Life in Copenhagen

Learn more about living in Copenhagen as an international student.

Get to know life in Copenhagen

Getting to know a new city and a new country can seem like an overwhelming experience, but it does not have to be. A good first step is to get familiar with the various practical aspects of life.

Can I get a job and how? How much do things cost? Where will I find friends? Should I learn Danish? We've got you covered. Below, you will find an overview of things that are worth knowing, as well as links to where you can find more information.

Living costs

Monthly expenses

It can be quite expensive to live in Denmark. Creating a budget and being aware of your habits and how you spend your money is a good idea in order to not blow your budget. Learn more about what things cost in Denmark here.

It is worth considering living outside the immediate city, as it can be easier and cheaper to find a place to live. Get more tips on finding a place to stay here

Danish bank account

It is advised to open a bank account in Denmark. To open a Danish bank account, you must first obtain a Danish CPR number. If you get a student job in Denmark, it is helpful to have Danish bank accountt. Learn more how to open a bank account here.

Student grants (SU)

As a foreign citizen, you have the possibility of applying for the State Educational Grant (SU). You apply for equal status under either Danish or EU law. This depends on which criterias you fulfil.

It is important to remember that you cannot apply for SU before you:

  • Have accepted your study place
  • Are registered as a citizen in Denmark
  • Have checked the rules that apply to your specific situation

Check the rules and learn more about SU here.

Note, that exchange students are not able to apply for SU.

Working in Denmark

Student job

It is common for students to have a part-time job while studying. It is a great way of getting to know the Danish business community and to create an invaluable network while making some money at the same time.

Most student work around 15 hours per week and many students have jobs that are relevant to their studies. However, note that finding a job can be a little bit more challenging if you do not speak Danish. Therefore, it is not recommended that you base your semester's finances on having a job.

Some good places to start looking for a job is CBS Careergate and Work in Denmark.

Work Permit

Citizens of Nordic countries as well as EU/EEA and Swiss citizens do not usually need a work permit for normal student jobs.

Non-EU/EEA citizens need to apply for a work permit and can only undertake paid employment while enrolled at CBS. If you need a work permit, note that there will be a maximum amount of hours that you are allowed to work.

Learn more about work permits here.

After graduating 

Denmark is known for its work-life balance and a standard working week is 37 hours. Flexibility, efficiency, and responsibility characterises the Danish working culture.

There are many possibilities after graduation. Finding a new job, starting full-time where you had your student job, or maybe starting your own business? It's all up to you.

At CBS, you can reach out to Career Services for help with how to start your job search as an international in Denmark. Details can be found on once you are enrolled.

To prepare for the life after graduation, get familiar with the various job portals, learn more about the practicailities and read other students' testimonials.

Language and culture

Danish is the national language of Denmark. Most citizens in the Greater Copenhagen Area are relatively good at speaking English so you will probably not have difficulties communicating in English.

However, learning some Danish may make your time in Denmark easier. It is especially important if you are considering working in Denmark both during and after your studies, as the ability to understand and speak Danish is highly requested in most workplaces in Denmark.

One-week Danish language course

Before the semester starts, you can take a one-week crash course in Danish language and culture.

Semester exchange student ?

Please see information about Danish language courses specifically for exchange students

Free language courses

Several language schools offer Danish courses, but not all are free. 

Danish language courses at either Studieskolen or UC Plus will be free for international students studying at CBS who have obtained a CPR-number. 

The language school Studieskolen runs a special programme, designed to fit the schedule of CBS students. The classes take place in central Copenhagen. 
Contact the language school for more information and to sign up.

Danish culture

Denmark is a country known for being one of the happiest countries in the world. You will find a laid-back lifestyle, that has high levels of social trust.

Learn more about the Danish lifestyle here.



In Copenhagen most people get around by bike. You will find bike lanes everywhere and it is very safe to bike around town. Otherwise people use public transportation. It is not very common to have a car in Copenhagen, as it is hard to get around, parking is difficult, and cars in general are unnecessary in the city.

Public transportation

Public transportation is excellent in all of Denmark. In Copenhagen, you will find many busses, trains as well as the metro. CBS campuses are all located close to the metro stops - so it is easy to get here.

To see how to get places with public transportation you can use the website/app called Rejseplanen. It will tell which bus/train/metro to take and how long it takes.

Rejsekort (Travel card)

Rejsekort is the preferred method to pay for your public transportation ticket. Rejsekort is an electronic ticketing system for travelling by bus, train, and metro. You transfer money to the card and 'check in' and 'check out' when you travel. Using Rejsekort is cheaper than buying tickets each time.

