Denmark says no to Europen students

Today, I come with an article. It’s in Danish, but I guess Google Translate can help getting to the main point (which is what I am going to discuss here).

The problem seems to be that more students arrive to Denmark in the well-known ERASMUS programs than Danes go out. Because the number of foreign students wanting to study in Denmark is growing much faster than the number of Danes that want to study abroad, the Universities are going to have to reject a lot more people in the coming years (several hundreds more).

To me, they make it sound (and this happens often) as if foreign students were coming here to abuse the Danish well-fare system with some sort of premeditation. I don’t know how it works in the rest of Europe, but I paid for my Erasmus program, in my home university. Paid for courses that I wasn’t even gonna take there. So maybe, a solution would be that part of that money would have gone to the university that is receiving the students?

Apart from that, the coming students might not be paying for the education itself, but they are bringing A LOT of money to the country in terms of, for example, taxes. Some of them try to find a job, some successfully, many come and spend all their savings in studying here (as I did the first time). Because, ladies and gentlemen, we do not get SU. And this is something many people (Danish students or employers) seems to be surprised about when they find out. I’ve found a lot of people who assumed we were also – as Danes – getting money from the government for basically doing nothing (yeah, okay, studying). Most of the students don’t fulfill all the requirements necessary to obtain SU as an international citizen.

I understand that there need to be cutbacks somewhere, but they need to be aware of the impact that is going to have. I wouldn’t be here today, doing my masters, engaged to the love of my life, working in a wonderful place… if I hadn’t spent my Erasmus year here 3 years ago. Who knows where I’d be, probably in some other country (where they would be pleased to have someone with my qualifications ;P).

Honestly, for a place that seems to have the will of recruiting international high-skilled workers and retain them, closing the doors to education here doesn’t seem like a good move.

By Natalia • September 10, 2012



  1. Posted September 10, 2012 at 16:00 by Kamil | Permalink

    Sweden would have welcomed you with opened hands 😉

  2. Posted September 10, 2012 at 20:30 by Natalia | Permalink

    Should have settled in Stockholm instead, maybe! <3

  3. Posted September 10, 2012 at 20:44 by Anne Ehrenskjold | Permalink

    The article says that it cost’d Denmark almost a billion kroners, and they only get nearly half in return, cause few danes chose to go abroad. I find it fair, that they wan’t to limit the access. I don’t know how the Erasmus system works, but if it cost’s the state more that it gains, then they need to take action.

  4. Posted September 10, 2012 at 22:19 by Natalia | Permalink

    I understand their position, but it’s a shame. Specially cause some of the people who start studying here end up staying long-term and enriching society with multiculturalism and an international mindset. Maybe the answer would be that some more Danes decide to spend some time abroad? 😛

  5. Posted September 11, 2012 at 11:45 by Heidi | Permalink

    Now you’re catching on! See, it’s not just the people everybody here fears: Denmark doesn’t really want ANYBODY.

  6. Posted September 11, 2012 at 13:54 by Natalia | Permalink

    Well, I’m still not 100% of that opinion I’m afraid, although I see that in certain situations Denmark makes it very difficult for foreigners to come/stay here.

  7. Posted September 11, 2012 at 17:52 by Anne Ehrenskjold | Permalink

    “Now you’re catching on! See, it’s not just the people everybody here fears: Denmark doesn’t really want ANYBODY.”!!

    I don’t agree. I think it is true that foreigners enrich Denmark(and I actually wiew danes as openminded and curious), and more Danes should go abroad and study/work. Danes don’t fear everybody. But mayby we have it a little “too good” in this small country. And yes, some danes fear foreigners – but please be fair, Heidi. In every country, there are people who doesn’t like foreigners!


