Emergency crash course on the new voucher system

Here’s your emergency crash course on the new vouchers. Read up, it’s important!
Emergency crash course on the new vouchers
Emergency crash course on the new vouchers
Figuring out the rules on free Danish classes has never been a walk in the park. And just when you thought you had it all figured out, this new voucher system comes knocking on the door to complicate things even further Here’s your emergency crash course on the new vouchers. Read up, it’s important!

Figuring out the rules on free Danish classes has never been a walk in the park. And just when you thought you had it all figured out, this new voucher system comes knocking on the door to complicate things even further. If you’re part of the international community in Copenhagen, you’ve probably already heard a lot of the talk going around, and a lot of the concerns about what this new voucher scheme really means.

Before taking a deep dive with our looooooong guide to the new voucher, let’s start by setting a few things straight, for the record:

If you come to classes and make sure to do your homework (or at least some of it), then it “only” takes 15 to 24 months to complete your Danish language studies at Copenhagen Language Center. The new voucher actually gives you up to 42 months of Danish classes – and on top of that, you have a total of 18 months to postpone the start of your Danish studies and/or take breaks between modules.

So as you can see, the voucher isn’t unreasonable – but there are a few pitfalls you have to watch out for. Careful planning of your Danish studies is the key to ensuring your access to free classes and successfully passing the Danish Exam.

Whether you’re new in Denmark or have been here for a while, it’s important to know what the new voucher scheme means for you and your Danish studies.

In the following, we lay out the most important rules and explain what this new voucher is all about:

A voucher for your free Danish classes

Who’s covered by the new voucher scheme?

As of 1 January 2018, all self-supporting foreigners who move to Denmark will be assigned a voucher for free Danish language classes. 

You will be assigned a voucher if you move to Denmark:

  • to study or work,
  • as an accompanying spouse,
  • through family reunification based on EU rules, or
  • as an au pair.
     

The voucher is valid for five years from the time of your arrival in Denmark, and gives you plenty of time to complete one of the three Danish courses.

REMEMBER! The voucher system only applies for self-supporting foreigners.

What is the voucher?

If you haven’t learned Danish yet, you’ll receive an electronic voucher with up to 6 “units”: one unit for each module in the Danish course. You use your voucher units when enrolling in Danish classes at a language school.

When you pass a module test, the unit expires. You’re then automatically enrolled in the next module, and a new unit is deducted from your voucher. You cannot transfer leftover time from one unit to the next.

How do I get a voucher?

How do I get a voucher?

New work, new people, new surroundings ... Danish courses may not be among your top priorities when you’re just getting settled into your new life in Denmark.

But if you want to keep the right to free Danish classes while in Denmark, you have to make a pretty quick decision about when you expect to start learning Danish.

A short time after receiving your CPR number, your home municipality will send a letter to your digital inbox (e-Boks). This letter contains information about your right to free Danish language classes. As soon as you get that letter, the clock starts ticking on your right to 3.5 years of Danish classes within a period of 5 years.

Within four weeks of receiving this letter, you have to contact a language school and make an agreement about when you’ll start your Danish classes.

If you don’t want to (or can’t) start taking Danish classes right away, you can postpone the starting date. We’ve added a new form to our website for doing this – all you have to do is let us know when you expect to start taking Danish classes.

If you’re ready to start learning Danish right away, you don’t even have to wait for the letter from your home municipality. You can register for Danish classes as soon as you’ve received your CPR number.

REMEMBER! Make sure to contact a language school within four weeks, or your voucher will be automatically activated and units will be deducted even if you don’t sign up for Danish classes. And if that happens, you may not have enough units left to finish your Danish studies free of charge.
How does the voucher scheme work

How does the voucher scheme work?

Once you’ve contacted a language school and signed up for Danish classes, the first unit on your voucher will be activated. This is when you want to make sure that you have a plan for your Danish studies – otherwise, you might end up losing one or more units on your voucher.

