Many students look for internships in Denmark as the country is known for its high-quality education. Also, Denmark ranks high in healthcare, prosperity, the standard of living, and human development. Overseas students hope that by interning in one of the Danish companies, they will learn and use that knowledge as a stepping stone into a globalized corporate world.
Denmark is constantly listed as one of the happiest countries in the world and it is also known for its high-income equality. It has the highest minimum wage in the world and all interns, whether they are locals or from overseas, receive a salary or stipend that allows them to live comfortably during the internship period. Hence, many students want to come to Denmark to take advantage of the paid internship opportunities.
Options for Students
Students looking for internships in Denmark will have several options in different sectors. That is because the country is a leader in many areas. However, internships are not just about learning and acquiring or honing skills. It is also about living in a different culture and experiencing a different way of life. What better place to experience that? After all, Denmark is the land of the Vikings and the birthplace of Lego.
While many overseas students want to come to Denmark for the paid internship opportunities, most end up getting a lot more out of their stay in the country and that makes these internships a worthwhile endeavour.
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In most countries, internships are often unpaid and require the interns to do the grunt work. However, that is not the case in Denmark. It is part of the European Union and offers students many unique opportunities in different fields and areas.
Today, engineering and agriculture are the most sought-after industries and sectors when it comes to internships. There are numerous opportunities in these industries and you are sure to find an internship that is just right for you.
Engineering: Nearly every industry has an engineering department and hence, you will find that there are many different engineering internship opportunities in the country. You will be able to find internships in mechanical, civil, chemical, and electrical engineering. Since the environment has become a major issue across the world, it is not surprising that Denmark offers internships in environmental engineering.
Agriculture: While Denmark is a small country, it has a robust agriculture sector. Internships in this field are apt for students who already have experience or are starting out in this field. Agriculture internships not just about growing food but also focus on animal husbandry and gardening. When you accept an agriculture internship in Denmark, you can rest assured that you will cover the entire sector and will receive practical knowledge and hands-on learning experience.
Where to Find Internships in Denmark
If you want to find an internship in Denmark, it is best to begin your search at least 6 months to a year in advance. That will ensure you will be able to find the right internship of your choice and in a company of your preference.
Most internships in the country begin in summer. That is to ensure that students have the time to devote to the internship and can focus on a different kind of learning rather than being distracted by their university studies.
Internships have different durations. Some are for just a few weeks while others may last for a few months. You still have other internships that can be for a year or so. It is prudent to remember since interns are paid, you will be working for at least 25 hours a week. This may not leave you enough spare time to do a part-time job.
Since Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, the best internship opportunities are located here. However, it can be very competitive as not just overseas students but even Danish students want to intern in the big companies based in Copenhagen.
So, if you do not want to compete with hundreds of other students vying for the same internship opportunities, you should look at other cities, like Odense and Aarhus. Many overseas students, who want to live and work in a quieter place, tend to go to Silkeborg. This city is located in the western part of Denmark is relatively quieter than Copenhagen. It is home to many sustainable energy companies, hydropower companies, wind power companies, and food production companies.
It is best to do online research to shortlist companies that you are interested in. Then you can write to the HR department of these companies to find out if they have internship opportunities. Most companies will list it on their websites but if these opportunities are in Danish, you may not be able to figure it out.
You can also check with your professors and student centre in your university to find out if they know of international internship opportunities in Denmark.
Getting Work Permit and Resident Permit
If your internship is less than three months, you will not need a residence permit or work permit. However, you will need a visa if you are not from the EU or Nordic countries. On the other hand, if your internship is three months or more, you will have to apply for a work permit and residence permit. You would have to do this in your country of residence through the Danish embassy or consulate.
To get a residence permit and work permit, you would need to fulfil a few criteria.
- You should be between 18 years and 35 years of age
- You should have the necessary funds to live in Denmark
- You should be enrolled in a bachelor’s programme in your country of residence or have just completed your undergraduate degree
- Your internship should be related to your education
The minimum stipend mandated by the government is equivalent to US$880 in Danish kroner (use our converter here). It is prudent to remember that the cost of living in Denmark is high but you should be able to manage with your stipend as long as you do not spend the money frivolously.
Now you know about internships in Denmark and what awaits you. Go ahead and find the right internship opportunity and you will have a wonderful time learning, working, and living in Denmark.