Denmark - the happiest country in the world?
Denmark is often called the happiest country in the world, but happiness does not come just automatically if you settle down here. Hard work – networking – an open mind – among other things, are essential if you want to find your place in Denmark.
Danes welcome foreigners in general if you are willing to integrate and contribute to society. In some areas of work, there is a lack of skilled workforce, for example, in engineering, IT, automatization, and robot technology. In these fields, you can easily find a job, if you are skilled, however in most other areas unemployment is low.
What's the cost of living in Denmark?
Denmark is considered to be an expensive country in terms of living costs, especially if you are planning to go to the capital city, Copenhagen. Costs in other parts of the country are not quite as expensive, however, they are far from cheap. We collected the living costs of three European capital cities below, for easy comparison. The prices in the table are expressed in Euros (€), and are an approximate estimation.
We also collected and compared the costs of popular grocery items in Denmark and Hungary. The prices in the table are expressed in HUF (Ft), and were collected in February 2023.
How much can I expect to earn?
In our experience, most students can find a part-time student job within 1-3 months of arriving in Denmark. You will receive help in job seeking from our agency. With a student job, you can earn approximately 14-16 €/hour if you are 18. Tax is only 8% if you earn under a certain level. You can also get “SU” (state support) if you work a minimum of 12 hours a week. This can give you an extra income of 650-700 €/month in certain cases.
Other practical information
You can travel out in several ways. Sometimes students are taken out by parents in a car. Another possibility is to fly out by plane. If you book a ticket well in advance, it won’t be that expensive. Some of the cheaper airlines (Wizz Air, Norwegian, and Ryanair) fly to Copenhagen or Billund. It is also possible to travel by bus (e.g. FlixBus).
In Denmark’s biggest cities, it can be a challenge to find accommodation. As a student, you will either live in a dormitory or an apartment. Dormitories are usually cheaper (DKK 2500-4000), but you need to apply for them as early as possible, fx in the winter, because there is a waiting list. Renting an apartment is a pricier solution, students usually look for flatmates to split the costs. Renting a full apartment can cost anywhere between DKK 5000 and 10 000, depending on which city you are planning to move to and the location of the apartment.
Students in Denmark get free health insurance then they get their residence permits. However that can take up to 6 weeks, therefore we recommend that you apply for the ‘blue’ international health card prior to departure. You can do this at your local authorities.
When you get accepted to a school and you have accommodation, you will be able to apply for a residence permit. The process usually takes 4-6 weeks, but most schools will help with it. When you get your ‘yellow card’ it means that you get a social security number, health insurance, residence, and work permit.
In order to cover your expenses while studying, you can take on part-time jobs. Schools recommend that you work a maximum of 12 hours per week, in order not to compromise your studies. There is no official minimum wage determined in Denmark, but most workplaces will pay between DKK 120 -150 per hour. It is a lot easier to find a job if you can speak some Danish. If you do not speak Danish, the types of jobs you will be able to find are dishwasher, kitchen assistant, housekeeper, cleaning assistant, newspaper deliverer, babysitter, and many more. We can normally help you to find a job.