To get a head start in your career, it makes sense to start the transition towards full-time employment while you’re still studying. This work experience not only looks good on your CV, it can also expand your professional and social network - and potentially bring in some money as well!

Get ahead with a student job or an internship

In Denmark, it’s very common for students - both Danish and international – to get a job and/or an internship while studying. But is it a good idea to be working when you should be focused on your education?

Here are some good reasons for combining your studies with a job or an internship:

  • Get a job quicker after you graduate: Analysis from The Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) shows that work experience can double your chances of being employed within a year of graduating. 80% of international students who worked 10-15 hours a week in the two years before graduation were employed within 12 months. For those who worked 5-10 hours, the employment rate was 68% and for those who didn't work at all during Uni, it was only 38%.
    Source: Dansk Industri (See English version here)
  • Experience Danish work culture: Being there is the only real way to understand how things are done!
  • Develop life skills: University develops academic and social skills while the workplace develops life and career skills. Work experience will teach you a lot of things that you can't learn in a lecture hall.
  • Boost your CV: Having work experience on your CV will look good to any future employer. They will often pay more attention to your Danish work experience than to your grades.
  • Gain ECTS* credits: Many study programs will award ECTS* points for internships, meaning that they can counts towards your academic qualification and that you don't need to do as many hours in class. *Read more about the ECTS system here.
Student jobs normally vary from 11-20 hours a week and you are typically paid by the hour. Internships can be either part-time or full-time, and paid or unpaid, depending on the organization.
Your university also provides great career counseling which is relevant both for work experience during your study and as you approach graduation.
Find your university’s career site here: 

Tips for getting work experience while studying

  • Get yourself noticed: Create opportunities for yourself by entering course-related competitions, by doing internships, by volunteering, by engaging with the start-up environments present at your university, by getting involved in student organisations and the like. As well as providing great experience and networking opportunities, all of will these look good on your CV and boost your chances of employment.
  • Follow the job market: Join LinkedIn, follow companies that you’re interested in and go out and meet potential future employers whenever you get the chance - for example at career or company events or conferences. Sign up to job websites to receive weekly notifications of job opportunities.
  • Know your skills: Think about how your competencies could apply in the job market and the type of work that would give you the most career satisfaction.
  • Learn Danish! Having even a basic knowledge of Danish, especially trying to understanding it, shows willingness and will make a good impression on potential employers.

If you want to get extra guidance on where to find student jobs and how to apply for them, reach out to your university’s career counseling service.

The Danish student support scheme (SU) – Do you qualify?

As a rule, foreign students enrolled in Danish courses of study are not eligible for educational support. Exceptions are made on the basis of specific conditions for refugees and relatives of refugees and for other foreign citizens provided - among other stipulations - that they have been living and working in Denmark long enough.

As far as EU rules and regulations make it possible, EU citizens can gain support from the Danish system.

Read more here.