With its guttural sounds, incredibly long words and three vowels that don't even exist in English, Danish is a notoriously difficult language to learn.
Difficult, but far from impossible.
With immigration into Denmark at an all-time high, newcomers from all over the world are constantly arriving in this small Nordic country. Whether they initially came here for professional or personal reasons, those who have found the most success and satisfaction out of living in Denmark have one key thing in common: they've made the effort to learn the local language.
For many internationals in the Copenhagen area, the path toward mastering the classic Danish tongue twister rødgrød med fløde begins at Studieskolen, a language centre that focuses exclusively on Danish Education 3, the highest level of Danish training available for foreigners.
At Studieskolen, foreigners can enrol in day or evening classes that will allow them to crack the seemingly impenetrable Danish language and quickly go from basic beginners to advanced speakers.
“We get more than 8,000 students from over 110 different countries speaking Danish and engaging with society each year,” Studieskolen principal Lars Skov said.
With courses that are free to everyone with a valid CPR number, Studieskolen specializes in getting educated foreigners off to a quick start in Denmark.
All course participants at Studieskolen come to their training with a university education from their home country, which allows for quick and focused learning.
“I really like the fast-paced progression and I feel like a learn a lot at every lesson. I also like that I have found people with a similar background and education level as me,” said Lavinia Sella from Italy.
Andrey Lekov from Bulgaria agreed.
“I think that the high level of motivation of the participants, along with their education level and English skills, is essential for the outcome of the learning process,” he said.
And the students aren't the only ones at Studieskolen with degrees – all of the school's teachers have a university education in Danish and speak fluent English.
The school offers all five modules of Danish Education 3 as well as the optional sixth module, which concludes with the Higher Education Exam (Studieprøven) for those who wish to pursue an advanced degree at a Danish university.
“One can get very far with us in a short time. If students choose the courses with the most available hours each week, they can get through their entire Danish education and finish off with their studieprøve in just 20 months,” Skov said.
For most students, the fast-paced environment is a major draw. After all, they want to get out of the classroom and into Danish society as quickly as possible.
“The teaching methods used at Studieskolen are really effective. I have heard people from other language schools say that Studieskolen is the best and I have to agree. The classes are very systematic and our progress is incredibly fast,” said Diana Tapia from Chile.
With new courses starting every six weeks and special classes focusing on pronunciation and writing skills, there's certain to be a good fit for everyone.
There is even a Danish to Go course for beginners which only requires students to visit the Copenhagen school once a week and do the rest of the course online.
“The blended learning option is immensely useful to those of us who cannot make it to class twice a week. While it does take dedication to ensure that I commit time to complete homework and practise at home, the flexibility to do this means that I feel more in control of my learning pace,” said Sheena Rajendran Olesen from Malaysia.
It may go without saying that completion of Danish courses at Studieskolen doesn't mean students won't ever run in to problems with the language; after all, learning is a lifelong process. It does, however, get newcomers ready to confidently speak to the Danes in any sort of setting.
“Most of our course participants choose to learn Danish with us because they know that it gives them better chances for climbing the social ladder. They know that if they speak good Danish they will have better chances for doing well in Denmark – and better chances for making contact with Danes of both sexes!” Skov said.
And it doesn't even have to stop there. Studieskolen also offers courses in over 20 additional languages, ranging from Chinese to Hebrew and Arabic.
This article was produced by The Local and sponsored by Studieskolen