Denmark Basics To Keep An Eye On

In Denmark there is a strong regard for the common good. Freedom for the individual, equal opportunities, respect and tolerance are core values

When you live in Denmark, you can enjoy a balanced lifestyle with time for both work and leisure. And while there is a strong respect for the community, there is also a strong emphasis on personal freedom and the opportunity to pursue and fulfill individual potential.

Freedom for the individual

Freedom for the individual, equality, respect, tolerance and a strong sense of mutual trust are core values in Denmark. This is also reflected in the way we organise our workplaces and educate our youth.

Equal opportunity

Denmark is one of the most egalitarian societies in the world. The Danish welfare model ensures a healthy work-life balance as well as free education and healthcare for all. As an international student in Denmark you too will benefit from our efficient public services.

Equal rights

Danish law guarantees freedom of religion and prohibits discrimination based on gender, race, religious belief or sexual orientation. A large majority of Danes are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, supported by the Danish state. Nonetheless, most Danes view the church as a cultural institution and religious discussions are not very predominant in the public debate.

A safe and family-friendly society

Denmark is a family-friendly society where children and their parents enjoy plenty of cultural activities and easy access to nature, beaches and sports facilities. Danish cities are bicycle-friendly and green. And with Denmark’s low crime rate, children can roam freely and even walk themselves to school.

Work-life balance

A core value in Danish society is maintaining a balanced work and family life. According to the OECD, people in Denmark devote more time than the OECD average to socialising with friends, family, sports, hobbies and games.

The official working week is 37 hours. If you work overtime, you will usually be compensated financially or given time off from work instead. As an employee you are entitled to five weeks vacation and to take leave with full pay on the first day that your child is sick.

The work culture in Denmark is team-oriented, informal and based on open dialogue between management and employees. And in-job training enjoys high priority at most workplaces, including university level courses.

As an international student you too will enjoy the opportunity to work in Denmark during your studies. And you will have the opportunity to seek full-time employment in Denmark when you have completed your studies here.

Denmark has universal adult suffrage by voluntary and secret ballot, with a voting age of 18 for both national and local elections. All voters are eligible to run for office. The voter turnout in national elections historically has been quite high. Elections are held on the basis of proportional representation, in which each political party gains seats in the Folketing in proportion to its strength among the voters. As a result, the national government often has been composed of a coalition of parties that does not enjoy a majority. Members of the Folketing are elected to a four-year term, but the prime minister may dissolve the legislature and call for new elections at any time. Despite the splintering of parties, Denmark has enjoyed stable government, with new elections on an average of once every three years.

The Social Democratic Party (Socialdemokratiet), historically the largest Danish political party, led most Danish governments from the 1930s to the early 1980s. Coalitions of nonsocialist parties headed by the Conservative People’s Party (Konservative Folkeparti) and the Liberal Party (Venstre) ruled until 1993, when the Social Democrats regained power. A centre-right Liberal-Conservative coalition held power from 2001 to 2011, when a centre-left coalition led by the Social Democrats took the reins of government. Other prominent parties include the right-wing Danish People’s Party (Dansk Folkeparti), which expresses anti-immigration sentiments, and the left-wing Socialist People’s Party (Socialistisk Folkeparti), which at first opposed Danish membership in the EU but later modified its hard-line stance. Smaller parties and alliances also maintain seats in the legislature.