  8. Posted September 11, 2012 at 18:41 by Natalia | Permalink

    Anne, there’s a lot of people (specially in other blogs) that have had bad experiences with the Danish bureaucracy and think of Danes as absolute xenophobes. If you ask me, the kind of generalizations and almost hate-talk I read on those blogs (towards Danes) are the same things they are complaining about (about Danes).
    I am not saying immigration laws are not very strict (which they are), but if one moves here knowing that (ok, laws change pretty often, that’s true) it’s something we have to bear with.

  9. Posted September 11, 2012 at 19:46 by Anne Ehrenskjold | Permalink

    As always – your so clever;) I have eperienced generalisations about Danes – and danes doing the same. And it is a shame.

    I’m not going to look up those blogs…it would be too time-consuming, because I would want to defend, defend and defend. And that would probably end up as an attack on their oppinion.

    When I lived in Spain, I was very eager to assimilate(think it’s the right word – your the english “professor/professionel :-)”), in order to show respect to the host country. And to be honest – I find it disrespectful when people make generalizations about others.

    Fx. I was once invited to dinner at the house of the spanish girl. One of her friends was from Latvia. She told me, that she found it wierd, that danes never bake bread or cakes themselves!

    Me, and several others, said that we didn’t find that to be true. Her reason for saying what she did: at her workplace, no one ever brought homebaked cake or bread – it was always store-bought!

    My respect for her, at that point, fell rapidly.

    And that was something as stupid as whether danes sometimes bake bread themselves! (just had to get that of my chest)….you can wake up now:-)


  10. Posted September 11, 2012 at 20:19 by Natalia | Permalink

    There is some real heartbreaking stories on those blogs about for example families being separated (mother or father deported) because of bureaucratic issues , so I can understand some of the anger. Though then stories pass from one to another and people just empathizes and criticizes (sometimes without knowing the story first-hand).

    I agree with you in the fact that generalizations should be avoided, but I think they are as common as they are inevitable. For example, I went on a lecture (by a renown anthropologist) about Danish culture at the workplace (very enlightening experience) and it described a bit “how Danes are”. These are too generalizations in a way but it is true that there are some traits that can be said to be shared among a specific population.
    If the Latvian girl never experienced a Dane baking a cake before she might be misled to think that Danes don’t bake. There’s a big leap there but it’s sort of the same as if I said: “Danes don´t usually wear very colorful clothes”. Of course there are some that do, but in general people wears more greys, blacks and browns in my opinion 😛 (that’s something a lot of internationals mention, by the way :P)

    I don’t know, sometimes lack of knowledge leads people to wrong assumptions. I guess we’ll have to keep fighting and proving them wrong :)

  11. Posted September 11, 2012 at 20:35 by Anne Ehrenskjold | Permalink

    I agree, I agreee, I agree:-) I just have to ad, that I realise that I was in the wrong to, when losing respect for her, solely based on her coment – cause, that of course didn’t represent the entire “her”. Ya esta:)

  12. Posted September 11, 2012 at 22:17 by Natalia | Permalink

    In your defense I need to add that it was a bit silly of her to think that Danes don’t bake just because nobody brings homemade cakes to her workplace 😛

  13. Posted September 12, 2012 at 19:46 by Victor | Permalink

    I still can’t understand why the danish universities are going to have to reject foreign students. Hopefully I will be offered a place within the next days at the danish university that I’m applying for and, as you mentioned, I won’t get any grant from the danish government at all. In fact, given the current situation, probably I will only be offered the Erasmus programme grant. The only “benefit” I’ll get is that I’m not going to get charged for the tuition fees (because, indeed, I pay these at my home university), but on the other hand I’m going to pay a lot of taxes and accomodation. It’s a question of weighing up the benefits and costs, and I think Denmark loses out rejecting foreign students.

