Quest Exchange in Denmark

The Kingdom of Denmark is a country in the Scandinavian region of northern Europe. It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries.The national language, Danish, is close to Swedish and Norwegian, which share strong cultural and historical ties. This means that if you learn Danish, you will also most probably understand a lot of Norwegian and Swedish too.

From 2006 to 2008, surveys ranked Denmark as “the happiest place in the world” based on standards of health, welfare, and education. The 2008 Global Peace Index survey ranks Denmark as the second most peaceful country in the world, after Iceland. In 2008, the capital and largest city, Copenhagen, was ranked the most livable city in the world by Monocle magazine.

One of the most interesting aspects of Danish food is the wide variety of attractive open-faced “rugbrød” (Rye-bread) sandwiches or smørrebrød traditionally served for lunch, or as they say “frokost”. This usually starts with fish, such as marinated herring, smoked eel or hot fried breaded plaice. Then come meat sandwiches such as cold roast beef with remoulade and fried onions, roast pork and crackling with red cabbage, hot veal medallions, Danish meatballs (frikadeller) or liver paté with bacon and mushrooms.

Come get your “happy” on  by studying in the land of the happiest people on earth!

3 Fun Facts
  • Danes have a special word – hygge – for that cozy feeling of togetherness. It means relaxing in great company.
  • Danish cuisine has some of the most unusual flavor combinations, which delight palates from around the world.
  • No place in Denmark is more than 30 miles from the sea.
Program Dates

Year

Mid Aug – Mid June

Semester

Mid Aug – Late Dec
Early Jan – Mid June

Short-Term

Various
3 Months
2 Months

SCHOOL LIFE

The Danish school year runs from the middle of August to the middle of June. Fall semester runs from the middle of August to late December, and Spring semester runs from the beginning of January to the middle of June. The school day normally begins at 8am and ends at 3pm on Monday through Friday. During the school year, there will be an autumn break, usually in the middle of October. Students also have free time around Christmas, New Year, and Easter Break. Students normally stay with their host families during these vacations. Students in this program will all be placed in public schools.

FAMILY LIFE

Communication is essential to a healthy student/host family relationship. Whether discussing a discovery about cultural differences, a problem or a positive event of the day, the bonds of mutual trust and affection strengthen when the student communicates openly and freely with the family. With communication and time, the student truly becomes a “member of the family”. Rules apply in Danish homes and they are to be adhered to. It is true that Danish youngsters have more freedom than most at their age; however, it is expected that parents know where their children are and when they will be home. The same is expected of exchange students. Children receive respect from their parents; however, it is a two-way street. Danes are very direct in their communication, so they expect the students to be as well.

Most Danish teenagers are used to organizing their spare time on their own. They are independent and decide for themselves what they do after school. It is very important that you do not sit back and wait for your host family to plan your spare time activities – that is not the way it is done in this country. The host family will, of course, assist you, but you must show some initiative and come up with suggestions.

Program EXTRAS

There are several optional add-on trips offered during the program. However, details vary by season and year, so please contact us for more information. These trips are not included in Quest program fees.

One of the trips that is consistently offered is the Soft Landing Camp in Copenhagen for 4 days and 3 nights. The cost of this orientation is approximately $625, which does not include flights. The orientation fees are not included in Quest program fees. The orientation is a great way for students arriving at the beginning of the Fall or Spring semesters to start their study abroad adventure. It allows students a chance to sightsee, enjoy typical activities in Denmark’s capital, and meet other exchange students who will live and study in Scandinavia with them! It is highly recommended as experience has shown that it helps students transition into the study abroad program regardless of which country they are studying in.

Program Requirements

All students must be between 15-18 years old on arrival in the program. For Fall semester and year-long programs, students need to turn at least 16 the calendar year of arrival, and if they turn 19 on the calendar year of arrival they are too old for the program. For Spring semester, students need to turn at least 17 the calendar year of arrival, and if they turn 20 on the calendar year of arrival they are too old.

All students must purchase mandatory medical insurance for this program, which is not included in Quest program fees. The approximate cost for this is as follows: $700 for a year, $400 for a semester, and $300 for 3 months. For more information on this, please contact us.

