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Danish folk college, described as a “School of Life,” is a unique concept that belongs to the non-formal educational system in Denmark. Classes are based on dialogue and mutual learning between teachers and students. Folk colleges do not have academic or standardized testing requirements for admittance. Choose from six folk colleges to expand your knowledge and skills on a wide range of subjects, including arts, sustainability, global citizenship, music, theatre, film, journalism, athletics, and more.

As a student living on campus, you’ll be fully engaged in folk college life, attending classes, eating, and spending your spare time with your fellow students and teachers. This style of living creates a close-knit community and a safe space where everybody can be themselves, try out new things, make mistakes, and learn from them. Danish folk college offers a nurturing setting in which students can develop their interpersonal and intercultural competencies as they live and study alongside Danish and other diverse student populations. This is your opportunity to focus on your own personal development in a supportive, reflective, and inspirational environment.


During your time in Denmark, you’ll live on campus in a dormitory. All meals are included in your program. Dormitory-style living is a great way to bond with your classmates and develop lifelong friendships. In addition, you’ll have the chance to be part of a Danish AFS contact family during weekends and holidays, which will grant you wonderful insight into Scandinavian and Danish culture.

Eligibility Requirements

Participants must be between 17.5 and 30 years old, and be prepared to actively engage in college life.

Application deadline: June 15th, 2020


You may choose from the following Danish Folk Colleges:

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Vestjylland Folk College

The Vestjylland Folk College is set in beautiful nature by the Fjord of Ringkøbing (a town with about 60,000 inhabitants), near the North Sea.

It considers itself the green folk college of Denmark. Meals are 60-90% organic and it has its own wind turbine which supplies the school with C02 neutral energy, together with its solar and geothermal system. Their ecological garden, dubbed the “Garden of Wonder,” gives inspiration to new ways of sustainability.

The primary subjects are sustainable lifestyle, ecological entrepreneurship, dancing, music, singing, creative arts (such as ceramics and painting), theatre, cooking and writing. You can dig into one or two main subjects or create a schedule with a broad range of cultural content.

Other subjects include politics, philosophy, sport and outdoor life, as well as Danish for foreigners.

Note: Vestjylland Folk College program start date is in September, not August.

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Snoghøj Højskole

This college is located in the center of Denmark, close to the sea and the town of Fredericia.

You may choose from the following basecamps:

  • Culture: Danish and European studies
  • Performing Arts: music, acting, singing and dancing
  • Auteur: theatre direction, manuscript and scenography

You will study alongside Danish students, but all classes are conducted in English. In addition, there will be several trips to significant places in Denmark.

You will also have the opportunity to take classes in the Danish and English language.

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This college focuses on educating students in cultural diversity, global citizenship, and global perspectives. It is located on the Funen island.

You will be part of the International Line and study together with young people from both Denmark and around the world.

Subjects are based on topics such as Democracy vs. Hegemony, Globalization vs. Nationalism, Terrorism, Migration, Sustainability, Otherness, Story Telling and Self Narration, The UN, The EU, and more.

Classes and discussions are conducted in English. As a student in this program, you will also be able to take part in a range of practical workshops, such as arts, handicrafts, music, sports, Danish language, and recycling design. The program is “hands-on” – you will work within your chosen subjects and actively take part in the daily activities at school.

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Odder Højskole

This college emphasizes developing the potential of the individual and offers a wide range of courses within the areas of arts and sports. It is in the Jutland peninsular – about 20 km from Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark.

You will be able to choose between subjects within journalism, music/song/dance, design, film/TV production, sport/fitness, and the arts. You will study together with young people from both Denmark and around the world. You will also have the chance to take classes in the Danish language.

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Silkeborg Højskole

This college offers a wide range of courses within the areas of outdoor activities, arts, music, politics and sports. Located among lakes and forests in Silkeborg – about 40 km from Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark.

The main International Line focuses on changemaking and global citizenship, but you will also be able to choose sports such as water sports, ball games, core training and more. In addition, many art classes are offered, such as ceramics and drawing, music (choir/sound lab), and video/storytelling. Silkeborg folk college offers an international environment with young people from across the globe.

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Nordjyllands Idrætshøjskole

Located in Northern Jutland in Brønderslev, a town of about 12, 000 inhabitants. It focuses on physical education, so you can take part in a wide range of different sports. You’ll have approximately 15 hours of physical/sports lessons per week and you can choose up to 4 sports as part of your schedule including badminton, soccer, spinning, and adventure sports.

As an AFS student you will be part of the international class. This class focuses on Danish culture, youth culture, pedagogy, and the special Danish tradition of democracy. All teachers and most Danish students speak English, and all your lessons are conducted in English.

In addition to participating in the international class, you will also have some classes together with the Danish students.

The folk college organizes optional adventure trips to France and other European countries. If you wish to take part in such trips, the cost is additional and should be paid directly to the college.


Vraa Folk College

Established in 1872, Vraa is one of Denmark’s oldest folk colleges! Located in the North of the country, Vraa is a general education school focused on creative subjects.

Vraa is a great option for the arts! Some courses offered include:

  • Music
  • Art and Design
  • Photography and Media
  • World and Current Affairs
  • Danish Language

Every two weeks, Vraa opens its doors to the entire local community for dinner, and a lecture or a concert! In addition to your classes, you will also have the opportunity to join your fellow classmates on a study trip.

What's Included

  • 70+ years of experience delivering high-quality programs through a worldwide network of 50,000 dedicated volunteers
  • Accommodations
  • Worldwide, 24-hour emergency assistance
  • Access to an in-country support team and network, as well as our Participant Support Department based here in the U.S.
  • Orientations and intercultural education before and during your program
  • International secondary medical travel coverage
  • Visa support and guidance
  • Inclusion in a worldwide returnee and alumni network of over 1,000,000 people

A new you awaits.

Apply for Folk College in Denmark!