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Program Description

The peninsula of Denmark juts straight into the North Sea, serving as a bridge between Scandinavia and continental Europe. This has brought a continuous stream of cultures back and forth over the centuries, and the benefits are evident in today’s Denmark: modern, cosmopolitan cities; simple, historic architecture influenced by Nordic tradition; and fairy-tale villages with town markets, country churches, and castles. The country is relatively flat, with moors, lakes, farmlands, and woodlands, and traffic-free “walking streets.” Citizens of a maritime nation, the Danes have always turned their eyes and hearts to the sea, and no part of the country is more than an hour’s drive from the seashore.

As an AFSer in Denmark, you’ll spend a full academic year attending a local high school and living with a host family. Denmark is more than just a peninsula: there is the exciting possibility of being placed in Greenland, an unspoiled country full of adventure, indigenous people, and breathtaking landscapes; or the Faroe Islands, located north of Scotland, providing spectacular scenery and friendly close-knit communities.


Danish is Denmark’s official language. In Greenland, the predominant language is Greenlandic which is closely related to languages spoken by the Inuits of northern Canada, Alaska and Siberia.

The ability to speak Danish is not a prerequisite for the program, but we strongly suggest that you learn as much as possible prior to departure. All students are expected to learn and speak Danish during the program.

It’s possible that your local chapter will be able to arrange Danish lessons after school or instead of your normal classes one day a week during your first months abroad. Some schools offer some Danish lessons as well.

Host Family & Community

Most placements in Denmark’s mainland are in rural or suburban areas. Towns are close together and there is an excellent public transportation system. It’s possible that you could be placed in Greenland or on the Faroe Islands.

Host families in Denmark, like all AFS host families worldwide, are volunteers and are not paid. They open their homes to students in order to share their community and culture as well as to enrich their own family lives.

The Danes

The Danes tend to be cosmopolitan in their attitudes and lifestyle. The Danish standard of living is high and Danes tend to be well educated. They take pride in their country’s highly developed public schools, higher education, and health services. The culture is highly respected for its accomplishments in science, art, literature, and architecture.

Perhaps nothing captures the Danish perspective on life more than the concept of hygge, which– roughly translated– means cosy and snug. This affects how Danes approach many aspects of their lives, from their homes to cafes.

Nuclear families are the most common in Denmark, but, like in many other countries, divorce rates are quite high and many kids stay with single parents or have stepparents and step-siblings.


On weekends, Danish teens, like most teens around the world, like to get together with friends to talk, go to parties or see a movie. Danish schools and local community organisations offer various activities. These include sports, music, crafts, drama and scouting.

Danish teenagers play sports or belong to outside organisations and clubs after school. Soccer is the most popular sport in Denmark. People also enjoy handball, badminton, swimming, sailing, rowing and jogging. In Greenland and the Faroe Islands, hiking, dog-sledding, and skiing are popular. Biking is a popular mode of transportation.

Danish teens are encouraged to be independent, but are expected to take responsibility for schoolwork and household chores. This reflects the culture’s promotion of personal responsibility and oplysning, which means “enlightenment towards lifelong learning.”


Traditional open-faced sandwiches known as smörrebröd are popular. The evening meal is usually the main meal of the day and is often a time when the whole family is together. Dinner usually includes meat or fish, potatoes, rice or pasta, and vegetables. Sometimes dessert is served. Staples of the Danish diet include roast pork, fish, beans, Brussels sprouts, fresh vegetables, and grains.

Danes tend to eat meals rather than snack from the refrigerator. Vegetarianism is extremely rare, making vegetarians difficult to place.

Host School

There are two types of school that AFSers may be enrolled in. Most students are placed in the first or second year of Gymnasium, which is a 3 year college prep school similar to high school. Other students will attend Folkeskole, which is geared toward 6-16 year olds.

School runs from August through June, with breaks in October and at Christmas and Easter. You will attend classes Monday through Friday from 8:00AM to 3:00PM. Students usually have 5-6 mandatory subjects and 1 or 2 electives like a foreign language, sports, or physics.

Orientations & Activities

In addition to the orientations that you will participate in domestically, you and your fellow AFSers will have several orientations while abroad. These required orientations are intended to help you maximise your AFS experience, prevent culture shock and to gain knowledge, skills and a global understanding.

Optional Activities

In addition to the orientations, many local chapters organise activities for students and host families throughout the year. These will vary from chapter to chapter but may include parties or excursions to other cities or regions in Denmark. Unlike the orientations, these activities are optional and are at the student’s expense.

Eligibility Requirements

The AFS Year programs offer you a great opportunity to live and study in another country for a period of up to 11 months. On the AFS Student Exchange program, you’ll be provided with an exceptional intercultural experience. This program will suit you if you really want to learn a new language and feel a part of a local community.  Year Program  is only open to Form 5 students.

The AFS Semester programs offer you a great opportunity to live and study in another country for a period of 6 months. On the AFS Student Exchange program, you will be provided with an exceptional intercultural experience. This program will suit you if you really want to learn a new language and feel a part of a local community.

The AFS Intensive Program Denmark (Ranum Efterskole)

Have you ever wanted to try skiing? Well then, your Scandinavian adventure starts here! You will be spending 3 weeks in a Danish school guided by a Danish friend. This program includes a 4 day homestay with a Danish family. During the program, you will learn a new language (Danish, English, French or German), study media and explore cultural differences besides embarking on a 7 day skiing trip!

Spend 3 weeks attending a local Danish high school and getting involved in your host community. AFS intensive Program provides the perfect opportunity to experience another culture in a new country without compromising obligations back at home.

Inclusions: Placement with host family, Enrollment at a local high school for the duration of the program, International Airfare, Airfare Management, Visa guidance and advice (Visa application submission and cost is student’s responsibility), Domestic travel in your host country to your host family, Medical Insurance (Exclusions apply), 24/ 7 Worldwide support network, Arrival and departure orientations.

For more information on what’s included in the program, fee clicks here.

Visa Information: Please note that most year program destinations do require you to have a visa to participate in a school-based program. Visa costs and application timeframes vary by destination. Please make sure you budget up to an extra RM500-RM1000 for potential visa costs as this is not included in the program fee. AFS sends all visa information to participants upon acceptance to the program.

AFS programs are based on school and family life and note that tourist travel cannot be a priority.

Please note that for Austrian visa purposes you may be required to travel interstate to lodge your visa application. Associated costs with the visa are not included in the AFS program fee.


What's included in your experience

  • Airfare
  • Airport Pick-up
  • Host Family Placement
  • Meals
  • School Placement
  • Individual Contact Person
  • Medical Insurance
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • Domestic Transport
  • School Transport
  • Visa Application Assistance
  • Visa and Passport Fees
  • Pre-Departure Orientation
  • Orientations during your time abroad
  • Re-entry Orientation
  • Teaching Materials
  • School Materials
  • Access to Alumni Network
  • Continuous Support

What you are responsible for

  • Vaccinations
  • Cultural Tours
  • Language Instruction
  • Visa and Passport Fees
  • Grade Transcripts
  • School Diploma
  • Project Materials
  • Stipend