- Ly, Vietnam, Autumn Term 2017

What is a Danish Folk High School?

For many the words “high school” bring to mind a time of difficult obligations and competitive social cliques which are more to be endured than enjoyed. A Folk High School turns these notions on their head. Can you envision school without grades where you study what you love for its own sake? Where the greatest discovery you make is to learn more of who you really are and to enjoy life to the fullest? This is the essence of the Folk High School tradition. There is but one rule: keep an open mind!

If you are over 17.5 years of age you can enter a Danish Folk High School. You do not need to have a certain agenda or specific degree – just the desire to learn! Maybe you have finished high school and still don’t know what to study in college? You have finished college and are not quite ready to dive into the work world? Or you simply just need a break from your monotonous work life to get new knowledge and reevaluate your way in life? Students of Danish Folk High Schools come from different backgrounds, cultures and ages. The aim is to open your eyes to the diversity of life and encourage choosing the life that makes you happy!

“A place of learning where learning is an end itself, a way of growing as a human being, discovering passions and talents you never knew you had.”

(Søren Launbjerg, Principal)

Folk High Schools role in the Danish Education System

Folk High Schools are separate from the formal Danish education system. There are no exams, no fixed curriculum and no mandatory classes. ECTS credits are not offered but a diploma is given upon completion of the program. Because teachers are free to teach what they love, they educate with energy and passion. Instructors are experts in their fields and affinity for subject matter is matched by knowledge (Read more about IPC here).

History of Danish Folk High Schools

Folk High Schools in Denmark can be traced back to the middle of the 19th century when they were set up for rural communities. Today there are 69 Folk High Schools in Denmark. Many specialize in different subjects from art to music to filmmaking to journalism. Though Folk High Schools are intended to be as fun as they are edifying, there are also important practical reasons for their creation and continued success. Folk High Schools are an important part of Danish life and civil society. They began with the notion that an informed society is essential for a functioning democracy. Folk High Schools have promoted engagement with a wide array of issues and have encouraged Denmark’s robust and responsible democracy.

International People’s College community encourages responsibility. Because students and teachers live together, duties are shared. Cooking, cleaning and maintenance are done communally and require teamwork. This means students and teachers share a sense of obligation for each other.

How is IPC a unique Folk High School?

International People’s College is unique among Danish Folk High Schools since it is the only one with a global stating point and where you live and study together with students from all over the world. Classes are taught in English to students from all over the world. Our studies focus on our interconnected world. This means students can choose any number of compelling issues for study from environmental problems, to learning another culture to promoting peace and sustainability. As our societies become more diverse, understanding other people becomes a necessary skill. You may find out that someone from the other side of the world is not so much different from yourself!

At International People’s College you will create memories you will cherish for a lifetime. Decades after graduating from our Folk High School in Denmark, former students recall their days here as some of the most enjoyable and meaningful of their lives. You will find lasting friendships and perhaps if you are lucky, the love of your life. No doubt you will develop, discover and become more of what is best in yourself.

Read more about the Danish Folk High Schools at www.hojskolerne.dk.


International People’s College
Montebello Allé 1
3000 Helsingør

+45 49 21 33 61


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