Working while studying in Denmark

Today I thought that it was time to write about practical issues against so I decided to explain to you why it is such a great opportunity to study in Denmark. There are many reasons but the economic one is fundamental. Denmark is a great country to live in, its universities are amongst the best in Europe and it is one of the most innovative countries so it is a good move for a young engineer. But the advantages do not end here.

The first time that I heard about this I could not believe it but it is in fact true. There are no tuition fees in Denmark. You understood it correctly: you don't have to pay a single kroner to attend university at any level if you are a European citizen. If you compare this to American or British universities the difference is huge. In Spain, universities are less expensive than in Anglo-Saxon countries but 2,000 euros/year for a technical MSc is still a lot for most people. So the fact that I could study at a world-class university without having to pay anything was very appealing.

You might say (and you would be right) that Denmark is a very expensive country to live in so that it doesn't make a huge difference economically. You are wrong and I will tell you why. All Danish students receive a state grant of around 750 euros/month so that they can pay for their expenses while they attend free college. Yep, Danish youngsters live a very nice life. Europeans like me have to work a little bit more to receive this grant called SU. Specifically, we have to work around 45 hours a month.  If you work while you study and you spend at least that amount of time you can also get that amount of money from the Danish state.

Working and studying is possible thanks to a very flexible method of learning. There are not so many hours of lecturing such as in Spain and instead, there are many assignments and teamwork to do. Students tend to work as student assistants in companies, as bartenders or even in post-delivery companies. Anything works to get the SU.

Personally, I found a job that I would not change for anything. I work as a tennis coach at Gentofte Tennis Klub. I was lucky enough to find this job and to use all of my previous tennis experience and knowledge. I work around 18 hours every week training kids, teenagers, and adults. They are all Danish and we communicate in English (I'm lucky that Danes are also extraordinary at English). I am learning Danish in order to integrate better into danish society but especially to use it in my job. I have a lot of fun, I practice my favorite sport, I learn danish and I earn money not only from the job but also from the SU grant. I couldn't ask for more. Besides all of this, the club is awesome. People are very friendly to me and their teams are super competitive in the Danish championships. They have some of the best players nationally so I get to learn a lot from them too.

In order to make my life easier, I decided to make my Master's 2.5 years instead of 2 years so that I can work a lot of hours and still get through my studies and danish classes decently. I also have time for social life and to visit new spots in my new country every once in a while.

It has not been easy to get to the situation I am in. I fought hard to find a job and it takes time to get used to a special job like this one and to learn how to deal with studies and work at the same time. But the fact is that money-wise I am in a much better situation now that I found the job and the SU and the "no tuition fees "policies are the main reason. These policies by the Danish government are quite special but they are used as a way of attracting young talent from abroad. Many people stay here to work after studying in Denmark and Danish companies benefit from this global talent. It looks like it works quite well for them but of course, not everyone agrees with this. It is part of the political discussion but I really hope that things stay the way they are now.

If you walk around DTU for a few minutes you will realize that there are many Greek, Spanish and Italian engineers around. I kind of feel more like home thanks to that. It is not difficult to find a reason to explain this phenomenon: They are here in Denmark to look for opportunities that are more scarce in their homelands. South Europeans are also European citizens so they can also get advantage of these economical policies while they get to attend better universities. It is not a secret that the economical situation in the south of Europe is worse than in the north (imagine after the coronavirus crisis...). Forza and Ánimos to my Italian and Spanish people.

I hope that this explanation made you realize how lucky and fortunate I am to be able to study and work in Denmark. This place feels like paradise to me at this point in my life and it might not work for other people but I believe that I have objective reasons to feel this way. If this is the first time you read about all of this don't hesitate to reply to this text or to text me to ask any questions.


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  2. Very proud of you!!! An excellent description of the good balance you have achieved!!! Chemistry and Tennis!!! Great


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