Relax, Reflect, Recharge...

Updated: May 19



Summer options for High School students.


Photograph: Unsplash

Text: Skyler Bentley Hall


Summer holiday (sommerferie) is an ideal time for high school students to explore creative and enriching pursuits. Whether choosing to enrol in a summer course, volunteer, gain work experience, or enjoy much-needed downtime, the focus should be on organising a personalised and meaningful break.


Programmes in Denmark

Educational Consultant Christiane Louise Conradt-Eberlin of Schooling Denmark supports international families with school selections and highlights a few academically scoped English-speaking programmes for teens in Denmark.


  • VIA Summer School - Students living in Viborg (16+) can explore creative programmes such as Comic Creation, Classical Drawing, Animation, or 2D TV Animation.

  • Herlufsholm Kostskole - Foreign and Danish teenagers living abroad (13-15) can enjoy the Danish language and culture activities at a local boarding school. Students participate in creative courses, sports, and social excursions.

  • Ranumefterskole - Team-building activities for youth (14-17) include: cheerleading, creative, adventure, sailing, scuba diving, dance, cross-fitters and e-sport camps.


The basic elements within the Danish educational model are founded in building the interpersonal skills within - how to cooperate, how to build identity, and how to become a good citizen. - Christiane

Service-oriented projects

Copenhagen International School’s Secondary School Counsellor, Amanda Lopez, explains that as part of the IBDP, students work on creativity, activity, and service projects over the summer between Grade 11-12. When travel was more widely available, CIS students would often go to their home country to complete service projects or participate in school-based initiatives like Team Peru and Project Wallacea.

Now we are seeing students participate in local initiatives such as beach cleanups, trash collecting, volunteering for community members, or pursuing online initiatives like Translators without Borders.

Virtual options

With limited travel this year, students may consider virtual courses through EdX, FutureLearn or Coursera. These Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are a cost-effective and COVID-friendly way to get a taste of university life while studying with professors and like-minded students. My clients have been inspired by new academic pathways studying Cryptography, Robotics, and Microeconomics. Students may also explore virtual college tours, fairs, and open days to learn more about university life.


Studying abroad

If interested in opportunities beyond Denmark, studying abroad may still be a feasible option. Frederiksberg resident, Katharina from Ny Hollænderskolen, is optimistic about travelling to Scotland for English and Theatre studies at International Summer School for Teens (ISSFT).

Scottish culture seems very intriguing. The old castles, green landscapes, and Loch Ness monster. I would love to make new friends, meet people with different backgrounds and become more fluent in English. Summer school is a good mixture of learning and having the time of my life.

ISSFT welcomes ambitious Scandinavian and internationals (12-17 years) interested in Environmental Sustainability, Journalism, Law, English, and Global Entrepreneurship. Their campus overlooks Stirling Castle, where Margaret of Denmark, Queen of Scotland by marriage of King James III, lived with her children until 1486. While partnering with ISSFT to offer career and university prep courses, I was pleasantly surprised to gain insight into the bonds between Denmark and Scotland. Through the Nordic-Baltic Policy, Scotland aims to strengthen relations with Nordic and Baltic regions through policy exchange, emphasising environmental goals.


Students from Denmark and other Scandinavian countries make an excellent contribution to our community. They are passionate environmentalists, and a few have been top-ranked golfers. Students come with an open mind and immerse themselves fully in our global programme, which focuses on fun, friendship, and adventure. We are proud of the historical and cultural links between Denmark and Scotland. - Carey-Jean Rowe, Director, ISSFT

Whether choosing a virtual, local or study abroad experience this summer, the utmost priority should be finding a good balance while building in time to relax, reflect and recharge.

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