  14. Posted September 12, 2012 at 19:57 by Natalia | Permalink

    I guess the thing is that the money the country gets is in form of taxes, whereas the money the country loses is from the education budget. I don’t know if that has something to do with it, but I understand that tuition fees are expensive (in Spain we only pay part of it, if the university is “public” and it’s still expensive). At this point, it’s better for them to enroll students that are not from the EU, because they have to pay the total fee for the studies they apply for.
    Also, the fact that they’re reducing the number of spots for following years will cause that (depending on what are the requisites in each home university) better students come here. I mean, if where there were 10 students before, now there will be 5 (and I just making this up, they are not cutting down 50% of the spots), it’ll be the best 5 out of the 10.
    Good luck with your Erasmus :)

  15. Posted September 13, 2012 at 11:21 by Victor | Permalink

    I guess it would be more fair if I paid the tuition fees at the host university instead. After all, I’m not going to stay at my home university so I don’t know why they’re still charging me these fees. But, as you said, since there are students who come from public universities (as in my case, I’m also from Spain 😉 ) there would be many discrepancies between the costs of tuition fees. It’s a difficult question to deal with…
    Maybe it’s not that bad the idea of reducing the number of spots, in fact Denmark was the country that offered more places among all the countries I had the choice to go.

  16. Posted September 13, 2012 at 18:05 by Natalia | Permalink

    I find it really stupid that we pay for a matriculation in our Erasmus at our home unis. What are we paying for? Administrative issues? I don’t really understand it. The money should go to the university who’s receiving the students, at least a percentatge. But yeah, I guess arranging something like that would be too difficult.
    I come from UB (in Barcelona) and in Biology there was only 2 or 3 spots for Aarhus University, I think. That was 3 years ago, though.
    What faculty are you coming from?

  17. Posted September 13, 2012 at 21:08 by Victor | Permalink

    I don’t understand it either… but actually students coming from public universities are better off this way. Otherwise, it’s probably they would pay more.

    I’m from Barcelona too! I’m studying energy engineering at UPC and I’m going next February to Aaborg, which I think is quite near to Aarhus.

    PD: De fet podia haver contestat en català o castellà pero imagino que així pot entendre la gent que llegeix el blog de que estem parlant… 😉

  18. Posted September 13, 2012 at 21:12 by Victor | Permalink

    and by the way, in my studies there are 6 spots for Aalborg University, whereas for other universities around Europe there is an average of 2 spots

  19. Posted September 13, 2012 at 21:33 by Natalia | Permalink

    Podries haver contestat en català, sí, però aleshores la gent no podria llegir els nostres interessantíssims comentaris! ;P

    So many engineers coming to Denmark! To study or to work :) Try and make contacts while you are here to see if maybe you can land in an intership or something ^^

    Aalborg is about 1h train ride from Aarhus, yes :) Not very much, but not very cheap 😛

  20. Posted September 14, 2012 at 19:55 by Victor | Permalink

    I guess the reason of so many engineers coming to Denmark is that this country is at the leading edge of engineering (specially in wind power systems, so much wind there!) and its universities have very good programmes and collaborations with the industry. So I’ll try my best to find an internship or even a job in order to stay longer. Since employment prospects are not very good in Spain, I’m really considering the possibility of starting my career in Denmark.

  21. Posted September 14, 2012 at 20:12 by Anne Ehrenskjold | Permalink

    Hi Victor

    I recommend you check out,, (perhaps also Randstad and Adecco). Especially the first two are used(as I understand it) by foreigners searching for jobs/interships here in Danmark;)


  22. Posted September 14, 2012 at 20:31 by Victor | Permalink

    Thank you very much Anne! I take note of those websites. Randstad and Adecco are also used in Spain (and internationally I guess), but the first two seem really helpful. I’ve noticed that Lego is looking for engineers, it could be a very cool place to work! 😀

  23. Posted September 14, 2012 at 20:40 by Anne Ehrenskjold | Permalink

    You are very welcome – working at Lego would definetely be cool;)

    Speaking of Lego – Mayby you have already seen this video on Youtube – a Lego Man searching for a job in the construction business!! Really funny:-)

  24. Posted September 14, 2012 at 23:19 by Natalia | Permalink

    For high-skilled internationals looking for jobs I would definitely recommend, since they specialize on helping qualified foreigners find a job in Denmark :)
    It’d also be a good idea to try and find a student job first, while on uni, just to get into the Danish labor market a bit (starts are always hard!) but this is definitely a good place for engineers to settle :)

  25. Posted September 15, 2012 at 14:35 by Victor | Permalink

    Anne, I hadn’t seen that video before, it’s hilarious! 😀
    Natalia, definitely starting with a student job is far better as you are able to gain experience in your field and afterwards you’re more likely to find a job. Here in Barcelona I’ve already worked as an intern thanks to internship programmes at uni, maybe there is something similar at Aalborg University.

