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MONEY

How to save money as a student in Denmark

Life on a student budget doesn't have to be tough in Denmark -- follow these tips to get the most out of the experience at a low price.

How to save money as a student in Denmark
There are many discounts on offer to students in Denmark. Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

Food

One of the biggest challenges as a student is working out how much money you need to dedicate to the food shop every month, and it can be easy to misjudge, run out of funds and end up living off Denmark’s popular money-saving dish — ketchup on pasta — for weeks.

Denmark has higher food prices than many other countries, which have only got more expensive in recent months, so finding the right balance can be a challenge, but there are a few tricks you can use to make it easier.

Once you have your student card, after you’ve enrolled at your university, you can use it at many restaurants and cafes to get discounts, (studierabat) including the big chains like Burger King and Bar’Sushi

 
It’s worth keeping in mind that you might be asked need to show an indskrivningsbekræftelse — confirmation of current enrolment — along with your student card. These can normally be downloaded digitally from your college or university’s self-service platform and saved onto your smart phone or printed.
If you want a unique dining experience in Copenhagen, it’s worth trying out Fællesspisning at Absalon, a former church turned community events venue in the Vesterbro district.
 
Absalon offers a communal dining initiative, where everyone pays the same to eat the same vegetarian meal together. An evening meal costs 50 kroner from Sunday to Thursday. On Friday and Saturday you get two dishes for 100 kroner. Tickets are sold online and there are often events on after the meal, which starts at 6pm. Lunch and breakfast is also available at the location but not as communal dining. 
 
 
On a student budget you won’t be eating out every day of course, but there are ways to save money on groceries. Through the app Too Good To Go, you can buy unsold food from bakeries, cafes and restaurants at their closing times, which saves on food waste, as well as your money. All you have to do is download the app, look for surplus food in your local area, arrange a pick up time, pay through the app (as little as 24 kroner) and collect. 

Menucard offers discounts at cafes, bars, restaurants if you work for a company that is a member of the scheme.

The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) gives you a 35 percent discount on your first HelloFresh meal kit delivery and 10 percent on 25 orders after that.

Coffee

Late nights are a guarantee at university, and in that scenario, coffee can be a necessity. In Denmark it doesn’t always come cheap, where you can easily pay 35 kroner or more for a cappuccino or latte.

One of Denmark’s biggest bakery chains, Lagkagehuset, offers students a 30 percent discount on all warm drinks. If you enjoy bread and pastry, it’s also worth downloading their app where you can earn points every time you spend, to then use in the bakery.

For an even cheaper cup of takeaway coffee, try 7-Eleven where anyone with a student card gets 25 percent off any size of coffee. A student card will also get you a bottle of Coca-Cola, Pepsi or Faxe Kondi for 8 kroner. 

The coffee chain Espresso House has an app you can download to pay for your coffee, which means you get 10 percent off, as well as other extra discounts and every 10th coffee for free.

If you’ve got a favourite local coffee shop, it’s well worth checking if they have any offers for students as well. For example, the Blue Bike Cafe in Copenhagen, offers a 10 percent student discount on all food and drink and Lima Aarhus has a 15 percent student discount on the entire bill, as well as 25 percent student discount on coffee every Thursday.

Travel

Denmark has a travel youth card calledungdomskort, which allows people aged 16 to 19 or in SU-eligible higher education to travel for free on bus, metro or train to and from their place of study. You can get the ungdomskort as a card or an app.

READ ALSO: SU: Can foreigners receive Denmark’s state student grant?

Other student discounts are available through the scheme, such as 20 percent off when you travel by train between regions, or travelling at a child fare rate outside your own zone area on Zealand, Lolland, Falster and Møn. DSB also offers discount prices on its orange tickets to those under the age of 26 with an ungdomskort.

With some of Denmark’s coastlines being difficult to reach by public transport, you may want to rent a car.

Car rental company Hertz offers a 15-20 percent student discount on their smaller cars as long as you are at least 19 years old and have held a driving license for 1 year.

Going further afield? Interrail Global Pass allows you to travel in up to 33 European countries for a fixed, low price for up to three months and Hotels.com gives students a 10 percent discount.

SAS offer discounts on flights on their Youth tickets, if you’re under the age of 26.  The booking agent Kilroy also offers discounts to students with the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). A student card also gets you a 10-15 percent discount on Flixbus which is a money-saving way to travel across Denmark and Europe by bus.

