Being a student

Most Danish universities have both small class sizes as well as larger lectures. The larger lectures consist mainly of the professor discussing a subject, often using slides or examples, whereas the smaller classes place a greater emphasis on student participation and discussion.

The ethos of Danish universities is to “take responsibility for your own education”, meaning that you are rarely tested on the reading or have your attendance checked. Do not take this as a reason to skip class or to not do the reading. You will still have exams and assignments that you need to pass and many subjects might include group work with other students, who are depending on you to show up prepared.

As a rule, the Danish education system requires the students to be independent, inquiring and responsible. It is rare to encounter a professor who will tell you exactly how you should complete an assignment, or what to write in an exam, and this can be a big adjustment when compared to education styles from other countries.

Ask all the questions you need to, but be aware that most teachers in Denmark would be more inclined to help you to find the solutions for yourself, than to give you a straight up answer. Being able to solve the problems on your own is a large component of the Danish exams, and imaginative and individual inputs are often rewarded, as long as they are academically sound and validly argued.

There is generally not a very strict hierarchy between the professor and the students at Danish universities, most professors will ask you to call them by their first name rather than address them as Mrs. or Mister. This also means that you can talk to them about the various ideas that you are considering for your assignment, without having to follow all of their instructions or ideas.

A lot of a Danish university student’s work will be based on the assigned reading and on completing assignments either on your own or in groups.

Studying on your own is a big part of your education here. You will have to keep yourself motivated throughout the semester, since there aren’t quizzes or attendance to check that you are actively following the course.

Even if you don’t have required group assignments, having a small study group can be beneficial and will both hold you accountable and prevent the studying from getting too lonely and boring.

In order to maximize your efficiency, we recommend that you find other places that your bedroom to read and work.

If you live at a kollegium, there might be common study halls in the building that you can use. If you live in an apartment or house, try to go elsewhere.

Your university and faculty will definitely have areas that are suitable for studying, and both the university and public libraries have rooms for reading and writing, as well as small study rooms where you can discuss assignments and the literature with your study group.

A lot of cafés have wifi and separate quieter areas that people use for studying. There is also your local Studenterhuset, which is a failsafe space to meet up with your study group – they even have cheap coffee.