Here is the question you will have to face when deciding to study Danish after moving to Denmark.
Most of the expats I know, have chosen the evening classes for obvious reasons, because they had a job during normal working hours on weekdays.
The others are expats who either (in most cases):
- Moved to Denmark and didn’t get a chance to find a job straight away, so they focused on learning Danish during day classes, until they could find a full-time job
- Choose to prioritize learning Danish as fast as possible and have a part-time job on the side, or simply use the remainder of their free time to study and finish Danish 3 Examination.
I personally experienced both day and evening classes (at Studieskolen), so I just wanted to share some feedback and insights on both options. This is in relation to the Danish 3 Examination (Prøve i Dansk 3).
I will breakdown this comparison in various categories:
- My personal feedback
Learning Danish : Day classes vs Evening Classes
Day classes are usually 3 times per week x 4h per session or 4 times per week x 3h per session. You get the idea, if you attend day classes, expect an average of 12h being at school.
If you choose evening classes, you will approximately have 2 times per week x 2h30 per session. This means that you will have an average of 5h classroom.
NB: It doesn’t matter whether you take day or evening classes, it will still take you the same number of weeks to go to the next level. Every 6 weeks a new module will start.
As I really wanted to improve in Danish quickly, as well as feeling comfortable in every class I attended, I found best to study the same amount of hours attended in a classroom.
If like me you choose this option, this means that your days and/or evenings will suddenly become very busy, regardless if you choose day or evening classes.
This fact is purely based on my personal experience and the one of fellow students. If you truly put in the hours at home to do your homework, you will really notice improvements.
If you choose the day classes, you will have a lot more time to study, which ultimately will help you out to improve faster. If you really wish to go the extra mile and get better, curiosity will be your best friend. At least it has been for me!
Watching movies in Danish, reading books or newspapers, translating songs, these are only a few examples that will require some extra time. This extra “curiosity” time, you will have, if you decide to take day classes.
In the early modules (1 and 2), you can manage without too much problem your homework in between classes. If you do your homework after the class and manage to learn the vocabulary seen in class, you should be fine. However, as you move further into the modules, it will become a lot more difficult as you will have more homework included written ones. Not to mention the extra time you may want to spend for watching Danish movies, reading books, etc.
If you are busy with your own day job, keeping up with the pace in between classes can quickly become a vicious circle if you don’t study. You certainly need to be consistent and really stick to the homework given by your teacher.
Regardless of the option you choose to take, I really want to insist on the fact that teachers (at Studieskolen) are really great.
If you attend morning classes, your teacher will be fresh and ready for you and the class. If you have the option and the time to take this class, I would recommend it 100%. Simply because you are fresh and so is your teacher. It is the beginning of their working day, so everyone is a lot more focused. Which obviously impacts significantly on your improvements.
I never tried to take afternoon classes as part of the “day classes”, but from what I heard by talking to fellow and/or former students, this option is also great.
I tried evening classes from module 1.1 until module 3.2, and to be honest, it became tougher as I moved onto the modules. Just imagine teaching a class until 9.30pm, where students can be hungry, tired of their working day or simply not 100% focused, this quickly becomes a challenge for teachers. Thumbs up for the evening teachers!
I always have been with fellow students who are really nice and good people. Definitely a great way to expand your social circle in Denmark and an amazing cultural mix. Studieskolen has students learning Danish from more than 110 countries!
I found students a lot more dedicated to learn during the day classes than evening classes. It can certainly be due to the fact that they have a lot more time on their hands to study. This has personally motivated me a lot more to study with other expats that have the same project, which is to go 100% with learning Danish. The size of classes is also smaller during day classes, which also means more attention to each student.
This can obviously vary from class to class and module to module. Expect a lot more students at the beginning of each new cycle (regardless if it is day or evening classes), and then some dropouts along the way. Everyone has different projects for personal or professional reasons, which can force some of the students to stop and/or take a break.
During evening classes, expect to have more students from universities and professionals who are committed to a day job and cannot attend day classes. Classes tend to be more packed than during day classes.
Again, this is based on my personal experiences, so this is not a general rule. Either way, you will have really nice students from all over the world with you in the classroom!
If you take day or evening classes, weekends are going to play a big part in your progress. Chances are you will want to relax and enjoy the beautiful country that we live in: Denmark!
Weekend is a synonym of consistency as far as I experienced. If you manage to study on Saturday and/or Sunday, this will definitely help you improve, but also make you feel good about yourself and remind you that you are at the top of your game. Be strong and study hard on weekends!
My personal feedback
From having experienced both, day and evening classes, I personally would recommend attending day classes. Again, that is if you have the choice and can manage to have a part time job on the side, until you finalize Danish 3 Examination. You will have a lot more motivation, energy, desire to learn and curiosity if you study during the day.
When attending evening classes, I felt that I always had a million things in my mind from my working day. Whereas with day classes, I always have full focus.
Since you will spend a lot more time with the day classes, you should expect your Danish reading, understanding and talking to be more complete than if you attend evening classes.
Either way, if you are attending day or evening classes, this means that you are on the right path to speak Danish. I know expats who graduated both from day classes and evening classes, meaning it is possible.
Go for it!
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