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Education

Love keeps Danish students at home

Danes opt out of studying abroad due to lack of information and family ties. Many regret it later

A semester by the beach in Australia may sound tempting. But a new report has shown that many Danish students drop the idea of studying abroad because of ties to their loved ones, or because it seems too complicated to organise.

This is despite the fact that, since July 2008, Danes can take up to DKK 100,000 a year with them to foreign universities in tuition fees.

The report, which is published by CIRIUS, a national agency that supports the internationalisation of education and training in Denmark, is based on interviews with 5,000 students from all over Denmark.

The interviews revealed that around three quarters of all students who opt out of an overseas adventure do so because they want to stay close to family, friends or their partner.

Put off by red tape

Lack of information and support from the Danish students’ home university is a more surprising hurdle for a semester or two abroad with as many as 62 percent giving up on a planned stay due to bureaucracy and red tape.

»A lot of students don’t realise that it is actually a lot easier than they expect. It is really not that difficult«, says Palle Steen Jensen, General Manager of EDU Danmark, an organisation that advises students wishing to study abroad.

About the hurdle of transferring credit points from foreign universities, he says, »it is a process that takes time, but the universities can handle it. Most things can be overcome«.

Oblivious to overseas tuition subsidy

A so-called ‘taximeter’ subsidy introduced in 2008 means that Danish students have DKK 100,000 at their disposal for tuition fees, should they choose to travel abroad to study. They can also apply for a number of grants.

This means that money should be no object for Danes planning a semester overseas.

However, despite a slight rise in the number of Danes studying overseas since the introduction of the scheme, a large number of students are still oblivious to the possibility of taking tuition money abroad, Palle Steen Jensen says.

»There is broad political agreement that it is a good thing for students to go abroad, but the information needs to be made more easily available for the full potential of the scheme to be realised«, he says.

Student regrets

A large number of students feel like they have missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime.

70 per cent of students regretted not having studied abroad.

luci@adm.ku.dk

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