What will I experience?
A folk high school is a non-formal residential school offering learning opportunities in almost any subject including history, arts, music, sports, philosophy, theatre, photography etc. The schools decide on the content of the courses individually, but must answer to the Ministry of Culture as to the inclusiveness and broadness of the cultural education.
The courses are meant to broaden general, social and democratic competences. The courses last between one and 36 weeks and do not lead to any tests or examinations. A completion of a course will also not lead to admittance to any other educational institution in Denmark.
Living and studying together
At a folk high school you live together and experience each other in many different social situations. During your stay at a folk high school, you live, eat, study, party and clean together with the other students. Everybody has the same duties and the same rights - no matter sex, social status, religion, nationality, ethnicity etc. As the students often represent a wide range of backgrounds and you live closely together in both good times and hard, everybody has to do their best to get the most out of the day for the school as a whole.
Respect, equality, cooperation, dialogue and tolerance are some of the keywords in making daily life at the folk high schools work. And this is not only the case amongst the students. One of the core ideas of the folk high schools is equality and mutual learning between teachers and students. The classes are characterized by the free word, dialogue and an open curriculum which can be changed during the course.
Get ready to sing
Attending a folk high school you must be prepared to sing - a lot! Singing is a strong part of Folk High School culture. The song promotes the atmosphere of togetherness and transcends the differences which might cause troubles in the everyday life at the school. The folk high school has a long tradition of community singing - especially from their own folk high school songbook. The songbook came in a new edition in 2006 - updated with both new and old songs in both Danish, English, German etc.
The main language at most of the folk high schools in Denmark is Danish - but many of the schools have taken steps to receive foreign students.
At some of the schools they use translation equipment, some have courses especially for international students, some do courses in Danish language for foreigners while others try to implement both English and Danish in both teaching and everyday life.
Before you choose a school it is important to clarify your own needs and talents and what you expect from your stay. Contact the schools you are considering to learn more about their specific language politics.