You use the units on your voucher to enrol in classes during your Danish studies. When you complete a module, the unit expires – even if you haven’t used all time available with the unit. Then the next unit is automatically activated, unless you tell us that you want to take a break in your studies. You cannot transfer leftover time from one unit to the next.

At Copenhagen Language Center, we administer your voucher for you. You’ll get an e-mail or text message from us when a unit is about to expire – and your teacher can always tell you how many units you have left.

Each voucher unit is valid for a limited amount of time. So make sure that you’re ready to learn Danish when you sign up for classes.

Once the first unit is activated, you cannot stop it or “press the pause button”. If you take longer to complete a module than expected – either because you don’t regularly attend classes or don’t pass a module test – your unit may expire before you finish the module. Once this happens, the next unit is activated – even though you didn’t proceed to the next module – and you may end up lacking units to complete your Danish studies free of charge.

REMEMBER! Once a unit is activated, you can’t stop it or “press the pause button”.
Voucher break from classes

What if I want to take a break from my studies?

The voucher entitles you to 3.5 years of Danish classes within a period of 5 years. This means that you can take breaks totalling up to 18 months during your Danish studies.

If you need to take a break – because you’re busy at work, you’re having a baby or you’re going to travel – you have to make sure to take these breaks BETWEEN modules.

In other words, you can only take breaks after you’ve passed a module test and before starting a new module. You can’t stop the clock on a unit once you’ve started a module.

If you stop attending classes in the middle of a module, your unit will eventually expire and the next unit will be automatically activated. In a case like this, you may end up using multiple units, even though you’re not learning Danish – and if you want to complete your Danish studies at a later date, you probably won’t have enough units left on your voucher to do so free of charge.

If you want to take a break from your Danish studies, it’s super important that you wait until you’ve passed a module test. You can notify us that you’re going to take a break using this link. Remember to let us know when you expect to resume your Danish studies.

REMEMBER! You should only take breaks BETWEEN modules. Don’t forget to tell us that you want to take a break, or the next unit will be automatically activated when you complete a module.

What if I don’t pass my module test?

Fortunately, each unit comes with more than enough time to retake your module test if you don’t pass the first time.

If you still don’t manage to pass the module test before the unit expires, you’ll have to use the next unit on your voucher. This may lead to a lack of units at the end of your Danish studies.

If that happens, you can either choose to pay for the classes in the final module, of you can register for FVU reading if you want to learn more Danish. And regardless of your current enrolment status, you can always take the Danish Exam if you pay the exam fee.

Remember! If you don’t pass your module test, you’ll usually have enough time to take the test again. Speak with your teacher if you are worried about your time running out.
Voucher with six units

The Do's & Don’ts of the new voucher

Do's

  • Remember to keep an eye on incoming mail in your e-Boks
  • Contact a language school no later than 4 weeks after receiving the referral letter from your home municipality
  • Attend classes and make a plan for your Danish studies
  • Make sure to take the module test
  • Notify your language school before taking a break

Don'ts

  • Don’t overlook the referral letter from the municipality
  • Don’t stop coming to classes
  • Don’t miss out on the module test
  • Don’t ignore the rules of the voucher scheme

Average completion time for a Danish course

The graph below shows the average completion time for Danish language course 2. For comparison, Danish language course 3 takes approx. 17 months and Danish language course 1 takes approx. 24 months.

  • Module 1 3 MONTHS

    0%
  • Module 2 3 MONTHS

    0%
  • Module 3 3 MONTHS

    0%
  • Module 4 4 MONTHS

    0%
  • Module 5 3 MONTHS

    0%
  • Module 6 5 MOS

    0%
DANISH LANGUAGE COURSE 2 IN TOTAL

Maximum completion time with the new voucher

The graph below shows the maximum completion time per module with the new voucher.