  26. Posted September 22, 2012 at 19:55 by Anne Ehrenskjold | Permalink

    Victor: I didn’t know how else to contact you. I’ve just spend some time with my sister, and she told me that Maersk Oil is always in need of engineers. And it is supposedly a nice place to work:-) At the moment they seek 150 engineers…yes 150! I know you’re still a student, but now you can add them to your list.


  27. Posted September 22, 2012 at 21:49 by Natalia | Permalink

    That’s so sweet of you, Anne! I hope Victor will get to read it! :)

  28. Posted September 24, 2012 at 12:13 by Martin | Permalink

    The fact that there is going to be set limits is quite fair and good judgement from my point of view, both since most universities are fully booked on the courses which are of interest, as well as the fact that meanwhile your not here because of any economic incentives, i know for a fact that several of the students we had in my bachelor courses only chose to go to Denmark because its free, which they actually pointed out themselves.

    I havent really had any in depth knowledge on the situation in rest of Europe, but as far as i can understand it seems like the enrollment is only being adjusted to fit the fact that new students have to meet some sort of a standard – which is totally fair since the same obligations are required for the danish students.

  29. Posted September 24, 2012 at 12:43 by Natalia | Permalink

    I must admit I started from the basis of not knowing how many spots are actually offered. I mean, when I was an exchange student, there weren’t many spots available in Denmark, specially in Aarhus, but that changes for every faculty and apparently in other places they offer a lot of spots.
    About standards, for exchange students might only be a level of English and a number of ECTS, but full degree students have to fulfill pretty much the same standards as a Dane – I believe.

    It is sad that people decides to come here just because education is free, without giving importance to the quality of the education :( Isn’t higher education also free in Norway and Sweden?

  30. Posted September 25, 2012 at 13:33 by Victor | Permalink

    Anne: Thank you! I really appreciate it. This first-hand information you’re giving me is very valuable 😀
    150 vacancies! seems like I’ve seen more job offers (related to engineering) in Denmark in a few days than in Spain throughout this year..

    By the way, I read this blog regularly but you can also contact me via e-mail: vgmestre(at)

  31. Posted October 13, 2012 at 16:34 by hej :) | Permalink

    I come from Croatia. In Croatia you have to compete with other students to get into ERASMUS program (because there is a limit how many can go from each department) for only one semester. The University pays that one semester of your exchange program, if you want to stay for another semester you’ll have to pay for everything out of your own pocket. I wanted to apply for ERASMUS but my department/university wasn’t connected to the Aarhus university, where I wanted to study since my boyfriend was there. I got a responce from my university that if I want to go there I have to bring all the documentation about the university and about the subjects. I was shocked that I had to do everything on my own and I MIGHT get accepted. On the other hand a lot of people who came from ERASMUS said that they didn’t manage to finish the semester because they had to come back to croatia before the exams started and therefor have to fail the year….. I didn’t want to risk it so I quit on that plan. The reflection you made, about the good things ERASMUS has brought into your life. Try looking it like this: I have been in a long distance relationship with a dane for 7 YEARS. I couldn’t come to Denmark before because as a non EU country all the doores we’re closed for me. Now that I’ve finally finished my education (masters degree in IT) and moved here, I have to go back after 3 months because I couldn’t find a job, even though my job is on the positive list. I once again have to leave my sweetheart until next time I can come here or until I get a job in Denmark. Also, I can’t marry him, because he’s half a year too young for our marriage to count, and me to get permit to stay. Foreigners are lately having really hard time getting to stay in Denmark. 1 year ago I could have stayed without any problem, and today all the doors are closed for me, just because i’m not from EU. My education, my skills in danish and my relationship don’t matter.

