Living in Denmark

Cost of Living

Denmark is an expensive country but even here you will find some locations cheaper than others. While Copenhagen will not be cheap by anyone’s standards, smaller cities in Denmark are certainly no more expensive than their equivalents in the United Kingdom.

If you are sensible and follow local habits – such as cycling to university and eating at home – life in Denmark shouldn’t blow your budget.

The cost of living in Denmark will vary depending on your lifestyle and habits. Many services in Denmark such as medical treatment are paid for via taxes and the Danish welfare system.

Living expenses on average per month:

Rent*

DKK 2,200-3,000

Food and other daily costs

DKK 2,000-2,500

Telephone

DKK 300

Transportation

DKK 300

Media License

DKK 200

Insurance

DKK 200

Internet**

DKK 200

Leisure Activities

DKK 0-1,000

Total

DKK 4,400-7,000 (£430-680)

* Please note that in some cases you pay for heating and electricity separately; ca. 400 DKK on a monthly basis.

** May be included in rent

(Source: University of Southern Denmark:http://www.sdu.dk/en/Information_til/Internationale_studerende/Life_in_Denmark/Living+expenses)

On Arrival

You will need to apply for a residence permit if you are studying in Denmark for more than three months. To obtain it, you must submit an application to the Regional State Administration immediately after your arrival (although some representatives from the RSA may be at your university at the beginning of the semester). This will be a formality for EU passport holders

After you receive your residence permit you will need to apply for a Danish CPR number. This number is used when dealing with public authorities, health authorities, libraries, banks etc. The CPR number is issued at the Borgerservice (Citizen Service). It takes approximately 1-2 weeks for your CPR number to be issued.

To help you settle in you will also be able to access free Danish lessons through your university.

Accommodation

Finding accommodation is likely to be a big issue for you depending on which city you choose to live in. Danish universities do not have a tradition of on-campus housing. Most students live in student halls of residences situated some distance from campus. You should start to look for accommodation months before you arrive, as it can be very difficult to find accommodation right before the semester begins. Therefore, we strongly advise you to contact your Danish host institution for information about housing as soon as you have been accepted into a study programme.

Useful Accommodation Websites – Copenhagen:

Student & Youth Accommodation Office Copenhagen

Central Nomination Committee

BoligPortal.dk

Opening a Bank Account in Denmark

The currency in Denmark is the Danish Krone (DKK)

With a CPR number and the acceptance letter from your university you will be able to open a bank account. When you open your account, the bank will issue you with a debit card which you can use to withdraw money at your bank, at the bank’s cash point machines/ATMs and at most shops. Your bank might charge a fee for withdrawing money from other banks’ ATMs so ask your bank before doing so.

When you open your account, if it is the only one you have in Denmark you will need to nominate it as your NemKonto (Easy Account). This is the account that you then be used for any financial interaction that you have with the Danish government such as wages, the State Education Grant and Loan Scheme (SU in Danish), tax rebates, pensions, etc. These will all be paid into this account (where applicable).

Working in Denmark

AS an EU passport-holder you can work up to 37 hours per week while you are a student and you can apply for a work permit at the same time as applying for the residence permit. Once you start work you must contact the local tax authorities to obtain an electronic tax card which your employer will need to calculate taxes. The Danish tax rules are quite complicated so it is important that you talk to the local tax administration before taking up work. If you do not have an electronic tax card, your employer must withhold 60% of your salary. (http://kandidat.au.dk/en/practical/arriving-and-living-in-denmark/workingindenmark/)

Useful Resources:

Study in Denmark: http://studyindenmark.dk/why-denmark/testimonials/video-study-in-denmark-trailer

Denmark.dk – the official website of Denmark

UK student studying law at Copenhagen University: http://studyindenmark.dk/why-denmark/testimonials/alex-from-england-law-video

New to Denmark: official portal for foreigners in Denmark, managed by the Danish Immigration Service. Here you can find vital information regarding entering and residing in Denmark.