  • Module 1 4 MONTHS

    0%
  • Module 2 5 MONTHS

    0%
  • Module 3 7 MONTHS

    0%
  • Module 4 8 MONTHS

    0%
  • Module 5 9 MOS

    0%
  • Module 6 9 MOS

    0%
MAXIMUM COMPLETION TIME IN TOTAL

Congratulations! You’re now an expert on the new voucher!

If you follow these simple rules, your voucher should provide plenty of time to learn Danish and to pass a Danish Exam. 

At Copenhagen Language Center, we administer your voucher for you. You’ll get an e-mail or text message from us when a unit is about to expire – and your teacher can always tell you how many units you have left.

If you still have unanswered questions about the new voucher, you can post a comment on this page and we’ll answer your question lickety-split.

We can’t wait to see you at Copenhagen Language Center! ♥♥♥

Comments

Join the discussion

  • Michael

    Hi there,
    I lived in Copenhagen for around 18 months in 2011-2012 for an internship. I never signed up for Danish classes during that time. I have just moved back with my Danish partner and want to sign up for classes now. Do you know if I will I still be entitled to classes within the voucher system even though it has been more than 5 years since I first arrived in Denmark? Tak!

    1. Camilla Svane

      Hi Michael,
      Sorry for the late answer. If you lived in Copenhagen Municipality, you should still be entitled to Danish classes. I recommend that you contact International House in Copenhagen to make absolutely certain.

      Good luck learning Danish!

      Kind regards
      Camilla, Kbh Sprogcenter

  • Shambo nagpall

    Hi there,
    I am a German citizen who is studying here his bachelor. I am here since 4 years and understand Danish quite well. Never had any classes. If I start next month with classes. Do I have to pay 12000? Or how much, I will still be a student at that time. My studies will finish in Feb 2019

    1. Camilla Svane

      Hi Shambo,

      The new rules about user payment will probably take effect from July 2018. Whether or not you are still entitled to free Danish classes depends on what municipality you live in.

      ~Camilla

  • Laila Souza Hansen

    Is Danish spouses has right of a voucher?

  • Kritika

    Hi Camilla, it’s been 3 yrs since I moved to Denmark song with my husband who is here on work permit. I enrolled once for classes then due to some issues I couldn’t start. Now how can I start my Danish classes or I m no more eligible for that.
    Thanks in advance

    1. Camilla Svane

      Hi Kritika,

      Sorry for the late answer. Whether or not you are still entitled to Danish classes depends on the municipality you live in. Contact your local ‘Borgerservice’ (or International House in Copenhagen) to find out.

      ~Camilla 🙂

  • Sarah

    I am here on a family visa with my partner whose is Danish (I’m Canadian). I’m confused whether I fall into the voucher system or not. Can you clarify who counts as self-supporting? Thanks

    1. Camilla Svane

      Hi Sarah,

      We are all pretty confused 🙂 The basis for your residence in Denmark determines which rules apply to you. If you are in Denmark through family reunification with a Danish citizen, under the rules of the Danish Aliens Act and with an integration contract, the voucher system doesn’t apply to you. If you are in Denmark through family reunification based on EU rules, they do. You can read a bit more about it here:

      https://www.kbh-sprogcenter.dk/en/law-on-danish-language-courses/#self

      Kind regards
      Camilla, Kbh Sprogcenter

  • Brenda Cullen

    Hej….does this cover Dansk 3?

  • Khadij

    Hi Camilla
    I passed 3 modules during one year in 2016 then I started University so I had to stop my classes. And then in 2017 I got pregnant and now I am in maternity leave and I am planing to start 4th module in September 2018. But I don’t know how these rules effect me.
    Thanks in advanced
    Khadij

    1. Camilla Svane

      Hi Khadij,

      You should be able to start classes in September. The new voucher system will affect you before you have passed the next module. If in doubt, I recommend that you contact your municipality to ensure that they will still pay for your classes, when you return.

