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  • Locations: Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Calendar Year, Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
Fact Sheet:
Program Description:
About the Program Accommodations
Eligibility Dates and Costs
Academics Visa Information

About the Study Abroad in Scandinavia (DIS) Program

The DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia program (formerly Danish Institute for Study Abroad) is a Richmond affiliate, and students should click the link above for a complete description of the academic programs, course offerings, study tours, course syllabi, and cultural information available on the DIS website. You may also wish to look at the Denmark PPT for information on both UR programs in Denmark [Note:  The DIS site in Stockholm is not approved for Richmond students]. Current catalogs are also available from the International Resource Center (Carole Weinstein International Center).

Copenhagen harbour

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  • Students should have a good academic record, preferably a GPA of 3.0 or better. The GPA in the major is especially important.
  • Students interested in DIS should have completed three semesters on campus prior to the period of study abroad. Transfer students must have completed at least three semesters of college or university study, one semester of which is to have been completed on campus at Richmond.
  • Robins School of Business students may transfer back credit from only one (1) business course taken while enrolled on the DIS program to count towards their business degree.  Specific course approval must be given by Dr. Tom Cosse.  RSB students may transfer courses back from non-business subjects to count towards any non-business majors/minors and general education requirements (pending departmental approval) and towards the total units needed for graduation.
  • Note:  Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university to study abroad. When reviewing applications for approval, disciplinary records will be taken into consideration and students must be cleared by the Dean's Office to study abroad. Students on conduct probation will not be able to study abroad if their probationary period extends beyond the start date of the semester abroad program.


Acceptance is competitive

There is a limit on the number of UR students studying at any one location, so applicants must indicate a 2nd choice program (including a well-considered list of classes) and must be prepared to go there.  Competition is considerably higher in the fall than in the spring and even students who meet the minimum eligibility requirements may not be selected to participate.

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Students selected for DIS typically enroll in four or five 3-credit courses per semester or a total of 12-15 semester hours of credit. 

Students may generally take courses in the following subject areas: Anthropology, Art History, Biology/Microbiology, Biotechnology, Classical Studies, Communication, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Economics, Education, English/Literature, Environmental Studies, European Studies, Film, Healthcare & Society, History, Humanities, International Studies/Relations, Jewish Studies, Journalism, Law, Leadership Studies, Management, (some) Marine/Aquatic Science, Media Studies, Medical Humanities, (some) Middle East Studies, Minority Studies, Molecular Biology, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Pre-Health, Psychology, Public Health, Religion/Theology, (some) Russian Studies, Sociology, Studio Art, Theater Studies, Urban Studies, and Women's/Gender Studies.

NoteIt is required that you take the Danish Language & Culture course, unless already fluent in Danish.  This is to help you learn more about the place where you are studying abroad and to get immersed in the local culture. 


Credit conversion to units
All credit will be transferred back to UR using the Conversion to Units system.  To determine the unit value of an individual DIS course, divide the number of DIS credits by 3.5 and round up to the nearest tenth of a unit. 

Course load
Richmond students should take the equivalent of at least 3.5 units per semester and a maximum of 5.5 units per semester.

Refer to the DIS homepage ( for the course specifics and also for details regarding the grading scale. Grades earned that are less than the equivalent of a "C" will not be transferred to Richmond.

DIS Study Tours
See the DIS catalog in the International Resource Center or the DIS website for a description of the study tours for different programs.

Elizabeth Hardy at Tivoli

Former UR Student Elizabeth Hardy at Tivoli in Copenhagen at Halloween.

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Six options
You are guaranteed housing if you meet the stated deadlines. You have the option of living with a Danish family, in a Folkehøjskole (a unique Danish type of school), in a student dormitory (called a Kollegium), in an apartment (rented room) with a Danish roommate, in a DIS residential community with other DIS students, or in a Living & Learning Community (LLC).

Students must live in DIS-provided housing and may not opt to find their own housing outside of the program.

You will be charged a comprehensive housing and student affairs fee, billed directly by DIS.  Meals are fully included in the Danish host family option and a partial meal plan is included in the Folkehøjskole option. The cost of meals for the other housing options will be an additional out-of-pocket expense. To help offset these additional food costs, DIS will offer a partial food stipend of $600 each semester to those students. This amount is not intended to cover the entire cost of food for the semester, but should help to balance some of the differences between housing option costs. See below for a general overview and see the DIS website for additional details about housing options.