There is no official language requirement for previous knowledge of the Danish language. However, all schools teach in the local language so an interest in learning Danish is crucial for managing schoolwork, making friends and engaging with your host families. We encourage all applicants to our program to start practicing the basics of the local language before arrival. The sooner students start listening to and understanding the local language, the easier they will adapt to their new environment.

Visas

For stays over 90 days, students will need a visa. Students and parents should research visa requirements through the Danish consulate or embassy nearest to their home as soon as possible, as this is the most time-intensive component of the study abroad application process. It can take weeks to months to obtain a Danish visa. As the details of this process vary greatly by location, neither Quest nor our Danish partner office can confirm the exact requirements. For this reason, Quest is not able to assist with legal visa documents. It is the student’s responsibility to research the current visa requirements and to obtain and submit the visa application.

Will students have access to Internet/WiFi at their home and school?

Yes, students will have access to WiFi in the homes. Internet access depends on the school.

Can students bring their own cell phones?

Yes, if students have an unlocked cell phone, they could use their personal phone with a Danish carrier/SIM card.

Can students travel without an adult chaperone if given permission?

Students cannot travel outside of the host area without adult supervision. Travel outside of the host area with adult supervision is authorized if pre-approved by the natural parents, host family, local partner office and Quest.

How much money should students have for spending money?

Students should budget around $300-$350/month for personal expenses, which include entertainment, personal hygiene items, long-distance calls, etc. Additional money should be budgeted for start-up school expenses, such as books and supplies. These fees are in addition to Quest program fees.

What are some cultural norms that describe a typical host family in Denmark?

In general, Danish families are very open and sharing. They are also usually outspoken and direct, and are usually quite active. That said, family expectations, interactions, and activities vary widely. Thus, students must be open-minded and ready to adapt to their new host family dynamics.

How are host families chosen?

Quest’s in-country partner is responsible for locating, screening and matching host families with our students. Host families go through a careful screening process, which typically involves in-person interviews, home inspections and references.

How do students apply for the visa and how long does it take?

For stays over 90 days, students will need a visa. Students and parents should research visa requirements through the Danish consulate or embassy nearest to their home as soon as possible, as this is the most time-intensive component of the study abroad application process. It can take weeks to months to obtain a Danish visa. As the details of this process vary greatly by location, neither Quest nor our Danish partner office can confirm the exact requirements. For this reason, Quest is not able to assist with legal visa documents. It is the student’s responsibility to research the current visa requirements and to obtain and submit the visa application.

How will the student get to and from school?

Students will generally bike or take the public bus or train. Transportation fees are the student’s responsibility and are not included in Quest program fees. But, students with a visa may be able to receive a discount through our in-country partner.

Is it possible for students to get tutors during their program?

Depending on the school, free tutors will sometimes be available.

Can students receive an official document with grades and completed classes after finishing their program? 

In general, exchange students in Denmark do not receive grades or grade reports, unless they can speak fluent Danish and complete all assignments and exams. Otherwise, schools will give students a certificate stating that they have attended classes and completed a semester/year of study in Denmark. In order to receive any such documentation, students must proactively seek it out prior to leaving Denmark.

Do schools offer different sports/activities? 

Schools generally offer sport and activity clubs only after school. Local communities also offer extracurricular activities.

THINK IT OVER

The rewards of life abroad are amazing and wonderful, but are you up for the unique challenges that come with this experience? You will be away from your friends, family and the lifestyle you are accustomed to. You will have to adapt to a new language, culture, school and family. You will have to make decisions on your own and make new friends. Think about it and do some research on the country you want to study in. There is a wealth of information on the Internet that can better prepare you for your adventure!

GET YOUR PARENT/LEGAL GUARDIAN ON BOARD

Your parent(s) or guardian(s) need to help you make your dream happen. The application process takes time and effort, so it is important, at this stage, to make sure your parents support your decision to study abroad and have given you approval to move forward. If they feel that you are prepared and understand what’s required from them, you are ready to move to the next step.

CHECK IN WITH YOUR SCHOOL

You may receive credit from your program, but it is your responsibility to make this happen. Only your U.S. school can decide which credits you can receive. You must approach your guidance counselor to determine if you can get the credits you are hoping to receive. Bring Quest’s Academic Guide with you, and be certain of what you will be responsible for.

