As an exporter of fairy tales and hygge, Denmark often tops the charts of the world’s happiest countries. With its love of design and air of effortless cool, not to mention the wide range of English-taught programmes offered by Danish universities, the country has also become a prime destination for international students.
Getting a university education in Denmark is free for EU/EEA students or permanent residents. For all other international students, the fees can range between about €6,000 and €18,000 a year, depending on the programme.
The cheapest universities will charge between €6,000 to €9,000 per year, but this will depend on the type of programme. Bachelor’s degrees tend to be cheaper than Master’s degrees.
While it is a member of the EU, Denmark did not adopt the euro – its currency is the Danish krone (DKK). It is pegged to the euro at a fixed rate of 7.46 DKK per EUR.
Let’s take a look at international tuition fees at some of Denmark’s most popular universities:
|University||Tuition fees p.a. for non-EU/EEA international students|
|Aalborg University||ca. €14,000 for both Bachelors and Masters|
|Aarhus University||ca. €8,000 to €15,000|
|Aarhus University School for Business and Social Sciences||€8,500 for Bachelors and €10,000 for Masters|
|Copenhagen Business School||ca. €15,000 for Masters|
|IT University of Copenhagen||ca. €13,500|
|Roskilde University||ca. €9,000 to €18,000|
|Technical University of Denmark||ca. €6,500 to €17,000|
|University of Southern Denmark (SDU)||ca. €15,000 for Bachelors and Masters|
|University of Copenhagen||ca. €7,000 to €13,000 for Masters|
|VIA University College||ca. €7,000 to €8,000 for Bachelors|
Students from the EU/EEA won’t have to pay any fees when applying to universities in Denmark, but students from outside the EU/EEA are usually charged an application fee of DKK 750 / €100.
If you are required to pay this fee, you are charged separately by every Danish university you apply to; but it can cover a number of applications at the same institution. For example, at Aarhus University, the application fee covers up to three applications.
There are some more exemptions: Non-EU/EEA students with a permanent residence permit will not have to pay application fees. This also applies to those students who have already completed a Danish undergraduate degree and are applying for a Master’s degree.
Note: If you are a student from outside the EU/EEA, you will also need to factor in the cost of your residence permit.
While students from the EU, EEA or Switzerland can study in Denmark without the need for a visa, other international students will need to apply for a residence permit.
There are some eligibility conditions you will need to consider: for example, language and financial requirements. You will need to demonstrate you can support yourself financially – and the rules are pretty precise and the key requirements are:
The cost of applying for the residence permit as a student is about €255.
EU/EEA students don’t need a visa. However, they will need to get a registration certificate within three months of arriving in the country. This can be obtained from the regional state administration.
Students from the EU/EEA and permanent residents can study at a university in Denmark tuition-free. For students from outside the EU/EEA that are not permanent residents, fees can be pretty high – however, there are some scholarship options that can help.
Life as an international student can be pretty expensive. Thankfully, there are some scholarships that international students can apply for to study in Denmark. Here are some options:
If you’re eager to study in Denmark but find a full degree out of reach financially, consider an exchange programme from your home university. The shorter stay might make it more affordable; and via exchange programmes like the very popular Erasmus+ scheme you would also receive funding.
The deadlines for paying tuition fees at Danish universities vary according to the institution. However, tuition fees are most commonly paid in instalments (for example, by semester) and are usually due before the start of the academic year or the semester.
Here are examples of how this can work:
These are just some examples; it is wise to ensure that you check with your institution when its deadlines are and that you mark them in your calendar each year.
Denmark is not a cheap country, and the local cost of living are higher than in many other countries in Europe. However, keep in mind that, as an international student, your expenses will depend on your choices and lifestyle.
You may be able to find rooms for rent for less than €500 per month, but especially in the capital Copenhagen, prices will generally be higher. Factor in about €200/€300 for food – maybe less if you scout for deals at discount supermarkets. As for transport, it could cost you about €50 per month. But that’s an easy expense to avoid because bikes are really popular in Denmark and a second-hand bike should not cost more than €150.
In general, you should expect to spend around €750 to €900 a month, and up to €1,200 in Copenhagen. This level of monthly expenses is also roughly reflected in the budget you’ll have to demonstrate you can cover if you need to apply for a Danish student visa.
Finding a part-time job during your studies is not only a way to finance your student life. You will get a chance to widen your social and professional network, gain valuable work experience and learn new skills. Also, depending on the job, you might get the chance to practise your Danish – which will be important for you to learn not only for your professional life (especially if you plan to stay in Denmark after your studies) but also to make the most of your experience as an international student in Denmark.
EU/EEA students can work during their studies and after graduation without restrictions on the number of hours. For all other international students, there are some restrictions to keep in mind: You can work 20 hours a week during term time, and full time in June, July and August. Upon graduation, you will have six months to find employment and then apply for a professional visa.
609 Programmes in Denmark