  32. Posted October 13, 2012 at 16:56 by Natalia | Permalink

    Dear Irena,
    that is a very sad situation you’re in :( Unfortunately, I know how hard it is to beat the bureaucracy in order to come here (not from personal experience, but for having heard plenty of first-hand stories about it).
    The fact that the students from Croatia need to come back without having done the exams seems crazy to me. Is that because of Danish residence permits or is it a problem with the Universities agreements?
    7 years is a lot of time, and I really hope you will be able to be back to him soon :) It shouldn’t be extremely hard to find a job in IT, but of course without experience and all, it will definitely take more than the 3 months you are allowed to stay :(
    Worst case scenario, it’s only 6 months left – although I understand it’s hard to have to get married just to get paperwork done :(

    Is the situation getting worse? (you said one year ago you could have stayed?). I thought that with the new government things would start to look better for foreigners.

  33. Posted October 13, 2012 at 17:45 by hej :) | Permalink

    Students can be for a specific number of months in the other country. I’m not sure how much, but a lot of my friends came back saying that some exams were later in the month and they couldn’t take them because they had to go back…

    Well, we have been talking about marriage for last 4 years. We don’t want get married because of the paperwork (and we probably won’t). But we can’t get married and live in 2 different countries (which also makes having children impossible as well), that would be stupid. So my whole life is now on hold. Hopefully 1st July when Croatia enters EU will bring a bit of sunshine into this matter.

    1 year ago there were ways of going around 24 year old rule and family reunification. As in: his parents paying for my expanses, proving that we have been living together for 1 year (our travels to one another added together) and so on… Now there are no such rules.

  34. Posted May 2, 2013 at 22:46 by Aleksandra | Permalink

    Hi Natalia!!

    You need to check out my facebook page:) One girl from my school will include your article as an attachment in her project :)

    You’re getting famous with your incredible writing.. :)

    Best regards,

  35. Posted May 29, 2013 at 18:12 by Natalia | Permalink

    Aleksandra! I am so sorry it took FOREVER to approve your comment! One would think by now you could just write freely here! My life has just been really crazy this month, so I haven’t been much around. But I am back and ready to catch up! 😀

    Thanks for the links, I’ll check them right now! 😀 And thanks for the nice words, I wouldn’t describe my writing as incredible, but I am glad it comes through! ^^

    All the best,


  36. Posted May 2, 2013 at 22:46 by Aleksandra | Permalink

    Reference* not attachment:))))

  37. Posted June 5, 2013 at 23:20 by andres | Permalink

    Heya! I’m here in the U.K and would like to know how’s the job market in Denmark; can a student with good English skills and work experience get a job with ease?

    I came to England two weeks ago and everytime i submit applications i’m getting calls from hotels and
    restaurants the following day, so my question is…for thosem who are currently in Denmark, do you find work like in the U.K? and it’s not that i’m in London or anything of the sort, i’m in a rather small city.

    Hope you can share sth here.

    Like the blog Natalia, but i wonder why do you believe in fairies?¿

  38. Posted June 6, 2013 at 22:15 by Natalia | Permalink

    Hi Andres!

    I would say it’s rather difficult to find a job in Denmark without speaking a word of Danish. As a student, at least. I mean, If you have a degree (specially if it’s in the engineering or IT area) then it’s another story, but otherwise it’s always hard work. It also depends on your work experience, of course, but you have to think that even though everyone speaks English here, Danish is still their language :)

    It’s great that it seems to be so easy in the UK!