Order your Rejsekort here.

Learn more about travel and transportation in Denmark here.

Health and emergency assistence 

Healthcare in Denmark free of charge for you

In Denmark most healthcare services are financed by general taxes, and provided to almost all residents free of charge, incl. students. This is part of the strong social security in the country.

Free healthcare includes consultations and treatment at local doctors, emergency wards and public hospitals. You will need to pay for prescription medication, dental treatments and certain special treatments yourself.

Read more about health care in Denmark

Free access to healthcare

You will always be able to get medical treatment if an acute situation occurs. You just need to contact a general physician or call for an ambulance if necessary.

Students with a Danish CPR-number: Once you are registered with a Danish CPR-number you will receive a health insurance card – the so-called yellow card. Your yellow card will feature both the name and the phone number of your local doctor. The card will be sent to you by post approximately two weeks after having registered with the Danish authorities. 

Read more about how to apply for a CPR-number (civil registration number).

​​​Students without a Danish CPR-number:

  • EU citizens: you will be covered by your Blue EU-health card. You will have to pay for the treatment yourself at first, and then you can be refunded by your home country afterwards.
  • Non-EU citizens: you will have to pay for the treatment yourself at first, and afterwards apply for a reimbursement from Udbetaling Danmark if you were entitled to have a CPR-number at the point of time (if you had a valid residence permit, had found valid housing and was situated in Denmark and had more than 3 months of expected stay but still did not apply for a CPR-number). We recommend that you check your insurances from home and ensure that you are sufficiently covered by your own health insurance while staying in Denmark.

Take out your own health insurance

Even though you are covered by the public health insurance, we still recommend that you take out a health insurance that will cover transport for you and your relatives in case of illness, as the ‘yellow card’ does not cover this.


Are you in an emergency where you are in urgent need of an ambulance, the police or the fire services dial 1-1-2. The call centre will make sure to send the help you need.

If it is not urgent, you should call the Police's service number: 1-1-4.

Urgent help with illness and injuries

If you need urgent help with illness or injuries matters outside the opening hours of your local doctor, you should contact the hotline at: 1-8-1-3.

When you dial 1-8-1-3 you will be put through to an experienced nurse or doctor for a phone consultation. If needed, they will guide you to the nearest hospital.

Note: 1-8-1-3 is only for citizens in the Capital Region of Denmark.


The Danish police is approachable and helpful, so do not be afraid to contact them for assistance if you need it.

The direct number for the police in Denmark is: 1-1-4

Read more about the police at

Social life

Student life at CBS

At CBS, we have over 100 different student organisations where you can find students with similar interests as you. There are student organisations focusing on different cultures, all kinds of sports, matters of sustainability, and so much more. The list is almost endless.

Joining a student organisation is a great way to expand your network, meet students from other programmes, and contribute to the social student environment at CBS. ​​​​

Learn more about CBS Students and find all the different organisations on campus here. 

International Student Ambassadors (ISA) is a group of stu­dents at CBS, that help international students settle in at CBS and in Copenhagen. You can talk to students in ISA to get their advice based on their own experiences.

Come in contact with International Student Ambassadors here.

Social life outside of CBS

There is an abundance of things you can engage in around Copenhagen and Denmark in general. Danes are known for being the happiest people in the world and they tend to spend a lot of time on activities they enjoy.

Whether it is exploring the café culture, inviting friends home for dinner, volunteering for a cause you care about, or something completely different, you will find your place for it here.

Hear international bachelor students share what it was like for them to move to Denmark and give some tips on how to create a social life in Copenhagen.

Exchange students can read more about about cultural immersion and the Danish crash course here.

Your guides to CBS and Copenhagen

Studying abroad can in many ways be a life changing experience. For general information about life as a student in Denmark, you can download the International Students' Survival Guide to life in Denmark. It is not specific for CBS, but will give you a lot of useful information about Denmark in general.

As a new student at CBS, and as a foreigner in Denmark, you might often find yourself out of your comfort zone. To help you with the transition to CBS, you can make use of the two useful guides available to you. These guides will answer some of the questions that you might have before coming to Copenhagen as well as during your stay.

  •  Anticipating Arrival will prepare you for your encounter with Denmark and what to consider prior to your exchange
  •  Smooth Studies will give you practical advice for upon your arrival, as well as tips and tricks on how to get the best out of your stay while here.

Inside each guide you will find details specific to your situation, whether you are coming to CBS as a full-degree student (bachelor or graduate), freemover student or as an exchange, CEMS, Double Degree student.



The page was last edited by: Web editor - Student Communications // 07/01/2024