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Studying at Aarhus University

In the Danish educational system, the relationship between student and teacher is often very informal. Photo: Simon Jeppesen, AU Photo

An informal study environment

Studying in Denmark is different from many other countries. The study culture in Denmark is informal and the hierarchy between students and lectures is very flat. This is also the case at Aarhus University. The teaching style at Aarhus University includes innovative teaching methods and an informal learning environment. This way analytical and critical thinking as well as creativity is promoted.

Furthermore, most teachers will ask you to call them by their first name while professors and other staff members often socialize and chat informally with students during breaks. 

Study methods in Denmark

In Denmark, you are responsible for your own learning. This means that check-ups on your presence in class are very rare which leaves you with a high level of freedom as a student. Even though there are rarely any check-ups on your presence in class, there may be courses where your class attendance is a pre-requisite for participating in the exam.

Furthermore, Danish higher education holds a rather analytical approach, which means that students are not only expected to reproduce knowledge but also to analyze, compare and evaluate individually. 

Study Groups

Study groups are frequently used at Aarhus University. A group typically consists of 3-4 students who all meet and prepare for classes, discuss assignments, or prepare oral presentations. Being part of a study group can be beneficial when it comes to studies but also social life.

The study groups train students in methodological skills such as cooperation, presentation, coordination, etc. Therefore, you should ask around at the beginning of the semester and see if anyone would like to join your study group.

Dialogue between professors and students

At Aarhus University, students are expected to engage in academic discussions during class and they may be required to make oral presentations once or twice during the semester. This means that the dialogue between student and professor is central.

Thereby, the academic atmosphere may appear relaxed and informal as interaction between student and lecturer is highly encouraged. Furthermore, critical thinking and freedom of speech are important at Aarhus University, and not sharing all of your teacher’s opinions is acceptable. 

Workload

In Denmark, The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is the standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education. ECTS reflect the relationship between the amount of work required by each course and the amount of work required to complete a full year of academic study at Aarhus University. 30 ECTS represent one semester while 60 ECTS represent the workload of one academic year of study. ECTS are granted for completed courses only.