Denmark consists of a peninsula and 400+ islands in the North Sea. A bridge between Scandinavia and continental Europe, this friendly northern country is a confluence of modern, cosmopolitan cities; simple, historic architecture influenced by Nordic tradition, and fairytale villages with town markets, country churches, and castles. The flat country, with moors, lakes, farmlands, and woodlands, and traffic-free pedestrian streets are ideal for riding bicycles or chatting with friends at a cafe. Danes value their personal space and love to be cozy and comfortable—following the concept of hygge.

Weekends for teens are often mean parties, hanging out at cafes, and the cinema. Although soccer is most popular, don’t miss out on swimming, sailing or rowing since you’ll be an hour away from the seashore.

Host Family & Community

You can live anywhere in Denmark, including Greenland and Faroe Islands, however, you will likely be in a rural or suburban area. Danish towns are close together and you can comfortably rely on the public transportation system. Families in Denmark are very close and most prefer to cook dinner at home together every night. Follow the lead of your host siblings: Be independent, do your homework and help out around the house on your own.

School

An AFS student in Denmark attends school every day (5 days a week) and is expected to display a serious attitude towards school work despite the initial lack of Danish language skills. The students will be placed in a school that match their age, and not necessarily previous school level or years of study. We cannot guarantee a special school placement. Exchange students to Denmark will usually be placed in 9’th or 10’th grade (=10’th and 11’th school year) in a “Folkeskole” (lower secondary school), or 1’st or 2’nd grade (=11’th or 12’th school year) in “Gymnasium” (upper secondary school). AFS Denmark will make school placements according to how the individual exchange students fit into our school system with regards to age, and general level of maturity. We cannot accommodate specific school placements to meet school credit transfer requests from partners A special school schedule or special school subjects cannot be accomodated nor can the exchange student expect to be provided with special school assessments or school diplomas. Enrollment in a certain grade can’t be guaranteed. Schools decide, often depending on class size.

Language

The main language spoken is Danish, while Faroese, Greenlandic and German are also recognized as official regionally. Danish people tend to be quite proficient in English, so a basic knowledge of English will be helpful. AFS will help you find language courses in the first few months or provide you with materials to learn the language on your own before going on your exchange.

Food

Danish food includes a wide variety of meats and vegetables. Danish lunch is a traditional open-faced sandwich, called smorrebrod. Dinner is usually the main meal and typically a time for the whole family to gather and talk about their days. Danish people enjoy pickled herring and salted black licorice.

RELIGION

Most Danes are Lutherans (Protestant) but few practice it regularly. Most people only go to church for weddings, funerals, Christmas etc. Students requiring regular access to church, other than Protestant, or have any specific requests might be difficult to place.

DIETARY CUSTOMS

Most Danish households eat meat. We cannot guarantee a vegetarian host family or other kind of special diet restrictions. Please transfer the student’s application and we will consider them on a case-by-case basis. If there is a need for a special diet because of for example gluten allergy/celiac disease, the natural parents can be charged an amount equal to the excess cost for food – this will be in the order of 800 Dkr. This will be based on an individual assessment.

HEALTH

Many homes have pets as dogs and cats. Allergy towards animals can cause placement difficulties. We cannot accept a high number of student with allergies. Specific medical problems need to be mentioned on the application and preferably discussed with us before sending us the application.

SMOKING

Very important students are honest about smoking habits in their application. Most host families do not smoke, but are willing to host smoking students if they refrain from smoking indoors.

ENVIRONMENT AND GEOGRAPHY

An AFS exchange student in Denmark may be placed in any area of Denmark including Greenland or The Faroe Island. Please inform us if you have students with specific interests in the North Atlantic. Only students who accept this placement will be sent there. Most placements in Denmark mainland are in the countryside og suburban areas, and AFS Denmark cannot meet any specific placement wishes.

LANGUAGE LEVEL AND SKILLS: Basic English language skills are necessary. As a minimum all exchange students coming to Denmark must be able to hold short conversations and give brief, cohesive descriptions of everyday situations and subjects in English. If sending partners are unsure if a particular candidate will meet these requirements, we recommend that an Eltis test be conducted. The minimum score of the test should be 179 points. AFS Denmark might ask partners for a completed test, if we find reasons to question that a candidate meets the requirements.

Explore the Programs Available in Denmark