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Survival Guide to Aarhus

Updated: Nov 10, 2023


Survival Guide to Aarhus

Aarhus is home to more than 45.000 students, many of which are internationals. It is truly a young and diverse city, with lots of personal and professional opportunities, free time activities and a strongly established entrepreneurial community. Having lived in Aarhus for 5 years now, I can say that I absolutely love this city and wouldn’t move anywhere else within Denmark. The city accommodates both those looking for the young city buzz and those wishing for a more peaceful environment.


Below, I will introduce you to some information about the city, from the existing universities to cafés worth visiting.

Universities

There are plenty of higher education possibilities in Aarhus, the most popular one being Aarhus University (AU), the 2nd best university in Denmark, which welcomes international students for bachelor, master and even PhD degrees. If you would like to know how it is to study at AU, check out Ieva’s blog about her Master’s in Economics and Business Administration and her life in Aarhus.

Other institutions popular among the students coming from abroad are VIA University College and Business Academy Aarhus.

VIA University College offers more than 40 programs in English within various disciplines, including pedagogy, design, engineering and so on. In addition, it also has campuses outside of Aarhus, for example in Horsens, Viborg or Herning.

Business Academy Aarhus (BAAA), also highly preferred by the international students, offers AP and top-up programs in fields such as business, multimedia design, IT, chemistry.

One difference between the three institutions is that the environment in AU is more theory oriented, the teaching is more impersonal and the learning is very much individual-based, while in VIA and BAAA practical, hands-on work is prioritized, most of the projects being carried out in groups and the teaching being more personal, with smaller class-sizes.

In case your desired field of education revolves around architecture, Aarhus has a specific institution that offers architectural studies also for internationals: Aarhus School of Architecture (Arkitektskolen Aarhus). Here, you can study as an exchange student, guest student and even take a full degree of Master of Arts in Architecture.

However, Denmark has recently announced that many English-taught study programs will be cut down starting in autumn 2022, and only a few programs will remain available for the international students. Thus, make sure you stay updated. Here is a video that explains the situation in brief.

Accommodation in Aarhus

In case you haven’t read in one of our earlier blogs, universities in Denmark do not offer student accommodation on campus. Instead, it is up to you to take the time to search and apply for housing.

In the Aarhus area, you can apply for student accommodation on Studenthousing (free of charge). Alternatively, you can can apply for housing in and around Aarhus on Aarhus Bolig (fee of 100 kr./year). Both websites work with a system of seniority, which means the earlier you create an account, the more chances you have to receive a housing offer later on.

Otherwise, Facebook is another place where you can try your luck to find accommodation. Here are some useful Facebook groups for renting a place/finding a roommate in Aarhus:

If your searching efforts have still not paid off using one of the above resources, you can also sign up for other Danish accommodation websites, most of which are paid. Find more information about housing in Denmark and links to these websites in our Survival Guide to Student Accommodation in Denmark.


Danish learning possibilities

In case you are ambitious enough to start learning Danish, you might be happy to hear that there are a series of opportunities.


Here are the language schools that offer free Danish education:

  1. A2B: only offers lessons to Aarhus University’s staff, students and spouses

If you are looking for extra practice during the day, you can attend free lessons mainly run by volunteers, at Stjernen in Risskov. Or, if you are into speaking and want to find a buddy to practice with, attend some language exchange meet-ups such as BlaBla Language Exchange (they organize meet-ups all over Denmark, Aarhus included) or the Language Café (Sprog Café) in Dokk1.

Attractions

Aarhus is a beautiful city also from a tourist's perspective. So regardless if you will make it your home for some time or are just passing by, you should definitely visit these great attractions.


Den Gamle By (“The Old Town”)

Go back in time by visiting this open-air, old-school Danish museum. You can see 19th and 20th century houses from all over Denmark, both outside and inside. There are even extra exhibitions inside some of the buildings. See prices and other information on Den Gamle By’s website.


The Botanical Gardens

If you visit Den Gamle By, then you should definitely take a walk through the park right next to it, the Botanical Gardens. Apart from the different types of plants you can see in the open air, you can enter the greenhouse and find yourself in a tropical paradise. Entrance to the greenhouse is free! Find more information here.


Aros Museum

This art museum, one of Aarhus’ landmarks, has the largest art collection in Denmark (if we count outside the capital). After you broaden your horizons by discovering their art collections, make sure to also walk through and take some great photos in Aros’ rainbow, situated on top of the museum. If you want to immortalize some collections that caught your eye and heart, you are allowed to take photos and share them on your social media, as long as they are only intended for private use. Check out more info about Aros on their webpage.

The building of the art museum

Aros is beautiful regardless of the season



Other places to visit

Walking around the city center is also quite enjoyable: see the different buildings with interesting architecture and colors (the Latin quarter is a must see!), have a drink alongside the canal or do some shopping on the shopping boulevard (that starts right vis-a-vis the main train station). If you are not tired of walking yet, head towards Aarhus Ø, where you can see the famous Iceberg buildings.

Stone paved street surrounded by colorful houses

The Latin Quarter has many cute colorful little houses



The southern part of Aarhus is also worth exploring, especially if you want to get out of the big city vibes and look for more nature instead. Go for rides in Tivoli amusement park, have a picnic in Mindeparken or walk alongside the Marselisborg beach. If you walk south long enough, you will reach the Infinity Bridge (Den Uendelige Bro) and close by, the deer park. The entrance here is free of charge, and yes, you can feed the deer!