    About fairies… well, I do describe myself as a fairytale-believer because I do believe in happy endings, true love and prince charming 😀 Childish? Maybe! But it’s nice to have hope! :)

  39. Posted June 17, 2013 at 16:19 by andres | Permalink

    Hey Natalia,

    Thanks for your prompt response. I had an interview with the director of Danish university and told me that most probably i’m going to get admission to start this summer.

    I know it can be expensive that’s why i would need to get a job once i’m there, but i guess you are right in that you need to speak a bit of Danish. So i would have to begin learning at least some words.

    What about SU? Is there any website in English i can take a look at?
    Thanks a lot!

  40. Posted June 19, 2013 at 14:47 by Natalia | Permalink

    Hi Andres,

    It’s crazy that if you need to start this summer you haven’t been confirmed admission yet! Looking for a place to live is quite harsh at the moment, so as soon as you know anything for sure, I’d suggest you get on it.

    Learning some Danish is without doubt a good idea, even if it can be hard to start on your own. There are some online resources available, you should be able to find them via Google :)

    This is the English version of the official page for SU: As non-Danish citizen some requirements need to be fulfilled. The law is about to change (I recently wrote a post about it here in the blog) so I don’t know the specifics, but for sure one would have to have a job besides the studies. Hope it helps :)

  41. Posted June 30, 2013 at 00:33 by andy | Permalink

    Heya! yap, got admission as expected, but it’s for the fall, haa made a mistake there, i come from the southern hemisphere and get a bit confused eveey now and then.
    Checked the site out, i guess the easiest way is to marry a dan, but i read somewhere that if you can prove that you are in a compromised relationship, what is the deal with that¿?

  42. Posted June 30, 2013 at 11:45 by Natalia | Permalink

    I have no idea about that, to be honest. Marrying a Dane is not enough, I think, since you’d have to been married to years for being allowed to get SU (if I remember correctly), so I am not sure a compromised relationship would help at all.
    I really don’t know what the rules are exactly, the best would be for you to contact the SU office of the institution where you’re going to study :)

  43. Posted July 1, 2013 at 03:29 by andy | Permalink

    Haha, actually i was kind of joking about that :-s
    Besides, i have the feeling Danes are a bit racist towards non-nordic citizens.But i guess they have the right to be racists, for their nation is surely one of the best in the world.

    Getting SU would be an easy path to finish your study programme, but in my experience on travelling you will never have a truly cultural exchange programme if you do not form part of the job market in the country you are visiting; and that is it! believe me, i’ve travelled a lot!!

    You are within them…what’s your stance on this subject?

  44. Posted July 1, 2013 at 19:55 by Sparsh Sharma | Permalink

    Nice blog post. :)
    Just rewrite the spelling in your headline :)

  45. Posted July 4, 2013 at 22:52 by Natalia | Permalink

    Some people say Danes are racists, I think they are scared that massive immigration will hurt their well-functioning system (as it happened, for example, in Spain). I haven’t experienced any sort of discrimination that I can remember at least :)

    Of course being a part of the job market is a good way to integrating in the society and really learning their culture and their ways. Specially in Denmark, having a job is very important, as I believe Danes tend to feel their job is a big part of their identity. But I might be wrong 😛
    Language is another requirement for integration, in most cases. Is it really an active effort to try and get that cultural exchange going :)

  46. Posted August 22, 2013 at 17:54 by ğoshuk | Permalink

    excuse my french but denmark sucks balls. seriously. it is really hostile against not only students but to newly graduates as well.
    i am a java developer and an engineer. i stayed around ½ a year in denmark after i graduated from my MSc. i applied to around 150 jobs at that time! got only 2 interviews! only 2!
    guess what happened when i went back home (türkiye)? got a nice and well paid (€2000 net!) engineering job there in 2½ weeks!
    so, yeah…denmark can be a racist asshole country…and i know danish! i learnt that cuntish useless language for nothing. guess i have to forget it now!

  47. Posted August 22, 2013 at 18:47 by Natalia | Permalink

    I’m sorry you had that experience with Denmark. It can be really hard to find a job sometimes, that is true! Fortunately, you could find a job at your home country instead, which is also good :)
    I can’t talk from experience, cause I’ve just had student jobs, but it’s also true that it took me forever to find the first one when I first arrived!