CONTACT QUEST FOR PROGRAM INFORMATION AND PAPERWORK

Fill out our online information request form in order to receive important program information from Quest via email. This email will contain Quest’s Program Agreement and Program Guidelines for your review and signature. Carefully review all of this information with your parents and contact Quest if you have any questions. We are here to help guide you through the process so you can make decisions that fit your needs.

CONFIRM PROGRAM DETAILS

The Quest Program Coordinator will confirm with you the program details submitted on your original request form. If you’re unsure of your destination, we’ll help you narrow down your choices to the country and program season that works for you. We will speak with your parents and make sure that everybody feels informed and ready to proceed with the decisions made.

CONFIRM PAYMENT DETAILS

You and your parents will receive the online Payment Agreement, which states the total program price for your selected destination country and Quest’s payment process. Your parents will receive an invoice for the application deposit, which is due before you submit your student application.

COMPLETE YOUR APPLICATION

Quest will send you a full student application for the program you have chosen. This application can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to complete. Make sure you give yourself ample time prior to the application deadline to complete the application and supplemental documents.

SKYPE INTERVIEW

This is when you get to meet your Quest Program Coordinator and talk face to (virtual) face. During the interview, the Program Coordinator will assess your suitability for the Quest Study Abroad program. This call lasts 30-60 minutes. Parents will speak with us at the end of the call, but the first part of the interview questions must be answered by the student alone. There is no preparation needed other than to talk about yourself, your desire to participate in the program and why you feel you are ready.

WAITING FOR ACCEPTANCE

Your Quest Program Coordinator will review your application and interview documentation to determine acceptance. Our team members put a lot of thought into the decisions they make, and not all students are accepted into the program. In order to make our decision, Quest must review complete and accurate application materials. We choose students who are emotionally, socially and academically prepared for the study abroad program. We look at each student’s level of maturity, independence and ability to adapt to life in a foreign country.

ACCEPTANCE AND INVOICE

You will receive a letter of acceptance from Quest via email. Your parents will receive an invoice outlining the total cost with only the first 50% of the total due within 10 days. The final 50% of the remaining program fees are due within 30 days of the invoice date.

GET LEGAL – VISA AND IMMIGRATION

This is a very important step in the process and can be very time-intensive. We suggest that you get started researching the requirements as soon as possible with the nearest embassy or consulate for your destination country, as requirements vary by location. Because the process does vary considerably, Quest and our foreign partner office are not able to assist with legal visa documents. It is the student’s responsibility to research the current visa requirements and to obtain and submit the visa application. Start filling out all of the paperwork well in advance, as visa approval can take anywhere from a few days to a few months to obtain.

SCHOOL AND HOST FAMILY PLACEMENT

This is the hardest part: waiting for your school and host family placement information! Making quality placements takes time, and we will need your patience during this important step. Quest will notify you and your parents of a confirmed placement in a school and then again when you are placed with your host family. Write to your host family as soon as possible to introduce yourself, and let them know how excited you are to meet them.

BOOK YOUR FLIGHT

Working together with you and your parents, Quest will confirm your arrival date and book your roundtrip international flight to your placement area. We will also book your student travel and medical insurance for your trip, so you can rest easier while abroad!

PRE-DEPARTURE ORIENTATION

Your Quest Program Coordinator will help you get prepped for your trip with a pre-departure orientation prior to your departure. You’ll receive an agenda before the call. We encourage you to write all of your remaining questions down so that we can make you and your parents feel prepared for your trip abroad. We will go over the program rules, what to pack, what to do if you need support once you arrive, and more!

LIVE YOUR STUDY ABROAD DREAM!

Congratulate yourself and your family for making this happen. You are on your way to the study abroad adventure that you’ve earned!

Balance your time abroad — keep in touch with those back home, but remember that the point of studying abroad is to be present and active in your host country. Keep a blog or an online photo album so you can show all of the revelations you have had and the sights you have seen. On a rainy day, you’ll be happy to reflect on your growing experience abroad. Stay in touch with Local Coordinators and with Quest. We’d love to hear how you are doing!

Programs Available
  • Year
  • Semester
  • 3 Months
  • 2 Months
Application Deadline
  • Year/Fall Semester: April 1st
  • Spring Semester: October 1st
  • Short-Term: Variable
Apply Now

Quest International, a nonprofit organization, promoting international cultural awareness and compassion by providing educational programs for American and International students to live and learn together.