Sport

Watching a Danish football match is surprisingly affordable.

If you’re studying in the country’s second-biggest city and university town Aarhus, students and young people under 18 can buy an AGF season ticket for just 49 kroner a month.

In Aalborg, a ticket to watch AaB costs just 80 kroner for students. These discounted tickets can only be bought at the ticket booths at Aalborg Portland Park, which opens 1-2 hours before the start of the match.

Students are able to watch one of Denmark’s best football teams, FC Midtjylland, as well as the handball team HC Midtjylland and ice hockey team Herning Blue Fox, for just 15 kroner a ticket, thanks to a collaboration with Education Herning.

If you’d rather get involved in actually playing a sport, many amateur clubs and teams, as well as gyms and classes, have reduced rates for students, making it an affordable activity to try. University sports societies offer a range of sports usually at cheaper prices than classes open to the general public.

Culture

Theatres, museums, cinemas, concert halls can all give discounts if you show your student card. 

At Aarhus Theatre, students and people under 25 can purchase tickets to any performance on the grand stage at just 85 kroner.

An annual pass to the National Gallery of Denmark costs 195 kroner for those under the age of 27 or 95 kroner for a single ticket.

Musikhuset Aarhus has a ‘Klub Hund’ for 18-28 year olds, where tickets priced at 100 kroner are available the day before certain performances and sent to your mobile phone.

Young opera at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen (Det Kongelige Teater) is an offer for everyone between 15 and 30 years old to see four selected performances at the opera for 155 kroner per ticket. There are alternative introductions and cheap food and drinks too.

You may also want to keep up with Danish news while you’re spending time in the country. The Local offers a 50 percent student discount on Membership, giving you unlimited access to all our content for just €24.99 a year, reduced from €49.99. Find out more here.

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EDUCATION

How are Denmark’s schools preparing for lower heating this winter?

Danish schools could ask students to bring an extra layer to classes this winter, while breaks from teaching could be used to warm up.

How are Denmark’s schools preparing for lower heating this winter?

Thermostats in Danish state schools (folkeskoler) are to be turned down to 19 degrees by October 1st as part of a government plan to save energy.

The plan also involves setting thermostats at 19 degrees in public buildings and switching off outside illumination this winter. Temperatures in schools are normally set to around 21.5 degrees.

As part of the government plan, thermostats will be set to 19 degrees in public buildings no later than October 1st. Some types of building will be exempted, including hospitals, care homes and preschool care.

The period of the year in which central heating is switched on in public buildings – known as the fyringssæson – will be reduced. Instead of running from October 1st to April 30th, it will not be switched on until temperatures in the buildings drops below 19 degrees.

Energy and gas prices are currently around five times more expensive than they were a year ago, with further increases possible.

READ ALSO: How much will Danish energy bills go up this winter?

The optimal temperature for classrooms is 21-22 degrees Celsius and a lower temperature will affect children in different ways, an expert who spoke to DR said.

“Some students will probably not be affected by it at all, while others might feel a form of tension of stress in their body. That happens because the body is using more energy to stay warm than normal,” Jannie Moon Lindskov, director of the Danish Centre for Learning Environments (Dansk Center for Undervisningsmiljø), told broadcaster DR.

“Some children will find it hard to sit still. That can be expressed by shaking their legs or rubbing their hands to stay warm. That can create a type of agitation and that can also affect concentration,” she said.

As such, breaks for physical exercise are important because they aid concentration by helping schoolgoers to keep warm and avoid long periods of sitting still, she said.

“On a purely practical level you could maybe also go out and buy some rugs out of the class cash box and encourage to put warmer clothes on,” she said.

A senior teacher told DR that schools and parents must talk about the issue with children to prepare them for the changes the measure would bring.

“It will be necessary to talk to students about the background [for turning down heating]. And it will probably also be necessary to tell them it probably won’t be enough come wearing a t-shirt, that you’ll need a sensible top. And instead of coming in ankle socks, wear normal socks,” the teacher, Lene Banke Andersen, a head of department at Aalbæk Skole in North Jutland, said to DR.

Many schools in Denmark currently practice “brain breaks”, in which a short break in classes is given to students for physical activity and respite from learning.

Temperatures of 19 degrees in classrooms mean these breaks could also be used to help children warm up, DR writes.

“It’s important to have a physical learning activity to get the body moving. That helps you to warm up while also keeping moving and learning,” Andersen said to DR.

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