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With its moors, lakes, farmlands, and forests, Denmark is the ideal place to enjoy nature and experience a new culture! On this month-long summer college program, you’ll attend an Efterskole (afterschool) College, a distinctive type of Danish school for young people ages 14 to 18.

Each afterschool college is a self-governing, independent institution that prioritizes both the educational and personal development of its students. The idea is to combine academic study with general “life-learning” to prepare for all aspects of life and facilitate an understanding of the “individual in a community.”

Compared to public schools, afterschool colleges have substantial freedom to choose its academic subjects, teaching methods, and educational approach. The teacher-student dynamic is different at afterschool. Teachers are responsible for both teaching and supervision outside of school hours. This often engenders a close, personal relationship between students and teachers.

You will have the opportunity to study Science and Danish Language and Culture in the morning. In the afternoon, students may choose which “profile” they would like to participate in, such as sailing, stand up paddle boarding, music, dance, gastronomy, and design. In the evenings, students can participate in more fun activities like mountain biking, playing volleyball, and more!

Things to Know

Danes usually relate to one another in a casual, informal way. Disagreement with others or asking questions is not generally seen as a sign of disrespect. Although Danes are familiar and relaxed in their interactions, there is usually little physical contact between friends and/or relatives in public.

In addition to AFS participants, there will be many international and Danish young people at the summer college. This summer in Denmark will provide ample opportunities for sharing intercultural experiences and exploring exciting and challenging activities together with young people from all over the world!


Graduates Eligible? Yes, high school graduates are eligible to participate.
Minimum GPA 2.5
Age Range 15yrs, 0 months to
18yrs, 0 months at start of program
Language Skills No language requirement
Participant handbook Ranum Efterskole 2020

Your journey to Denmark

Your journey will begin in New York and you will arrive at the Aalborg Airport. Soon, you’ll be brought to Ranum Efterskole College. Along the way, you’ll be able to appreciate the beautiful landscape of Denmark. In the towns as you pass, you might see people riding their bicycles or sitting and chatting at a cafe.

Moving into your dorm

One of the most distinctive aspects of this Danish summer college program is the fact that you’ll be living alongside students from around the world! You’ll live in rooms of 2 to 6 other students. A big part of the learning experience of an “Efterskole-stay” are the social competencies that students acquire from living closely together, like gaining a deeper sense of empathy, intercultural understanding, and ability to compromise. This dorm experience will provide an opportunity for intercultural exchange, and you’ll get to know other international students during recreational activities.

Participant handbook Ranum Efterskole 2020 2

Settling into daily life

During this month-long summer college program, you’ll have the chance to take a Danish Language and Culture course, as well as a Science course in the morning. During the afternoon, you’ll have the chance to take a challenging and creative profile, which includes arts and sports. All teaching is done in English. The concept of “school” is radically different from our U.S. perception. The teaching methods used in the Danish educational system are based on debate and discussion, which means you will be encouraged to participate often. In the morning, you will take these courses:

  • Science
    The Science class covers Physics, Chemistry and Biology. You will focus on practical science by applying theory to experiments, excursions, and real-life examples. If you’re curious about how nature works, this class is a perfect fit!
  • Danish
    Is the Danish Royal family the oldest in Europe? How is Danish culture different from your culture? And what does “en, to, tre” mean? In your Danish lessons, you will learn basic Danish and gain an understanding of Danish culture, society, and history.
Participant handbook Ranum Efterskole 2020 copy

In the afternoon, you will choose what “Profile” course in which you would like to participate, such as:

  • Sailing
  • Stand up paddle boarding
  • Music
  • Dance
  • Gastronomy
  • Design

Exploring the Area

In the evening, you can expect more fun activities like biking, going to the beach, playing volleyball, and making bonfires. Anywhere in Denmark is only an hour or less away from the seashore, so it’s a perfect place for those who like to go swimming, sailing, rowing, or paddle boarding. Excursions to local lakes, forests, or the Limfjord (a shallow part of the sea), will be part of the program, as well as visits to museums, larger cities and other exciting attractions. In addition, you will go to Copenhagen for a four-day trip and embark on weekly excursions off campus!

Foods You’ll Encounter

Danish food has a wide variety of fresh produce, grains, and meats. Traditionally, Danish lunch is an open-faced sandwich called smorrebrod. Other Danish favorites include pickled herring and salted black licorice, roast pork, fish, beans, Brussels sprouts, rice pudding, potato soup, meatballs in curry sauce, and pastries.

What’s included

  • 70+ years of experience delivering high-quality programs through a worldwide network of 50,000 dedicated volunteers
  • Accommodations
  • Round-trip international airfare for the designated program dates
  • Program activity fees
  • 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.
  • Secondary medical coverage
  • Visa support and guidance
  • Inclusion in a worldwide returnee and alumni network of over 1,000,000 people

What’s not included

  • Domestic travel to your international departure city
  • Visa and passport fees
  • Spending money
  • Fees imposed by the airlines outside of your international ticket, such as luggage fees.

Additional fees may apply depending on the specific host country. Please email [email protected] for additional details.

We invite you to learn more about where your dollars go, our payment and refund policy, and answers to our Frequently Asked Questions.


Returning Home

“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad. “Transformed” is another one.

When you return home from the Danish summer college program, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and developed the confidence and resilience to accomplish anything you set out to do.

That transformation isn’t only visible to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers. Second language fluency, intercultural competence, creativity, and critical reasoning will help you succeed, whatever path you take. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning.
It’s not just an adventure abroad; it’s a whole new reality. The perspectives and personal connections you gained will stay with you and likely draw you back to the second home you found in Denmark.

In fact, our alumni reviews have made AFS one of the top-rated organizations in the study abroad industry.

A new you awaits.

Apply for Summer College in Denmark!