Studying in Denmark – Grace Cook
I graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2016 and like many other final year students and graduates, I was unsure about what my next steps were going to be. I was studying towards a degree in Sociology and I knew that I didn’t want to go on to do a masters, but I didn’t feel ready for ‘adult life’ and full-time work just yet.
I chose to do something different from all my friends and decided to move to Denmark and continue studying. I changed my academic focus completely and began studying towards a Marketing qualification at Business Academy Aarhus (BAAA) in the city of Aarhus. Alongside studying, I have also managed to get an English speaking job at a local company as the regional marketing manager for the UK. I definitely feel that I made the right decision!
Why choose overseas study?
I am a firm believer in the benefits of studying abroad. Whilst I was at university I did a semester abroad studying in Florida, I think this is what gave me the confidence and desire to live abroad again. As cliché as it may sound, studying overseas really benefits you personally as you meet different people from so many different cultures and countries and your confidence will grow massively.
Considering studying overseas is also an option if you are unsure about the style of teaching in the UK. BAAA is very different from English universities in the sense that they put their focus on combining theory with practice and group-work, and the environment is a lot more relaxed. However, if you desire a more formal style of education then this can be fulfilled by studying at one of the larger universities in cities like Copenhagen and Aalborg.
How to apply
If studying abroad in Denmark is something that appeals to you then I have some tips about applying for education programmes. Firstly, do some research and find courses that interest you (most websites have an English version). There are many English-speaking courses available at the big universities in Denmark like the University of Copenhagen and Aarhus University and also vocational courses at smaller academy style institutions. Websites like studyindenmark.dk and the Gov.uk advice page are really helpful sources of information. I applied directly to BAAA and it was a simple process involving a Skype interview.
If you are an EU citizen who is planning to stay in Denmark for longer than three months, you will need to register with the State Administration where you will receive an EU residence permit and a CPR number. The latter is required for things like opening a bank account and getting a phone contract. More helpful information about this process can be found here.
How will I afford it?
The generous Danes provide EU students with equal status. This means that requiring you fulfil the conditions they set, for instance working a minimum of 43 hours a month, you are entitled to receive SU (similar to a Student Finance grant in the UK) to help support your studies.
If you wish to find employment whilst in Denmark, don’t be put off by horror stories about the high taxes – job salaries are adjusted to account for these so it isn’t as bad as it sounds!
How can I get an English-speaking job?
This is a little trickier but by no means impossible. As English is so widely spoken in Denmark, cafés and bars will happily hire someone who can only speak English as most customers will have no problems communicating with them. However, being able to speak a little Danish is a huge help when applying for jobs as Danes appreciate the effort to learn their language. Luckily, this is also taken care of by the Danish government as they kindly offer all foreign citizens the opportunity to take Danish lessons free of charge for three years.
Many companies in Denmark are keen to hire native English speakers to help develop their international departments. The company I work for, TrendHim, employs students from all over Europe and they are always looking for new staff. Regardless of whether you would like part-time work or something more, this is definitely achievable as a Brit.