Living in Copenhagen

Moving to Copenhagen as a Student

Life can be strange sometimes and that’s why we ended up as Master’s students in Copenhagen in our late twenties and early thirties respectively. Coming to Denmark on the grounds of study is exciting, but also challenging at first. As we have been through all of this, we thought we would share our experience and our tips with you. This guide on moving to Copenhagen as a student is meant to help you with the formalities and to aid you settle down in the great city of Copenhagen. Please note that we are writing this guide from our experience as EU-citizens. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send them our way!


1. How to find a study place in Copenhagen

First off, we’d like to discuss your future academic home. Have you already accepted a study place with one of the universities? Great, scroll down to the next section 🙂 But if you’re unsure of your options, keep reading here!


Universities in Copenhagen

There are 7 universities in the Greater Copenhagen area which you could consider. In addition other Danish universities also have departments in Copenhagen. Which one you choose is up to you. Most of them offer several programs in English, and at both Bachelor’s and Master’s levels. We suggest you take a look at their websites for more details!



Other Danish Universities with Departments in Copenhagen


You can also find a University College which offers programs in English on a variety of topics. However, these are not full degree programs! For more information check out the website of UCC Copenhagen.


For a complete list of programs offered in Denmark which also includes smaller institutes and short-term programs, visit Study in Denmark.


moving to copenhagen as a student


How to Apply for Universities in Copenhagen

Once you have picked the programs you’d like to apply for, it’s time to get your application started. The process is fairly simple. First, you need to consult the programs’ websites on the program specific admission requirements. If you do not fulfill them completely, you may still apply, but understand that your chances shrink considerably. The specific requirements vary from university to university and from program to program.


General Admission Requirements

The general admission requirements are actually fairly few.


  • For programs taught in English: Proof of proficiency on B2 level (e.g. IELTS, TOEFL, …)
  • For programs taught in Danish: Proof of proficiency on B2 level (Danskprøve Level 2 or 3, depending on your program)
  • For undergraduate studies: A high school diploma
  • For postgraduate studies: internationally recognized Bachelor’s degree or similar


Application Deadlines and Where to Apply

For undergraduate studies, the deadlines are the 15th of March (September intake) and the 1st of September (February intake) respectively. For postgraduate studies the deadlines vary, but expect to see them in the beginning of March (September intake; international students; from 2018). Always confirm the deadline well in advance and don’t keep sending in your application until the last second.


All university applications in Denmark are made through an online application portal, called Stads. First, you will have to register yourself as a student. Then, you can send in your applications by selecting the right universities and programs from the drop down menus. They are only available as long as the application period is ongoing. Keep the log-in details for the portal, as any and all communication (e.g. acceptance letter, request for further documentation) will go through this portal, and not to your e-mail address!


2. How to Find Accommodation in Copenhagen

First off, there is no guaranteed housing for students in Copenhagen. At other universities in Denmark you can apply for housing during your application to the university, but not here. And the housing market is a real pain in the butt. Fortunately we have written a very comprehensive guide on how to find housing in Copenhagen right here.


How to find an apartment in Copenhagen.


3. How to Register as a Student in Copenhagen

Alright, now we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty of Danish bureaucracy. Unfortunately the information on the internet on this matter is a little imprecise and can easily lead to confusion. First of all we’ll go through the procedure for EU citizens and later we’ll look into non-EU nationals. Your ultimate goal will always be to obtain a CPR number and Nem-ID as life in Denmark is virtually impossible without those two if you’re planning on staying longer than a couple of weeks.


Registering in Copenhagen as an EU Student

I’ll try not to talk too much here and break it down into simple steps, because the process is confusing enough as it is. If you want to read more in detail, we recommend that you visit the website of the International House.


    • Secure housing and obtain a signed rental contract.


    • Fill in the online form for CPR registration. Note that you’ll have to upload your proof of housing at this time or your application won’t be processed.



    • If it is of concern to you, research doctors in your area as you will be assigned a permanent GP at your CPR appointment.


    • Appear for your appointment at the State Department [Excl. Nordic citizens]. You will need the following documents:
      • National ID / Passport
      • University Admittance Letter + Confirmation of Enrollment
      • A completed OD1 form
      • A passport picture


    • Appear for your CPR appointment. If your appointment with the State Department is at the International House, you will most likely just be transferred on the same day. During this appointment you will also be issued with information on your personal GP as well as with a Nem-ID. In order to obtain your CPR number you will need:
      • National ID / Passport
      • EU Registration Certificate [Excl. Nordic citizens]
      • Signed lease contract
      • (marriage certificate, etc.)