  48. Posted October 20, 2013 at 18:39 by torben | Permalink

    Dear Natalia,

    I cannot see what the problem is..all you foreign students are so fucking is true that some students, as in your case, have to pay for Erasmus but most foreign students don´t have to pay to study in Denmark. In their own countries they have to. So what is the problem? The SU system is paid by Danish tax payers so why should we not use it for our own students instead of financing foreign students from all over Europe. If you go out to other places then you have to pay at least a symbolic amount in Germany/France etc. The Scandinavian countries have build up this funding system for why should we finance every European student?? Can I go to your country to get a free education and get paid for it? When I read your article and see in the media that many foreign studente are complaying about how hard it is then I do not not understand. You get an entire education for free! In your own country you would be forced to take a loan to finance it. It is not fair that Danish students have to pay if they go to your country to take a whole degree and you can just come up here and take it for free and start complayning about that you want a share of the Danish wellfare pie, if you have NOT paid any taxes..My parents have worked hard and paid a high amount of taxes their whole life so their children can get a free education. Do you understand this?? Apparently not. I took a master degree in Birmingham, UK and I had to pay. I also studied in Argentina and Barbados for 6 and 4 months where I had to pay and they did not give a fuck about financial support to me. Foreign students are very welcome here in DK but stop being greedy. You already got a free education and most of you leave again without paying taxes in order to give something back to the Danish state, which supported you! It is fair when Danish students can go to your country to study for free for a bachelor/master program and not just one way education..

  49. Posted October 20, 2013 at 20:16 by Natalia | Permalink

    Dear Torben,

    First, I’d appreciate it if you watched your fucking language.
    Second, I would recommend you read a post where I specifically talk about SU and how I think the changing of the law – that allows for more international students to obtain SU – is a BAD idea.
    As a side note to this, the SU system is paid by Danish AND FOREIGN taxpayers – or is all people working in Denmark Danish?- , so you might want to correct yourself next time.
    So, before you start criticizing what you think my point of view is, you’d better understand it correctly.
    What this post was about had NOTHING to do with students wanting to get SU, but about Universities reducing the amount of “spots” for foreigners, or saying they had too many foreigners in their classrooms. And about some Danes being okay with it because they think foreign students “steal” their SU, when as a matter of fact, most don’t have access to it – which, as I said before, I think is totally understandable.
    I’ve been paying taxes since LONG before I started enjoying your free education, not only through work, but also through the fact of living in one of the most expensive countries in the world.
    So please, read properly before you start the hate talk. And stop generalizing, because the only thing you achieve is making yourself look ridiculous.

  50. Posted October 20, 2013 at 22:46 by torben | Permalink

    Thank you for your answer.

    Firstly then I do not share any hate to foreign students. I have been studying/spending time abroad for almost 3 and a half years in other countries. So please stop naming me a racist/nationalist or whatever it is you try to suggest in your answer. I have just spend 3 months in your city, Barcelona, looking for a job and I got surprized about how strong nationalism is there.
    Secondly then I apologize for my language but when reading another post by: ğoshuk, describing Denmark as a “racist asshole country” after he got a free master degree then what is there to say.

    Well, I was not only commenting on your article but in general. Denmark is a small country with a special tax system giving benefits to its citizens. One of them is free education and this SU system will have difficulty in the future if the Danish state has to support with the SU as well to foreign students. Maybe many at the moment do not comply with the conditions for obtaining SU but in the future that number will rise.
    So I understand why the state tries to reduce the number of foreign students in order to keep the SU system as it has always been. And concerning the funding, then you are right. Foreign taxpayers also fund the SU, among other things, but not as much as the Danish.
    but enough of that discussion. My point is that I would like to know if you think it is fair when a foreign student comes to study for a Bachelor/master in DK and his Danish colleague wants to do the same in another EU country but has to pay? I think there should be somekind of exchange on BA/master level as with semester agreements etc. because it is difficult to finance free education for such a small country and when reading some of the comments on this blog where the word racist is used about Danish people then I really feel offended. If I came to another country willing to give me free education instead of I had to pay then I would be more grateful. So all I´m trying to say is that it should be more fair in terms of possibilities for free education for students within the EU. In fact education should be free for everyone in the EU and not just those who can afford it. I discussed this subject with some students at your home university and they agreed with me.

