarships / Grants
Many universities will offer scholarships, grants, and/or financial aid to help fund your education, though not all scholarships are available to international students. However, there are other ways to get scholarships which are unique to you and your goals.
Be sure to check with your college or university at home, as it may also offer scholarships, grants, or essay contests which will allow you to earn money to put towards a study abroad program.
These will be listed on your school's website, or you can inquire with your adviser about your options.
3. Unique Social Life / Traditions
Students in Denmark are involved in more social interactions surrounding their studies. At the beginning of the year, students are placed into study groups which meet weekly to discuss readings and class work.
There are also traditional events, such as Aarhus University's "Kapsejlads," which means Spring Regatta. During this event, students gather around the lakes in the middle of campus for a day of drinking, relaxing, boat races, and a naked run to win tickets to the Roskilde Festival.
Another tradition is Friday Bars, when different departments from the university host wild, themed parties. This brings more fun and variety throughout the school year and is a great opportunity to bond with your classmates.
4. Housing / Living Costs
If your university at home is partnered with Denmark already, then you will only pay your school's tuition. If you are not coming from a partner school, then you will pay Denmark's tuition.
European students receive free tuition, with the exception of certain courses, if they meet the following requirements:
- Permanent residence permit
- Temporary residence permit that can be upgraded to a permanent one
- Parent from a non-EU/EEA country who is already working in Denmark
Living costs will add up to around 700 - 900 EUR monthly in smaller towns. In larger areas, like Copenhagen, living costs could reach up to 1200 EUR a month.
MastersPortals, an online resource for international students, published an overview of how much food, housing, and transportation costs will be during your stay.
5. Happiest Country in the World
Denmark was voted the happiest country in the world in April 2016, via the World Happiness Report. To rank the 156 surveyed countries, a team from the University of British Columbia looked at what the "countries have in common: a large GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy at birth, and a lack of corruption in leadership.
But also essential were three things over which individual citizens have a bit more control: a sense of social support, freedom to make life choices, and a culture of generosity."
Denmark's results revealed a high percentage of gender equality and residents who love to bike. This contributes to the wellness of the people and the environment.
6. Exotic Food Culture
Another reason to study abroad in Denmark is to experience the country's unique food culture. For breakfast, Danish folk will often have a dish called "junket crumble" or "ymerdrys." It consists of crumbled rye bread mixed with brown sugar.
Another morning dish you can experience as a study abroad student is "wienerbred," a Danish pastry filled with custard. Breakfast is usually the celebration time in Denmark, whereas dinner is the common American celebratory mealtime.
The average lunch consists of cold meats such as roast beef, fish, and sausage on rye bread with toppings.
Dinnertime, or "middag," is usually eaten at home with the entire family. It used to contain multiple courses, but since the 60's it has become simplified to one. The traditional gruel, meat broth, or sweet fruit soup is still served today.
American and Italian influences can be seen in Denmark with pastas, barbecues, and salad bars. However, the traditional cuisines outshine any foreign foods served here. As a student, getting to experience these traditional dishes with locals is part of the immersion process.
Perhaps you could try your hand at preparing some and invite a few classmates over. It would show them you are truly interested in their culture and perhaps gain you brownie points among the Danish.
7. Wildlife / National Parks
Elk, boars, wolves, and brown bears frequent the terrains of Denmark. However, many other large mammals once found here have slowly gone extinct.
The most common mammals seen include rodents like rabbits, hedgehogs, foxes, squirrels, and the European polecat. Roe deer are also common and roam the landscape freely.
In the summer, many birds migrate to Denmark, such as water fowls, like the stork. There are more than 300 bird species in the country all together.
Marine life also flourishes within the mainland waters and in the North and Baltic seas bordering Denmark. A popular species is the beluga whale, which frequents colder waters.
In order to protect the wildlife, three national parks were established in Denmark, and one was created in Greenland. They are open all year long and at no cost to visitors.
The University of Copenhagen offers an incredible Animal Science program, which is taught in English. Many universities, like Copenhagen, offer work permits for international students.
If you're studying zoology or an animal related career, the National Park Service may be hiring student help. It would be a great opportunity to work with such unique wildlife.
8. Diverse Geography / Outdoor Activities
Denmark sits just above Germany and contains many islands around the mainland. Norway and Sweden are not too far off to the north, and may be an easy trip to take on a weekend. The lands are generally flat, but now low enough to have a lot of swampland. The coastlines are beautiful and the islands surrounding are densely populated.
The outdoor activities which can be found here are unique and fascinating to international students. Caving is a popular activity in Jutland, where three abandoned mines are now open to the public. Amber, or Nordic gold, hunting is common along the coastlines. Forest dinners, or what Americans would call "campfires," are popular events.
Mountain biking is available in many of the parks around Denmark and rentals are cheap. On the water, seal and porpoise watching is a huge tourist attraction.
A writer at VisitDenmark.com shares that, "At Tondermarsken in the Wadden Sea National Park, South Jutland, you can see the unbelievable natural phenomenon known as the Black Sun. Occurring in spring and autumn, the Black Sun occurs when thousands of starlings gather at dusk, drawing amazing dark patterns on the sky."
Look here to discover many other natural adventures in this ancient Nordic land.
9. Events / Festivals
The Ribe International Viking Market is a historic event that occurs each May. It showcases the way Vikings used to live hundreds of years ago. People from all over Scandinavia flock to Ribe to attend the events and historical shows held there.
The Aalborg Carnival is the largest carnival in Northern Europe, with over 60,000 participants and over 100,000 onlookers. Within the carnival is the Grand Parade, which ends in a large-scale party of colors in the city. It's a unique event which happens right in the streets near Aalborg University!
For more events and dates, go here and find out which festival is right for you!
10. Popular Landmarks
Denmark is a gold mine for students wishing to study history, anthropology, geography, the social sciences, and many more. It boasts an abundance of historical sites and museums, which showcase thousands of years of culture and tradition of the Nordic people.
Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen was built by the famous Scandinavian king, Christian IV, in the early 17th century. It holds the crown jewels of the Danish king and queen as well as the portraits of Caroline Mathilde and Struensee.
For those seeking contemporary thrills, The Tivoli Gardens is also situated in Copenhagen. It is one of the most popular amusement parks in Europe. It's even said to be the base model for Disney Land.
For Viking lovers, the Viking Ship Museum is located in Roskilde near the university. There you can book tickets to sail in a true Viking's ship and experience how they traversed the waters with their incredibly advanced boats.