Summer School: classes and levels

Danes Familie Sommerskole i Juelsminde.

At Summer School in Denmark your child needs to choose among Danish for Beginners, Basic Level Danish, and School Level Danish. We test the children so as to assign them correctly. Alternatively, students aged 14-15 are able to follow our Confirmation class instead.

Three levels of Instruction in Danish

At Summer School, we test the students to assess their skills in Danish and then assign them to the appropriate level of instruction.

We expect students at Summer School to be able to communicate in Danish or English, for several reasons. In the case of illness or accident we cannot assume liability if the student is unable to understand emergency instructions or explain his or her symptoms. In addition, we have experienced that students who do not speak Danish and/or English feel excluded from the group. Finally, it would be unfair to place responsibility for social interaction on those students who speak the language in question.

Danish for Beginners:

This level is designed for students who speak a little bit of Danish or wish to learn it from scratch.

Don’t speak Danish day to day

Typically, these students do not speak Danish day to day, but they are eager to get started speaking it with relatives outside the immediate family where another language is spoken.

Large passive vocabulary

Some students have a large passive Danish vocabulary but prefer to speak in another language or need to mix up Danish and another language in order to communicate.

Never lived in Denmark

Typically, the students have never lived in Denmark, but the family wants them to retain knowledge of Danish culture and the Danish language. Danish for Beginners as taught at Summer School emphasizes vocabulary building and skills in navigating day to day interactions in Danish.

Basic Level Danish:

This level is designed for students who may have some conversational Danish but do not speak with age appropriate skill.

Just one Danish speaking parent

Often, the main language in the family is not Danish, but the student may speak Danish with one parent. The student may never have lived in Denmark or may have moved away at an early age, yet the family wishes to make it possible for the student to study in Denmark later, perhaps at university or at a postsecondary institution (post-Grade 9).

Desire to retain knowledge of the culture of Denmark

The family considers it important for the student to maintain knowledge of the language and culture of Denmark so as to build a foundation for potentially living there in the longer term. Basic Danish trains students in spoken Danish and to some degree in written Danish.

Grammar skills, pronunciation, and vocabulary

The course emphasizes grammar skills such as word order and irregular conjugation of adjectives and verbs. In addition, pronunciation and vocaulary are practiced.

School Level Danish:

This level is designed for students who receive regular instruction in Danish with an emphasis on writing.

Getting into school or an academic program in Denmark

Students in the School Level Danish course speak Danish day to day. The instruction focuses on giving students age appropriate skills and thus the opportunity to settle in Denmark and to get into a school or an academic program where Danish is spoken.

Insight into the society of Denmark

To the language specific instruction we add topics to help the students understand the workings of the society of Denmark and the structure of its educational system.

Graduation certificate, Danish language, Grade 9 (FP9)

Denmark’s school system issues a Graduation Certificate to students who pass a Danish languge test when they have completed grade 9. The certificate is important for those who wish to study at universities or other edicational institutions in Denmark.

For many students, the test and the certificate enable further studies in Denmark. In order to take the exam, students must be enrolled in our Online Danish Course, called “School Level Danish”, in grade 9.

In addition, students must attend Summer School during the school year in which they are enrolled in the online program at the grade 9 level. At Summer School, the courses are geared toward the Graduation Certificate exam.

The Summer School exam takes place in July. Students in the national school system take the exam in May. Therefore, the Ministry of Education develops a separate test for Danes Worldwide. In addition, the Ministry appoints an examiner for the test.

Returning to Denmark – without culture shock

The ”Returning to Denmark” track at Summer School is designed for teens aged 15-17 who plan to move to Denmark to attend an educational institution.

Lectures and excursions

For the participants in the ”Returning to Denmark” track will try to plan visits to schools and other educational institutions. They will also have an opportunity to meet and speak to counsellors, to students with backgrounds outside Denmark and/or students at universities and teachers colleges in Denmark. As it is Summer, it is not possible to promise all of it, but we will definitely make sure that they get a good introduction to how educational life is in Denmark.

Perhaps most importantly, the participants will be discussing aspects of settling in Denmark that may be a challenge in creating an independent life there.

Topics run the gamut from youth culture to the political system

During the 17 days of Summer School, track participants will address such topics as:

  • The concept of third culture kids – what is that really?
  • Youth culture – how is yours different from that of Denmark?
  • Gender and identity – what role do they play in your life?
  • Life at educational institutions – do Danish inistitutions differ from those of your country of residence?
  • Media in Denmark – what should your attitude be?
  • Demography – is Denmark just a small country with blond inhabitants?
  • Democracy – is the one in Denmark the best in the world?
  • The policital system – are all Danes social democrats when it comes right down to it?
  • Cultural heritage – is that what we get in the Jelling stones and the Little Mermaid?
  • Historic highlights – are those the times when the Queen greets her people from the Amalienborg balcony, or is there more?

In other words, the track focuses sharply on life in Denmark and on navigating that life as a young person.

Avoiding culture shock

Our message to parents concerned that the program does not include traditional Danish lessons is that we will most certainly improve the participants’ skills in Danish. In addition to attending the many activities we have planned, they will be writing for and presenting to their classmates on a daily basis as to their discoveries. We speak Danish exclusively.

The goal of the program is to prepare the students for life in a Danish educational institution where work in pairs or in groups and discussion and debate are a major part of the academic program. That way, they will be assisted in avoiding a culture shock when they return to Denmark.

Students in the track must at a minimum speak Danish at a level equivalent to the Advanced Basic Danish course offered by Danes Worldwide.


Participants aged 14-15 may choose to attend the confirmation preparation and to be confirmed at Summer School. We expect that the confirmation in 2023 will be held in Brahetrolleborg Church on Friday 21 July at 10.30 

The special instructional program includes ca. 75 lessons of confirmation preparation and visits to churches on the island of Funen, on the island of Zealand, and in Jutland. The participants attend church services so as to gain insight into the traditions and rituals of the state church.

Who can attend the confirmation preparation program?

Participants wishing to attend the special program must speak Danish at the School Level. Therefore, they take a special test just as every other participant does. In addition, the participants must have been baptized. It is possible to be baptized at the beginning of the program. 

Confirmation at the Summer School

Preparation and Confirmation

Two teachers lead the program in cooperation with the local minister, who is performing the confirmation ceremony. The ceremony takes place in a church near  the Summer School where participants aged 14-15 stay.

Participants in the special program are in a separate group. They meet other Summer School participants during meals, morning and evening meetings, and during the excursion to Copenhagen.

Questions about the Summer School?

Please contact Tina Andersen or Jan Mikkelsen who will be ready to answer any questions regarding the Summer School.

Summer School (Den Danske Sommerskole, “The Danish Summer School”) is a separate legal entity (an industrial foundation). Danes Worldwide provides administrative services to the foundation.