    • Wait for your Nem-ID codes and your yellow health card to arrive by mail.
      With it you will also receive a form to register as an organ donor in the event of your death. You can also do that online at


    • Inform Udbetaling Danmark about your health insurance. Before you come to Denmark you should contact your health insurance provider at home to see whether you will be covered after you come to Danmark. If you are, you can for example send a copy of your blue European Health Insurance Card to Udbetaling Danmark. If you are not covered by the insurance provider in your home country (or last country of residence), then you need to inform Udbetaling Danmark as soon as possible. You can give them a call and they will make a note in your file that you are now insured in Denmark. You can find more information here.


    • Set up your Nem-ID account & Digital Post and ensure all the information is correct. This is crucial for your communication with the authorities.



  • If you are going to work during your studies, visit the International House in order to receive a tax card. There you will need:
    • National ID / passport
    • Completed 04.063 form
    • Work contract
    • (marriage certificate)


Registering in Copenhagen as a non-EU Student

The process for registering in Copenhagen as a non-EU student is mostly the same as for EU students. Naturally you will have to apply for a residence permit before you arrive to Denmark. There is a very comprehensive guide on how to obtain a residence permit over at Study in Denmark. Once you obtain your residence permit and move to Denmark, we suggest you bring it to all registration appointments we talked about above.

New to Copenhagen? Subscribe to our newsletter for more tips on exploring the city and practical matters. Welcome to your new home 🙂

* indicates required

4. Registering with Your Embassy

If you have done everything right, your home municipality should know that you have left your home country. However, chances are they are not keeping track of where you’re going. You should inform your country’s closest embassy of your whereabouts. Many embassies offer an online registration service. Granted, it doesn’t really matter unless and until some sort of Third World War scenario arises, but better safe than sorry. They will also keep your emergency contacts on file.

moving to copenhagen as a student


5. Registering at the University

Once you have accepted a study place at one of the universities in Copenhagen, you will be automatically enrolled during the enrollment period (end of July/beginning of August for the September intake). That means that when you arrive to Denmark, you are already registered with the university. When you arrive you can go through the process of obtaining your log-in details and your student ID. Most likely you’ll have to inform the university once you get your CPR number as it will be needed for different things later on. You may have to send a copy of your yellow health card to the responsible department.


Upon your first visit to the university you should also receive your student card which you will need in order to appear for exams and more. Some businesses will also give you a discount if you present your student ID. In addition you could consider getting and ISIC Student card which will entitle you to even more discounts.


6. Opening a bank account

It is not absolutely necessary for you to open a bank account if you still have a bank account in your home country or elsewhere. However, if you are planning to work in Denmark, we strongly recommend that you open a Danish bank account in order to avoid unnecessary fees (e.g. foreign currency bank transfers, exchange fees, etc.). Most banks in Denmark offer special conditions for students where there is generally no account maintenance fee and interest rates are more favorable. We suggest that you look at Danish banks and their conditions at your leisure. In order to open a bank account you’ll need a National ID/Passport, a CPR number (yellow health card) as well as some sort of proof that you are attending a university (e.g. enrollment certificate).


moving to copenhagen as a student


Once you have opened the bank account, you should register it with the Danish tax authority as a “Nemkonto“. This way the authorities can make payments directly to your account (e.g. tax return, study grant). You can find more information here.


7. Public Transport for Students in Copenhagen

If you do not live on campus and your commute will require you to use public transport, you may consider getting the so called Ungdomskort. First, you should ensure that your university has your CPR number because they will confirm your status as a student.You then make an application through Nem-ID in a 2-step process. First you get approval for the Ungdomskort and in the second step you can actually purchase the card. Read more about it here.


The price of the Ungdomskort depends on how many zones you will travel through. The card is only valid in the zones between your home address and your educational institute. If you are staying in Copenhagen or in Greater Copenhagen, the price should be approximately 21 DKK per day.


8. Applying for SU

SU is a study grant given out by the Danish government. Unfortunately SU is not granted to non-EU citizens. As a Danish citizen you can simply apply for SU whenever you’re enrolled in a study program, however for other EU citizens it’s not quite as easy.


In order to apply for SU, you must first apply for equal status with Danish citizens. In order to do that you need to take a student job of at least 10h/week. However, just receiving the contract is not enough. Before you can apply for SU you have to work continuously for 10 weeks. Once you fulfill the requirements you can apply for SU through If you want to read more about equal status under EU law, read on here.


Why not print our check list to make your life easier? Simply subscribe to our newsletter and get the newest posts and goodies directly to your inbox 🙂 You’ll receive a password to access the full size image.

Checklist Moving to Copenhagen as a Student





Now, what do you think? Have we left any questions unanswered? Or do you have any additional tips for moving to Copenhagen as a student? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below! Let’s stay in touch!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *