March 17, 2023

Guide: SU when studying abroad

Guide: SU when studying abroad
Deni Isic

Let's start with breaking the answer, absolutely you can get SU if you go study abroad. The Danish government has made it super easy for students to take their SU with them on a semester abroad or even for a full degree abroad. This makes it more manageable to finance your study stay abroad, on the same terms as if you studied in Denmark. To get the SU with you abroad, you simply need to meet some conditions. Below, you'll find an overview of the conditions for semester stays and for both a full bachelors and masters degree. Let's start out with when you go for a semester abroad, shall we?

SU while studying abroad for a semester

By now you are probably impatiently waiting to find out what the requirements are. So we're just gonna list them up straight away:

• The study stay abroad is part of your Danish higher education.

• Your semester abroad must be pre-approved and credit-bearing.

• You have SU clips available throughout the period.

In short, you are guaranteed SU during your semester abroad if your home university pre-approves your courses abroad. You might ask what the definition of pre-approval is? Well in this case, it is simply that your international office signs that the courses you are following abroad will earn you a credit transfer if you pass them. Like in Denmark, you obviously need to have SU clips available throughout the period to receive SU.

Before we move on, we'll allow ourselves to squeeze just one more pro tip in. We strongly suggest that you write to your SU-office that you are going abroad for a semester and on which semester. It may take 1-2 minutes to write and send the mail to the SU-office, and you'll sleep good at night knowing that your SU will continuously tick in.

A quick note If you're an international student you can still get SU if you have applied for equal status with Danish cityzens. You can read more about that on the official SU website.

You can see a full video guide here: 

SU when studying a full bachelors degree abroad

For studies outside the Nordic countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland), the maximum number of SU clips you can get is 48, the equivalent to four years of education. This is in contrast to if you study in Denmark or another Nordic country, where you will generally be able to get up to six years of SU. After a bachelor's degree of three years abroad, bear in mind that you will have SU clips corresponding to being able to study for one more year while getting SU. However, you have the option of taking out the so-called "slut-lån", which is a monthly amount corresponding to SU, which must be repaid after completing your education.

Now the cool thing is that you can actually take the last few years of your degree in a Nordic country and your SU-clips will adjust accordingly. So for example, if you study abroad for 4 years outside a nordic country, you can still do 2 more years in a Nordic country and be SU-eligible.

One thing that is specially notable for studies in the US is, that the first year which usually works as a preparational year, may not be SU-eligible.

Last but not least, the study programme at the given university abroad has to be approved by the Danish Fast-Track list. We will cover what that is as the last part of this article.

SU when studying a full masters degree abroad

If you want to study for a master's degree at a foreign university, the same SU rules apply. If for example you have taken a 3-year bachelor's degree at a Danish or Nordic university, you can typically get SU for up to three more years of studying abroad.

Again, the degree you are pursuing abroad at the given university has to be approved on the Fast-Track list, which is the next part of the article.

What is the Fast-Track list?

The Fast Track list consists of study programmes abroad (incl. The Nordic countries), which are pre-approved for SU. If your desired study programme is already on the list, you can expect a processing time of up to 12 days before you receive a response to your application for SU. Please note that the pre-approval is per individual study programme, so it is not enough if the university is on the list, but the study programme is not.

In order to be awarded SU for a programme on the Fast Track list, you must be able to document that you have finally been admitted to the programme by the university. If the program is approved and included on the Fast Track list at the time of application, you are entitled to SU throughout your studies.

How do i get my programme on the Fast Track list?

If the study programme is not yet on the Fast Track list, it is possible to apply for it to be. The processing time is approximately two months, and you do not need to be admitted to the program before applying for admission. The Fast Track list is therefore quite dynamic, allowing new SU-approved programmes to continuously being added and approved.

As the list is revised on an ongoing basis, there will also be a risk that programmes that have previously been approved for SU are no longer on the list or expire within a few years. For this reason, it is important to check up on how long the approval is valid. As a rule, most programmes will be approved and admitted to the Fast Track list for a period of four years, after which you must reapply for acceptance again if needed. For documentation to get the programme approved, the programme curriculum should be sufficient.

You can see more about the requirements on the SU website.

Free E-Book. Free Scholarship templates.

Get all our experience at the tip of your fingers from our first release of the Ultimate Study Abroad Handbook for free by signing up to our newsletter.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Study Abroad E-Book
uniclub promise

Get unparalleled peace of mind from start to finish.