The peninsula of Denmark just straight into the North Sea, serving as a bridge between Scandinavia and continental Europe. This has brought a continuous stream of cultures back and forth over the centuries, and the benefits are evident in today’s Denmark: modern, cosmopolitan cities; simple, historic architecture influenced by Nordic tradition; and fairy-tale villages with town markets, country churches, and castles. The country is relatively flat, with moors, lakes, farmlands, and woodlands, and traffic-free “walking streets.” Citizens of a maritime nation, the Danes have always turned their eyes and hearts to the sea, and no part of the country is more than an hour’s drive from the seashore.
Denmark is Europe’s oldest kingdom and is so picturesque it is often marketed as a ‘fairytale country’ – but don’t worry, it is thoroughly modern and full of exciting things to do and see. It’s a great place to go if you like theme parks – it has Legoland, the Tivoli Gardens, and Bakken, the world’s oldest amusement park at 426 years old! Copenhagen, the capital city, is full of attractions such as the statue of the Little Mermaid, the alternative freetown of Christiana, Amalienborg Palace which is home to the Danish royal family, and the central shopping district, Strøget. The Danes are well educated and have a high standard of living, and the official language is Danish. The culture is cosmopolitan and independent, though Denmark is a small country, less than half the size of the North Island – and, like Australia, the coastline of Denmark means that it has plenty of sandy beaches which are highly recommended – that and the pastries!
As an AFSer in Denmark, you’ll spend a full academic year attending a local high school and living with a host family. Denmark is more than just a peninsula: there is the exciting possibility of being placed in Greenland, an unspoiled country full of adventure, indigenous people, and breathtaking landscapes; or the Faroe Islands, located north of Scotland, providing spectacular scenery and friendly close-knit communities. Between your time with your host family and at school, you’ll get the chance to learn Danish though the Danes are, by and large, excellent English speakers. They’ll also be very impressed if you already know a few words in Danish!