University of Southern Denmark

While Odense is only an hour away from Copenhagen, it offers significant cost savings versus the Danish capital - all in a safe, eclectic, student-oriented city.

The University of Southern Denmark, known in Danish as Syddansk Universitet (SDU), is an internationally ranked university - one of the Top 50 universities Under 50 years old (#49 according to QS Rankings 2015). 

A producer of world-class research, SDU's strongest research areas are in the technological domain - biotechnology, engineering, communications, and information systems. In recent years, it has launched a new project, "Students in Focus", aiming to boost a motivating, inspirational learning environment for all of its 20,000+ students.

Key information


Odense, Denmark


English, Danish


Summer, Fall, Winter, Academic Year

Program type


Application information

Application status



20-21 applications

First come, first considered for remaining spaces until full or:

May 27 for online summer school

Sep. 15 (Winter)

University-specific additional requirements

One academic reference required - see the Eligibility section below.

(no reference required for online summer school 2020)

21-22 applications

Opens Nov. 1, 2020

Program details

SDU offers English-taught courses in a variety of areas.

Arts & Business: Business (including Sport Management), Danish Language, Economics, Environmental/Resource Management, European Studies/International Relations, Scandinavian Area Studies, and Sociology (from a business perspective). A variety of Business and Social Sciences Courses are offered in

Sciences/Kinesiology: Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science (including a unique Interaction DesignProgram), Math, Physics, and Kinesiology (4th Year Only)Science Courses Here

EngineeringBiomedicalChemicalCivilElectrical [4th year courses only], EnergyManufacturing [Product Dev courses here], MechanicalMechatronicsRoboticsSoftware [more Software courses], and Sustainability Studies

If you have completed at least 3 full years of study, you may be eligible to take masters-level courses in English as well.
Exchange students are expected to take 30 ECTS credits per semester. 1 UofC Half Course Equivalent = 6 ECTS credits.

The Transfer Credit Database contains information on previous courses which have been transferred from this institution, however, students are not limited to these courses. For specific transfer credit information, contact your Academic Advisor.


Summer School for Engg and Science:

SDU also offers an Engineering and Science Summer School in August. For more information click here. Student can arrange for an extra component in order to receive 6 ECTS credits. However, they would need to check with their academic advisor and department head beforehand if this would count as a course at UCalgary.

The academic year is divided into 2 semesters. The Autumn semester runs from early September to late January and the Spring semester runs from early February to late June, with orientation days starting a few days earlier. Some courses for exchange students have their final exams in December and so it may be possible for students to complete the Autumn semester in December.

  1. Costs

    It is recommended that students budget around 5000-5500 DKK per month to pay for accommodation and living expenses. For a more detailed breakdown of costs, please visit their Living Expenses page.

    Please Note: Danish visa/permit applications may require travel to the Vancouver consulate to submit the documentation and take biometrics as needed.

    Odense cost comparison vs. Calgary: Click Here

    Student Tips: "Barring the cost of food (which is generally more expensive, especially eating out), the overall cost of living is very similar to Calgary."

  2. Funding

    Did you know that you can take your UCalgary funding with you on exchange? 
    Since you remain a degree seeking student at UCalgary while on exchange you remain eligible for any awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.

    Our office administers the International Study Travel Grant for students travelling on approved UCalgary study programs that are credit bearing. The amount changes year to year as the money is split evenly between qualified applicants. Students may only receive the study travel grant once. Please see the exchange funding page for more information.

Exchange students to SDU who apply by the deadline are guaranteed housing at their campus.

Each campus provides different arrangements, but housing is all off-campus and typically falls under the category of "student halls" (private rooms and shared facilities) or "student flats" (private or shared apartments). The type and location of each residence determines the cost of rent. Students are encouraged to look at the detailed information provided for each campus.

Student Tips: "In Odense, I lived in HCO Kolligiet with Danish students but would recommend living in Rasmus Rask, with other exchange students. You may be further away from campus but I think it is worth it so you get to meet people and take part in many activities they run."

