Before and when you arrive

Preparation is key. Learn more about what you need to know to prepare for CBS, Copenhagen, and Denmark.

Get ready for Denmark!

There are a few things you need to have sorted in order to comfortably start your studies at CBS. Use the five points below as a checklist to make sure you are prepared for your move to Copenhagen.

If you're an exchange or freemover student coming to CBS, study abroad loans and/or grants have to be obtained in your home country.

1. Find housing

Finding somewhere to live in Copenhagen can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Unfortunately, CBS can only help you find housing if you are an exchange student, a summer university student or a freemover student. If you are not one of those categories, here’s what you can do:

  • Make use of your network. Do you know someone who lives in Copenhagen or Denmark? Many students find housing through their network, so reach out to anyone you might know in the area.
  • Join Facebook groups. There are many ads for rooms and apartments in various Facebook groups. 
  • Apply for student housing. Many students live in single rooms with shared common rooms, known as a "kollegie". There are numerous kollegier offered by various companies and note that there is usually a waiting list.
  • Look for housing outside the immediate city. As Copenhagen is a relatively small geographically, you can also consider finding housing outside of the more central neighbourhoods. The public transportation is reliable and its infrastructure streches over a great area, which means that you can easily get to the various CBS campuses. As Copenhagen is a biking city, nothing is ever that far away as you can easily move around.

It is very common for studens to share apartment with other students and young professionals, and this is also a great way to increase your network in Copenhagen.

Find more information and register for residence halls, rental and youth apartments here:

Hear international bachelor students share how they found housing and give some good tips to help you find somewhere to live.

Incoming exchange student?
If you are an incoming exchange student, there is special housing you can apply for. We will send information directly to you.

Studying at CBS Summer University?
For international students that join CBS Summer University, you can get assistance with finding housing.

Freemover student?
If you are an incoming freemover student, there is special housing you can apply for - along with the exchange students. We will send information directly to you.

2. Apply for residence certificate or permit

To study at CBS for a full semester or more, you may need to apply for a residence certificate or permit.

Nordic citizens
As a Nordic citizen, you do not need to apply for a residence certificate or residence permit. 
EU/EEA and Swiss citizens
As an EU/EEA citizen staying in Denmark for longer than three months, you must apply for a residence certificate. Learn more and apply online here.
Non-EU/EEA citizens


As a non-EU/EEA citizen staying in Denmark for longer than three months, you may need to fill out a ST1 application form in order to apply for a residence permit.


If you are an incoming full degree student, you apply online. Once we have received your tuition fee payment, we will initiate the application process and provide you with a login to continue the application. You receive further information together with your letter of accaptance.

If you are an incoming exchange student, you apply either before arrival at a Danish diplomatic mission or an application centre in the country where you are residing, or after arrival in one of SIRI's branch offices. You cannot apply online; you must use the form we send to you. Read more here on how to apply as an exchange student.

Apply before arrival

If you need to apply for a residence permit, note that it needs to be obtained before entering Denmark unless your citizenship will allow you to travel visa-free to Denmark. The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) has a service goal of 60 days to reach a decision from the date they receive a fully completed application. I.e. if you submit an incomplete application, the timer resets and you should expect another 60 days before a decision is reached. CBS has no influence over Danish diplomatic missions or SIRI, and we cannot speed up the process for any student who applies late.

Apply after arrival

For your convenience, ONLY if your citizenship allows you to travel to Denmark without a visa, you can apply for the residence permit after arrival in Copenhagen. The benefit of doing so would be that you will not have to travel potentially long distances to submit biometric information and submit the application. It can be done conveniently in Copenhagen. Moreover, you will only be required to pay one application fee.

Please note that there are drawbacks to applying after arrival:

  • It will postpone the process of registering at your Danish address and obtain a Danish social security number (CPR number). So if you choose this option it is important that you purchase private medical insurance for your time in Denmark and you will not enjoy the other benefits that having a CPR number will give you.
  • If the process takes a long time you might not be able to get a CPR number at all. CPR numbers are issued only to residents who are due to stay in Denmark for more than three months. Having a residence permit is a prerequisite for getting a CPR number. If you receive your residence permit at a time when you have less than 3 months left of your stay in Denmark, you will not be able to get a CPR number.

Application fees

Non-EEA/EU students must pay two application fees in connection with the residence permit application if they apply from abroad:

  1. A fee to the Danish diplomatic mission where you submit your application (the amount due depends on the consulate/embassy in question.
  2. A fee to SIRI in Copenhagen who processes your application. Learn more about the fee to SIRI here.


Incoming Bachelor student? Contact Bachelor Admission.

Incoming Master student? Contact Graduate Admission.

Incoming Exchange? Contact the International Office.


If you will be studying at CBS Summer University, you may need a short-term Schengen visa but not a student visa as you will be studying for less than three months. For further details, see the FAQ here.

3. Apply for CPR (civil registration number)

Danish law requires everyone staying in Denmark for more than three months to register with the Civil Registration System – for Nordic or EU/EEA/Swiss citizens it is six months.

Once registered, you will receive a social security number (in Danish referred to as a CPR number), which will be unique to you and which you will need for most registration in Denmark.

Nordic citizens do not need a EU registration certificate or residence permit to apply for a CPR number.

EU/EEA or Swiss citizens need to get an EU registration certificate from The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI), before you can apply for a CPR number.

Non-EU/EEA citizens need to have a residence permit from SIRI before applying for a CPR number.

Learn more about how to apply for a CPR number and apply online here.


4. Join welcome programme and study start activities

Officially, the autumn semester starts 1 September and the spring semester 1 February. However, there will be academic, social and cultural introductory activities in the weeks leading up to semester start.

This is where the first connections with other students are formed, and it is strongly recommended that you participate. For exchange and freemover students, the academic part is mandatory.

In order to not miss out on anything, stay updated on when your welcome programme and study start takes place and arrange your arrival to Denmark accordingly.

Bachelor students
Welcome new bachelor student! Find out about all you need to know about your study start.

Master students
Welcome new master student! Find out about all you need to know about your study start.

Exchange and freemover students
Welcome to one or two semesters at CBS! Find out about all you need to know about your welcome programme.

CBS Summer University students
Welcome to CBS Summer University! Find out about all you need to know about your arrival and social programmes.

5. Get connected with CBS students

Connecting with fellow CBS students is a great way to start your studies at CBS. There are different options available for you, depending on what you start studying at CBS as.

Bachelor students
Almost all bachelor programmes have mentors employed who can help you tackle the challenges you may meet during your first year of study. 

Your mentor is a student from the same programme as yourself - typically in the second, third or fourth year of the programme. Therefore, your mentor knows from experience what it is like to start at CBS.​​ Find the contact information to your mentor on once you receive your CBS log in.

You can also connect with international students through the Intenational Student Ambassadors (ISA)

Master students
As an incoming master student, you can connect with students through the International Student Ambassadors (ISA). They seek to promote the international environment at CBS through various events and help international students to settle in. 

Exchange and freemover students
As an exchange student, you can apply for a Buddy. This will connect you with a Danish student, who has volunteered to help you get started and settled in Copenhagen at CBS. You will receive more information about applying, for now you can read about the Buddy Programme at CBS.


Sidst opdateret: Web editor - Student Communications // 15/02/2024