Exchange Program

The Department of Sociology offers an undergraduate student exchange program with the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.  The University of Copenhagen is the largest, most prestigious and oldest (est. 1479) university in Denmark and among the best universities in Europe.  It offers a variety of social science courses in English—many designed specifically for students from North American and other European universities.  Students may choose courses in sociology, anthropology, government, psychology, and economics.

Why Copenhagen?

The exchange allows students to benefit from the experience of a large, urban university in a country with social, political and economic systems that are much different from those in the United States. Students will be able to take courses that often focus on these systems.  In particular, the Scandinavian countries are noted for having the most egalitarian economic systems in the world, social democratic governments, generous welfare states, and in most cases very liberal cultural traditions.  The program will enable students to become fully affiliated members of the University of Copenhagen with complete access to libraries, lectures, seminars and, of course, the beautiful city of Copenhagen, and surrounding environs!

Sociology and Beyond

The program is especially relevant for students majoring or minoring in sociology or modifying other majors with sociology. Many of the courses offered in Copenhagen in the past and approved for transfer credit to Dartmouth cover subjects not taught at Dartmouth and that could fit into Dartmouth majors and minors in ways that substantially augment a student's educational experience. For instance, several courses might be incorporated into the Sociology Department's minor in Markets, Management and the Economy, such as "Gender, Work and Organizations," "Media Sociology" and "Danish Society: Social Perspectives." Other courses fit well with Sociology's minor in Social Inequalities, including "Sociology of Human Rights," "Conflict and Peacemaking," "Danish Culture" and "Comparative Studies in Welfare States." Of course, there are many other courses applicable to other social sciences too that are not available at Dartmouth, such as "Economics of the European Union," "Politics and Fear: Terrorism," "Corporate Governance" and more. (A partial list of courses offered in Copenhagen and approved in the past for transfer credit at Dartmouth is available via Courses, Credits, and Grades.)

The Program

Dartmouth students go to Copenhagen only during the fall term.  They select from a variety of courses in the social sciences.  Students will be expected to take the normal course load of a full-time student.  Because the University of Copenhagen is on a semester system, Dartmouth students will take three or four courses, depending on the number of credits granted per course at Copenhagen.  Students choose social science courses from the University of Copenhagen’s course offerings that are taught in English.  These are courses in sociology, anthropology, political science, psychology, and economics.

This is an exchange program—not an FSP or LSA—and is best suited for students who are looking for a truly independent experience.  That is, the exchange is for students who want to be immersed in the local culture and with the local people rather than segregated largely with fellow Dartmouth travelers.  No Dartmouth faculty will accompany students on the exchange.  Hence, when problems arise students will have to solve them as best they can on their own.  Of course, the University of Copenhagen, primarily through its International Office, will assist students in any way it can, but it is a large bureaucratic university and does not have the sorts of support for students, that Dartmouth has, such as through the Dartmouth Dean of Student’s Office.  Moreover, students participating on the exchange should not expect the amenities that they have at Dartmouth (i.e., high-speed internet in dorms and class rooms, wireless computing, free long-distance telephone, easily accessible and inexpensive/free photocopying, free access to gymnasium facilities, open stacks in the libraries, university cafeterias and dining halls, etc.).  The Danish university system is different from Dartmouth’s.  Nevertheless, the opportunity to live and study in a country like Denmark is extraordinary.


Most Danes speak English fluently.  For this reason and because the program’s courses are taught in English, Dartmouth students will not require language training in Danish.  Indeed, Copenhagen is a very easy city to manage for English speaking travelers.

Academic Calendar

The University of Copenhagen is on a semester system, which starts the very end of August or very early September (depending on the calendar) and runs through mid-January. Classes are generally finished by mid-December with final exams in late December or early January. Dartmouth students make arrangements early in the term with their Danish professors to take final exams (or an appropriate substitute). Often courses require a major term paper (20-25 pages) rather than a final exam, so the possibility for scheduling conflicts between Copenhagen and Dartmouth is minimized. Despite the fact that students may arrange to take exams before January, they are still required to attend classes at the University of Copenhagen until classes are finished in December. Early exams do not justify missing the last week or two of classes! If classes are finished around December 17-18 and your exams follow within the next few days you should not plan on leaving Copenhagen until about December 21-22.