Option 1 - Staying with a Danish family
If you choose to live with a Danish family, you will be provided with three meals per day (you may need to prepare some of your own meals). All Danish families speak English. Living with a family can be a great cultural experience for students, especially if they are willing to positively interact with the family, ask questions, communicate openly, and share their own culture as well. Danish families usually live outside of the Copenhagen city center, so it will be necessary for students to commute. Students who live with a family report the best overall experience.     

Option 2 - Folkehøjskole option
A Folkehøjskole is a unique type of school for students typically aged 19 - 25, doing a great variety of activities and courses. This is an old cultural tradition in Denmark. The Folkehøjskole used by DIS mixes Danish and DIS students, providing a unique cross-cultural experience. Most meals are included, as you will have breakfast and dinners every day in the dining hall, as well as lunches on weekends. Lunch during the week is not provided with this housing option, but you will have access to a shared kitchenette in order to cook or pack a lunch. Therefore, some minimal out-of-pocket food expenses will still be incurred.

Option 3 - Kollegium option
Residing in the Kollegium (similar to a student dormitory) costs more than residing with a Danish family or in a Folkehøjskole because it does not include meals. The DIS program does offer a partial meal stipend for this type of housing, but it will not cover a whole semester and additional food costs are out-of-pocket expenses. Students in the Kollegium will be from a variety of other schools, including DIS, and will be of different ages, genders (no same-sex housing), and majors.  Great way to meet other young Danes.

Option 4 - Danish roommate option (rented room)
In recent years, DIS has begun to offer the option of residing with a Danish roommate in an apartment (rented room) in or near downtown Copenhagen. This is a good way to potentially connect with other Danes and usually there is a reasonable commute from the accommodation. The cost of this type of housing works the same as for the Kollegium.

Option 5 - Residential Community
DIS students who choose the residential community are housed with other DIS students (mostly Americans), which will limit the chances for interaction with local Danes. Students who choose this housing option should be extra-prepared to work to meet Danes in other ways, possibly through a volunteer program, etc. See cultural immersion on the DIS website for details. The cost of this housing option works the same as for the Kollegium.

Option 6 - Living & Learning Community
This is a co-curricular housing option designed to bring educational learning into the housing community. Students share similar interests and there is a coordinator hired to be a local expert on the selected LLC theme. Students must be engaged in the community (including participating in reflection exercises, weekly meetings, etc.) and will benefit from shared experiences as you all discover Copenhagen. The current LLC options include Arts, Creative Writing, Culinary, Entrepreneurship, Green Living, Outdoor Living, Public Health, or Social Justice House. The cost of this housing option works the same as for the Kollegium.

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Dates and Costs

Click on the link for information about Dates and Costs for DIS.

Visa Information

DIS students who are U.S. citizens or citizens of other exempt countries will not have to apply for a visa in advance and instead will get a Danish residence permit after arrival. DIS provides step-by-step instructions on the application process and bills UR for the cost. Students should make certain prior to departure that their passport is valid at minimum 3-6 months beyond their stay in Denmark or the Schengen area, and bring to Denmark two recent passport-sized photos and a copy of the passport 'face page' (first page).

If you are not a U.S. citizen, see here to check the list of exempt/non-exempt countries. If you are not exempt, you will need to apply in advance for the visa (typically allow 3 months for processing). DIS and the OIE will assist; see here to get learn about the application process
. Be sure to ask if you have any questions.


For More Information

For more information, contact Amy Bergmann in the Office of International Education.

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This document represents the most accurate information available at the time of publication. Statements contained herein are not contractual obligations, and verbal or other representations that are inconsistent with or not contained within the document are not binding. The University of Richmond reserves the right to change without specific notice programs and the conditions under which they are offered.

To be perfectly honest, my host family was the best part of my study abroad experience. I was a real part of the family, with a protective Dad, a doting Mom, and a large extended Danish family of which I am now a part. Learning the language and the culture from my host parents was priceless. My host Dad used to tell me that there is a difference between an American staying in Denmark and a person living in Denmark who happens to hold an American passport. Try to be the latter.
Being back it is my family that I miss the most, and it is the emails and phone conversations with cousins, aunts, and host parents that let me know that though I have left Denmark I will always have a family there. I hope that people get to know the Danes, beyond just seeing them on the street.
     — Academic Year, 2010 Participant