Living in Denmark

Housing

Aarhus University encourages all internationals to consult AU Housing’s website for detailed, up-to-date housing information: www.au.dk/housing 

Staff at AU Housing will be happy to assist you with housing-related questions. Please contact housing@au.dk 

Housing in the Aarhus area

Because of a high demand for housing in Aarhus, it may be difficult and can sometimes even take several months to find the accommodation you prefer. We therefore strongly encourage you to start looking for accommodation at least two (or (preferably) three months before arrival. 

There are very few on-campus accommodation options available and the vast majority of AU students and employees (Danes as well as internationals) live off-campus. We therefore recommend that you be prepared to commute to/from campus every day. Public transportation is convenient, and you can reach campus within 30 minutes from most locations within the municipality of Aarhus. 

Read more on the AU Housing website

Professional welcome programme

International Academic Staff Services can help you make a soft landing

Aarhus University’s International Academic Staff Services will help you and your family make a soft landing in Denmark. We provide information and assistance in your housing search, with registration with the authorities, with opening a bank account and with taking out insurance, as well as providing information about the cost of living in Denmark and other important on-arrival issues.

Our website will provide you with an overview of our services: www.ias.au.dk 

Getting Started in Denmark event

Our Getting Started in Denmark orientation and registration event makes it possible for you to handle all your registrations in half a day. At the event you can get your EU health insurance card, CPR (social security) number and tax card. 

You will join an orientation session to learn about important on-arrival issues such as Danish healthcare, private insurance you need to take out, driver’s licence, money and banking, digital Denmark and much more. 

Read more about the Getting Started in Denmark event 

Danish courses

We offer international staff members and their partners an opportunity to attend Danish courses at beginner and advanced levels. The regularly scheduled courses start in February and August, and new courses may start up at other times of the year, depending on demand. 
Read more about Danish courses

Family services

As an international member of staff at Aarhus University, you and your family are likely to have a variety of questions regarding your stay in Denmark. The International Academic Staff Services at Aarhus University is happy to provide information and personal assistance. 

Accompanying partners

We assist accompanying spouses/partners with a number of issues to help them settle in Denmark. From Danish classes, job search and networking opportunities to daily life issues and leisure activities.

Read more about accompanying partners 

Children

If you are bringing children with you to Aarhus University, we will be happy to assist you with information and guidance about childcare options, school enrolment, language teaching etc.

Read more about children 

Expat Partner Program

Aarhus University offers an Expat Partner Programme that provides customised career counselling to expat partners. You can receive coaching during the transition phase and can participate in network events to support your new life in Denmark.

Read more about the Expat Partner Programme

Free schooling and healthcare

The basic principle of the Danish welfare system, often referred to as the Scandinavian welfare model, is that all citizens have equal rights to social security. Within the Danish welfare system, a number of services are available to citizens free of charge. This means that for instance the Danish health and educational systems are free. 

Free schooling

Education is compulsory in Denmark for everyone between the ages of 6-7 and 16. Whether education is received at a municipal school, a private school or at home is a matter of individual choice, as long as the education provided meets the accepted standards. In other words, it is education itself that is compulsory, not going to school. The majority of Danish children up to the age of 16 receive their schooling through the Danish folkeskole (the municipal primary and lower secondary school system). 

Read more about primary and lower secondary schools 

Read the article about Children in Denmark (PDF)

Healthcare

The extensive Danish welfare system provides a wide range of public services, including free healthcare. 

If you live in Denmark for more than three months, you are covered by the Danish health insurance system and have the right to receive free consultations and treatments from the local general practitioner as well as at emergency wards and public hospitals. 

Most examinations and treatments are free, but you need to register and get a health insurance card to be eligible.  Children are covered by the health insurance scheme together with their mother or father until they reach the age of 15 and are insured independently of their parents. 

You can get help with registering for Danish public healthcare at the Getting Started in Denmark event 

Read more about the Danish healthcare system

Trust and safety in Denmark

Denmark is a safe place to live

Denmark has a low crime rate, which makes Denmark a very safe place to live. In general, it is safe to walk the streets at night, for children to play outside, even to leave babies outside in prams.

Read the article by Tiny Maerschalk about trust and safety in Denmark 

Danes are some of the most trusting people in the world

International surveys show that Danes are some of the most trusting people in the world. Trust is actually one of the prime Danish values, including trust in the system, local and national government, police, politicians, and last but not least, in each other. 

See the video where Gargi Verma from India shares her views on the high level of trust and safety in Denmark     

Unions and unemployment insurance

Unions

The Danish job market is primarily regulated by collective agreements between unions and employer associations. The state interferes as little as possible in regulating the labour market i.e. in setting wages and regulating work conditions. This means that unions in Denmark have a great deal of influence and have a positive image in the population. Most employees in Denmark are members of a union. 

In Denmark, joining a labour union is voluntary, and you are not signed up automatically as part of your job. You should also be aware that union membership does not include the right to unemployment benefit. To receive this, you must join a separate unemployment insurance fund. 

Read more about trade unions on the Work in Denmark website 

Unemployment insurance

As opposed to all other forms of social security in Denmark, unemployment insurance is voluntary. In order to receive unemployment benefit, you are required to become a paying member of an unemployment insurance fund (a-kasse). Unemployment insurance funds are private associations that are affiliated with trade unions and other professional organisations. 

Read more about unemployment insurance

Work-life balance

At Aarhus University, we value our staff and encourage a healthy balance between work and free time. Staff have a high degree of flexibility to plan their workday to accommodate their family life.

Flexible working conditions

A standard working week consists of 37 hours of work, usually performed from Monday to Friday. Most employees have a certain degree of flexibility when it comes to working hours and are within a fair margin allowed to distribute and balance their workload according to individual needs.

It is more important that you meet your deadlines and show up on time at meetings than when or where you carry out your work. This ‘freedom with responsibility’ keeps stress at a minimum and creates a sense of commitment among Danish employees.

See the video about work-life balance

Danish culture

"Danish culture is relaxed and collective values are built on trust, security and cooperation. Views on religion and politics are rather liberal, and humour is deeply rooted in Danes. The supportive Danish welfare state grants equal opportunities for all, thus providing a strong feeling of security and belonging." 

Read the full article about Danish culture (PDF)