  51. Posted October 20, 2013 at 23:22 by Anne | Permalink

    Torben – I get why you’re offended by the language in some of the posts.

    I too find ğoshuks comments offending. But he’s entitled to it. I think, that him writing soo hatefully shows he’s got other issues than with Denmark and danes. It is my humble opinion.

    Just because Natalia is hosting the blog, don’t make her responsible for the hateful and somewhat narrowminded comments. And I do not follow you, when you claim that she suggest that you are a racist/nationalist.

    In fact I’ve followed this blog for a loooong time, and I have seen how Natalia in some cases have defended Denmark and Danes – or at least tried do make people understand (me included) all aspects – before judging and complaining.

    I don’t want to put words in her (Natalia’s) mouth. This is just my take on it 😉


  52. Posted October 21, 2013 at 18:15 by Natalia | Permalink

    Aw, Anne, hvor er du søde! Tak for hjælpen :)

    Well, Torben, I am glad we seem to understand each other, and I must apologize by my reaction, which might have come too strong. I just read your comment our of the blue and out of context (without reading the previous comments on the thread) and took it quite personally.

    I understand your frustration and believe me, sometimes I share it. Giving SU to any European who comes here to study and finds himself a student job is not going to be sustainable long-term. But there is also an increasing number of people who actually plan on staying in Denmark and will end up compensating the expenses they created. How to differentiate those people from the rest, is impossible to say.

    I don’t think reducing the number of foreign students was related to SU at the moment of the decision (the SU changes hadn’t happened yet), but the fact that more people comes here to study than Danes go out. It might have to do with the fact that, depending on where you want to study, you have to pay tuition. Of course the ideal situation would be for education to be free everywhere, but that is not going to happen anytime soon, I can promise you (specially not South of the continent). From that starting point, I think the only way that Danish students could go study in Europe for free would be if the Danish Government took care of the tuition, which I don’t think will happen either. Or well, you can always go study to Norway, or Sweden or one of those other civilized places with free education. You cannot expect the same privileges you enjoy here in every other country, unfortunately.

    About people calling Danes racist… well, it’s a problem of generalization. Some people have had very nasty experiences and discrimination DOES happen, making people feel it’s the general trend. Sometimes, being protective of your small country (totally understandable behaviour that I share at times) can be misinterpreted.

  53. Posted June 3, 2014 at 16:49 by Christoffer | Permalink

    I’m sorry to hear that. However the thing is when we have a system like this thing doesen’t always go “right” but I promise most of the danes would welcome you with no problem :-)

  54. Posted August 4, 2014 at 23:44 by hs | Permalink

    I pay a tuition of 36000kr every six months plus a tax of 37% for incomes (60hrs of work each month). I am married to a Danish passport holder.
    Still i am not able to have a family reunification, because I contribute a lot. We borrowed money from the Bank with the interest rate of 25%. See how many people benefit from us: the government, bank ….
    This is insanity.

  55. Posted August 6, 2014 at 16:57 by Natalia | Permalink

    That is a lot of money to pay for education and a crazy interest rate at the bank :(

    I’m sorry things are working out that way for you.

    I’m glad you wrote a comment, so people can also read the side of things that I don’t have much access to.

    Best of luck,


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Home is Where Your Heart is


Atypical Mediterranean married to a Viking and learning the “ways of the North” in beautiful Aarhus. Amateur photographer, fairytale believer, Biologist and closet sci-fi geek, among other things.