      Enjoy the rest of your maternity leave and good luck with your Danish classes 🙂

      Kind regards
      Camilla, Kbh Sprogcenter

  • Filis

    Hi there and thank you for this explanation. I am currently in module 3 on my own expense and I have difficulties to understand why. I have started module 1 on February 2016 since I was unemployed and then I had to stop when I found a job. But the meanwhile my job payed me the first module in Berlitz, where I finished the module. Now when I wanted to continue in module 2 in Copenhagen municipality in October 2017 I had to pay on my own expense since according to my municipality Gladsaxe I am late. Now I am in module 3 so what does this new voucher system mean for me. Will my municipality cover any of the modules? Thank you in advance.

    1. Camilla Svane

      Hi Filis,

      You are welcome ♥ Unfortunately, you are probably one of the unlucky ones. In 2014, 250 hours of labour market Danish classes were introduced to all newcomers. The rules said, that students had to complete the 250 hours within 18 months. If not, they lost their right to a free Danish education. Labour market Danish classes ended when the first part of the law was introduced in July 2017. Some municipalities are very strict about the 18 months and that is probably the reason why, your municipality refuses to pay for your classes.

      As you pay for your Danish classes yourself, the voucher system will not influence you at all.

      Kind regards

      Camilla, Kbh Sprogcenter

  • Benedette

    Firstly thank you for the info.its very helpful. My question is how do I get this voucher tier to my mail or E-Box so that I can follow up my progress and find a way of balancing my learning schedule. I already started on the language classes but was not given anything like this to help me track my timing and learning process. Kindly advice. Thank you.

    1. Camilla Svane

      Hi Benedette,

      Thank you ♥ Your language school has all the information you need, so you should just be able to ask your teacher. The voucher is still pretty new, but hopefully the language schools will come up with a way to make the information available to the students.

      Kind regards
      Camilla, Kbh Sprogcenter

  • Marianne Blom

    We are pensionated from Holland and live in Fjerritslev Jammerbugt since august 2015. We never got any mail about danish classes from our commune. We asked around in Fjerritslev, Brovst and Thisted. Nobody knew anything. So how are we supposed to get any danish lessons here in this region. We still want and need the danish lessons. Can you give us any advice in this please ?

    1. Camilla Svane

      Dear Marianne,

      I am sorry to hear, that you have not been able to find information about free Danish classes. I think the nearest language school for you would be in Thisted. Visit http://www.dedanskesprogcentre.dk for more information.

      Good luck learning Danish!

      Kind regards
      Camilla, Kbh Sprogcenter

  • Denise Michanowicz

    The system was not explained to me in a way that I understood although I asked repeatedly over the course of this past year. I began Danish studies at the end of September 2016 & am currently in Module 3.4 I will take part of test 3.4 next week. I passed half of 3.4, 1-2 weeks ago. Also my teacher has been ill so although I was scheduled to retake half the test last week it’s been rescheduled for this week. Is the clock ticking on my learning time? My teacher actually told me just before Christmas that my time for free Danish classes would run out in June 2018. Thank you in advance for your help. I hope I will have more time to complete the next 2-3 modules.

    1. Camilla Svane

      Hi Denise,

      The law for free Danish classes has changed January 1st 2018, so I guess the information you received last year was correct back then, but has changed now.

      Just to be sure that I have understod your message correctly … You are currently in Danish course 3, module 4 and almost finished with module 4? In that case you only need module 5 to pass Danish exam 3. If you are self-supported in Denmark, you will receive a voucher as soon as you pass your next module test.

      You should check with your local municipality whether or not your time for free Danish classes is running out. It depends on when you arrived in Denmark and when you were first referred to Danish classes.

      I hope everything works out for you!

      Kind regards
      Camilla, Kbh Sprogcenter

  • Doris

    Hej. I am in module 3 and I took a leave within the module before the new rule has been implemented. Will I be affected?

    1. Camilla Svane

      Hej Doris,

      Luckily, you will not be affected by the voucher system until you pass the next module test 🙂 When you pass module 3, you will receive a voucher for the last units.

      Kind regards
      Camilla, Kbh Sprogcenter

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