The Danish Efterskole

What is an Efterskole?

For many Danes, a year at an Efterskole is much more than a school year; it is a journey, which both in academic and personal terms prepares young people for adulthood. Watch the video courtesy of the Danish Efterskoleforening below to learn more about the Danish efterskole. 

The Efterskole Concept

The Efterskole is a unique self-governing independent Danish Boarding School where students between the ages of 14 and 17 can choose to spend a year or two of their secondary school education.

The first schools were founded about 150 years ago and were closely related to the Danish Folk High School and the educational ideas of NFS Grundtvig (1789–1872) who wanted schools to offer enlightenment for life, rather than just formal educational training. 

Compared to the public schools, the Efterskole has substantial freedom in, for example, choice of subjects, teaching methods and educational approach. The schools and students receive substantial state subsidies. There are more than 260 Efterskoler throughout Denmark and the number of students has increased considerably within the last 25 years. They all embrace a common educational focus on enlightenment for life, general education and democratic citizenship. 

The fact that students live together at the school and may spend their weekends there too, means the Efterskole can also help to develop students’ social and interpersonal skills.

Professional Relationships

Teachers at an Efterskole are responsible for the supervision and personal well-being and development of students as well as teaching. This establishes a positive personal relationship between the teachers and students. Through dialogue and debate students work on defining their own individual needs, values and identity.

Research has shown that young people, who have attended an Efterskole, are better prepared to succeed and complete upper secondary and higher education.  They gain maturity, independence, self-confidence and enhance their self-esteem and self-worth particularly through interaction with other students.

A year at Efterskole - equates to 7 years.

A year at an Efterskole like The International - Academy and Boarding School of Denmark has also been proven to build lasting friendships and relationships, expand horizons, help students gain knowledge and perspective on life as well as enhancing their sense of community and sense of shared-responsibility, along with their self-awareness, integrity and interpersonal skills.

The International – Academy and Boarding School of Denmark is the first school in Denmark to offer this unique schooling and personal development opportunity in an international context and entirely in English, so that students from all over the world can profit from the experience of attending a Danish efterskole.

Find out more at: efterskole.dk/english

A Danish educational institution 

As an efterskole, we will maintain true to the values and principles of this Danish educational institution, which many Danish generations have invested in. We will not compromise on the values and know-how, which have proven results in preparing young people for life’s many challenges.

Our aim is to take the best from both worlds and build upon the Danish efterskole tradition and bring that solid foundation with us into an international learning environment where both academic and personal development are in focus. 

Education that works

Download an English resume of Alexander von Oettingen's Dannelse der virker

Alexander von Oettingen's collaborative project from 2008 explains the positive effects an Efterskole education has on students for life - both in personal and educational terms. 

Efterskole is...

See how our students define efterskole life in the video on the right------->

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