Getting settled in Denmark involves some paperwork and going to a few offices. The apparently easy-going welfare state can present you with be quite a few hurdles in those first hectic days of your arrival in Copenhagen. The following is a 'how-to-do-it' information sheet.
Two important points
!!!It is very important that you have an address here in Denmark. This should be arranged from your home country through the International Office or by friends and family in Denmark.!!!
Prior to your arrival you should have received a green folder with important information. The information concerns the documents you need to bring to Denmark. It is very important that you read this folder before your arrival in Denmark. If you do not have one, you can get it from the International Office.
- For Nordic students
If you are staying in Denmark for less than 6 months, you do not need a residence permit. If your stay is longer than 6 months and you are a student from a Nordic country (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Faroe Islands or Greenland), you will need to have your Inter-Nordic moving papers when you arrive in Denmark. The Inter-Nordic moving papers are available at your home municipality.
If you have forgotten these papers at home, or been unaware of the need to bring them, you have to go to your local Town Hall here in Denmark (called 'Rådhus') and see the People's Registrar ('Folkeregister'). You will have to provide documentation that you are a Nordic citizen and enrolled at the University of Copenhagen. Furthermore, you need documentation that you have an address in Denmark. Go to addresses for Folkeregister in Copenhagen.
- For EU students
If you are staying in Denmark for less than 3 months, you do not need a residence permit. If your stay is longer than 3 months and you are a student from an EU country, you need to apply for a residence permit.
No matter where you come from, you have to bring the following documents to the residence permits office:
Letter of admission issued by the University of Copenhagen.
Your Lease (on your room, apartment, house etc.)
Your Passport (or national ID-card)
2 passport photos.
If you live in the municipality of Copenhagen, you have to go to Københavns Overpræsidium:
1267 København K
tlf.: 33 12 23 80
If you live in the municipality of Frederiksberg or in the Copenhagen County area outside the municipality of Copenhagen, you need to go to Københavns Statsamt:
2400 København NV
tlf.: 38 17 06 00
Both offices are open at these times:
It is advisable that you arrive at the office at least one hour before closing time.
- For Non-EU students
If you are a Non-EU student you need to apply for a Student Visa at the Danish Embassy or Consulate in your home country. The process of applying for a Visa can begin as soon as you receive your letter of admission from the International Office at the University of Copenhagen. With your 'Letter of Admission' you will receive a special application form:
Supplement to application for residence permit for visitors at Danish institutions of higher education
This supplement and the general application for residence permit has to be delivered to the nearest Danish embassy or consulate.
You must have your residence permit before you arrive in Denmark.
The International Office strongly recommends that you draw up your own private health insurance in your home country. This should cover you in case of theft, severe illness and transportation of family and yourself in case of severe illness or death.
- Nordic students
Nordic students are automatically covered by the Danish health care system for up to 6 months. If you are in Denmark for more than 6 months, you have to apply for a medical health care card (sygesikringsbevis) by bringing your Inter-Nordic travel papers to Folkeregisteret.
- EU students (special rules for Nordic students above)
If you are an EU citizen staying in Denmark for more than 3 months, you need to bring an E-128 form from your local health care office provider in your home country. This form entitles you to apply for Danish health care coverage and it will cover you in case of trouble in the period between the time of your application and the granting of your health care card.
- British students
If you are a British student, you are encompassed by a special agreement which ensures that you are covered by the Danish health care system. Until you receive your health care card, you can produce your passport at the hospital or at the doctor's office and refer to the special agreement between Denmark and the United Kingdom.
- Non-EU students
If you are staying in Denmark for more than 3 months and you are not an EU-citizen, you will not be covered by the Danish health care system until 6 weeks after you have applied for it. It is strongly recommended that you ensure coverage by a privately arranged health care system in your home country for the first 8 weeks of your stay in Denmark.
The public transportation system in Denmark is expensive. There, it's said and there's no denying it. You may find information in English about the bus system by this link.
Consider how much travelling you expect to do, and consider how much freedom you would like and how much you are willing to spend. You can always get on your bike and go if you have one, but busses and trains limit your freedom and they will cost you.
Most students in Denmark have bicycles, and you should consider buying one too. The best and easiest way to get a bike is to buy one from a shop. Some super markets sell bicycles. Here are to super market websites you can check out:
Going to a used-bike dealer can prove both costly for the purchase, as well as costly for any additional repairs to the bike you may have to pay. Bring a local fellow student or your mentor along to help with negotiations.
A new bike - not a sophisticated model, a simple one but new - will cost around 1200 - 1800 DKK. Between €160 - 240.
When you leave you can sell the bike to another international student and may even get euros back. Ask your mentor or a fellow student for advice.
The International Office at the University of Copenhagen will do their utmost to find you a place to stay - if you just tick the box in the application form. However, the success of the International Office depends on the goodwill of local Danes who are subletting their apartments or renting out rooms to students.
Currently we are experiencing some difficulties because we want our students to live within close proximity to the University, and people in this area are just not renting out rooms.
You can also try to find a place to live yourself. The following links will take you to organisations that administrate housing:
Once you have a residence permit and a permanent residence in Copenhagen, you need to register with the People's Registrars' office. They will issue you with a CPR-number (Social Security number)
You need to bring your passport, your "Letter of Admission" to the University of Copenhagen, your lease and your residence permit.
You cannot book an appointment at the People's Registar, but you must be prepared for some waiting time. Click here for addresses.
You can open a bank account in most Danish banks.
Check with your local bank in your home country to see if they have any collaboration agreements with Danish banks. This is a good idea for the foloowing reason:
When you transfer money from your home bank account to your new bank account in Denmark, your home bank will first transfer the money to its partner bank in Denmark. If the bank of your choice is not the partner bank of your home bank, then the partner bank in Denmark will just forward the money to the bank you have chosen - but at a certain fee. If you don't want the banks to collect more fees from your transactions than necessary, make sure that the bank of your choice here in Denmark is the partner bank of your bank in your home country.
You can apply for a work permit that allows you to work 15 hours a week. You apply at the same place where you applied for your residence permit.
Non-EU citizens who live in the municipalities of Copenhagen or Frederiksberg should apply with:
2100 København Ø.
Opening hours: Mon. - Fri. 8.30-12.00,
Thu: 8.30 - 12.00 and again 15.30-17.30.
As a student enrolled at the University of Copenhagen, you can take part in the University Students' Gymnasticks organisation, USG. For a small fee per semester, you can join all kinds of sports at all kinds of levels. Look at their web-site to learn more: www.usg.dk/english.php
It is very important that you check your University email regularly. All important information regarding enrolment, events and courses are given from the International office via your University email. The University encourages you to forward your incoming emails from your University email to the one that you use most frequently (hotmail, yahoo, web.de, etc.). The 'how to forward your email'-manual can be found here.
Your student card is available at the International Office and you can pick it up as soon as you arrive in Denmark.
You need your student card to sign up for exams, to use the library and to enter the university areas at certain hours during the night.
It also provides you with discounts at selected places.
Until you have your student card, your "Letter of admission" is proof that you are enrolled as a student at the Faculty and the University of Copenhagen.