"In Søndorborg, there are several options for accommodation, but the best one would have to be Handels Kollegiate. I lived in Ungdoms Kollegiate, but Borgermeister Anderson Kollegiate and Sønderskov Kollegiate were also nice. Hummelhøj was a long ways from the university as was Parks Kollegiate."

This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in any faculty at the U of C, who have completed at least 1 full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level (2 full years/20 courses for Engineering students), with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 (B-).

Do I have to speak Danish?

No prior knowledge of Danish is required to participate in this exchange. SDU offers a wide variety of courses in English.

Student Tips: "They do offer a Danish course for free for those that would like to learn it. Though my courses were in English, being able to learn Danish as well meant that going to the grocery store was a little bit easier and it became very handy. It was however a bit of an adventure because many of the foods eaten in Denmark are not the same as in Canada and the names are not familiar. However, even without the Danish course one can survive in Denmark. Most people can speak some level of English. I would recommend taking your mentor (or someone who speaks English) to help you with some of the administrative tasks like setting up a bank account."

What's so special about SDU?

SDU has five main campuses: Odense, Esbjerg, Kolding, Slagelse, and Sønderborg. Check out the university's campus comparison guide online as well as information on each city!

Student Tips: "In Odense, there was a nice gym that was cheap to go to. The library is also nice and the printing is very convenient. The food vendors were amazing! You can get a buffet lunch on a porcelain plate with real cutlery and then bring it to class with you!"

"Because of the small campus at Sønderborg there isn't a recreation facility on campus, but there is a club (SSF) that organizes sporting activities weekly and there is a sailing club as well (my location was 5 minutes from the ocean)! There are gyms and a squash club in the community but I found that the services and facilities that were offered were more than adequate for what was needed."

What resources are available for new students?

SDU organizes Introduction Days at the start of each semester. There are Introductions specific to international students as well as to each faculty of study at your campus. See more information online. 

Student Tips: "ESN (Erasmus Student Network) organized events and trips for students at Odense. There were trips to different places in Denmark like Copenhagen and Lego Land, and sometimes quiz nights, scavenger hunts, etc. The one trip I would very highly recommend is the trip to Lapland! I also joined a drop-in soccer facebook group where people from the building would go and play. It's easy to make friends with your buddy (as a part of the buddy program) as well."

"There were a lot of planned social activities at the Sønderborg campus. There was a group of students who formed what was called the Intro Team and they were in charge of the social aspect of student life at SDU. There was semester beginning and ending parties as well as a LAN party. There was also movie nights held in one of the classrooms. It was fairly easy to make friends with the local students as the university is very small and a majority of the students studying at the university are not from Denmark. There were a few members of the Intro Team that were Danish and that was one of the easiest ways to “meet the locals.” Some advice for making friends and meeting people: go to Intro Team events. Even if you do not participate in the activities or events, getting out and going to the events allows you to meet a lot of people." 

What supports and accessibility resources are available?

Students who meet the criteria may be eligible to receive Special Needs Support services. SDU also offers counselling services, which are managed out of Odense campus but have counsellors at every campus site. To make an enquiry about eligibility and/or available services, please see the campus webpages or the counselling centre webpage.

For information on accessibility of campuses across Europe, ESN has created "MappEd!" which allows you to check the accessibility of universities and cities across Europe. For city-specific services and places in Europe, the Jaccede interactive platform (website and/or smartphone app - both Android and iOS) also provides a searchable user-built database to identify important accessibility information of public places and locations.

Have questions?

Study Abroad 101

Please watch this YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment.

Watch Study Abroad 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how an exchange might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Study Abroad Advising

If you have questions about this exchange program, you can meet with the specific advisor for this program by booking an appointment through the link below. Appointments are currently on zoom.

1. Select “Book an Appointment”
2. Select “Study Abroad Appointments”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Read through the list of appointment types to select the most appropriate type and view available times.

Book an appointment

The exchange advisor for this program is: Saskia Schaelicke

How to Apply

Download the application guide

This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.

Application guide

Identify three programs of interest

We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.

Check requirements and deadlines

These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular study abroad program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Study Abroad Team will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

Please note if you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.