Two years ago, Ranum Efterskole College became the first international college in Denmark.  Since then, more international students have realised the potential of the school and there has been a significant increase in the number of learners participating in the international programme.

“Education is not only about sitting at a school bench from eight in the morning until two in the afternoon. It takes place all day long. Making sure that a young person feels safe and develops in her own way is just as important as solving a math task,” says Joakim Philipsen.

He is the vice principal at Ranum Efterskole College, a continuation school where personal development, understanding of other cultures and focus on the individual student, or learner as they are called, are among the key principles.

The school aims to find the balance between tradition and modernity, championing innovative education with an international outlook. As a self-governing independent institution concentrating on the educational and personal development of its learners, Ranum Efterskole focuses on personal and academic growth and democracy in a global context.
“We see many educational courses in Denmark being taught in English, and I’m sure this number will only increase in the years to come. I am also positive that more young people will go abroad as a part of their degree, just like more young people in the future will work for international companies,” predicts Philipsen.

Ranum Efterskole College | The forefront of international secondary study in Denmark

An international breakthrough

The school started its international programme just two years ago, but the results they have achieved only prove the demand for a school with an international direction. 45 learners took part in the international programme in 2013-14, and it has turned out to be such a success that the number of international learners this year reached 144, 45 of whom represent 18 different countries outside Denmark.

“We experienced an international breakthrough this year. We feel that the international families who get in contact with us already know about our school through colleagues, friends, family or some of the international associations we are a member of,” says Philipsen.

Ranum Efterskole College has a strong network and collaborates with schools and global educational institutes from all over the world. Among its partners are international organisations such as Cambridge International Examinations, the Nordic Network of International Schools, American Fields Service (AFS), the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) and the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme. “Being part of an international network means that we are continuously developing our programmes to meet international standards in education and that we can offer our learners educational programmes of the utmost quality,” the vice principal continues.

A new chapter for Ranum Efterskole College begins this school year as they have introduced the Duke of Edinburgh Award. This international award sets great precedent on informal education and youth development, through the setting of long-term goals that are tailored to the individual. “By integrating the Duke of Edinburgh Award into our efterskole, we offer learners a chance to shine and excel in a way that is internationally recognised. A single year at Ranum Efterskole College is invaluable, but when married with the Duke of Edinburgh Award it becomes priceless,” says Carl Bennison, co-ordinator for the D.O.E. programme at the school.

Ranum Efterskole College | The forefront of international secondary study in Denmark

420 individual timetables

It is not just the international aspect that separates Ranum Efterskole College from other continuation schools. All subjects have different academic levels, from one to five, and the learners can choose their own profile subjects. This means that all 420 learners at the school have their own individual schedules. “For instance, a learner can take mathematics at level 1, English at level 3 and Danish at level 4. This is possible because all subjects are taught at the same time. The learner attends lessons together with other learners at the same level, and that helps them to progress,” Philipsen explains.

The international profile does not mean that Ranum Efterskole College has forgotten about the classic ‘efterskole’ values – on the contrary. The school maintains a rich legacy, delivering the very best opportunities and social engagement for its learners. “We watch these young people mature a great deal in the year they spend here. Turning young people into responsible adults is a key aspect of what we do, and by combining social and professional development we believe you are in for a unique experience here at Ranum,” says Philipsen.

Ranum Efterskole College | The forefront of international secondary study in Denmark

International Summer School

Challenge yourself personally and academically, strengthen your social competences and meet friends from all over the world. Ranum Efterskole College offers young people the opportunity to join a summer school.

Choosing the next step of your educational path is never easy, because figuring out if the lessons are right for you and whether you will fit in are questions you usually cannot predict the answers to. Except at Ranum Efterskole College, you actually can, since the school this year created an International Summer School, where young people can stay at the school for a few weeks to see if they like it.

“Every week begins with a team-building introduction, so the learners will get to know each other and there will be excursions during the week. It is a great opportunity to experience the life at an Efterskole, learn something new during your holiday and make friends from all over the world,” says vice principal Joakim Philipsen.

Ranum Efterskole College | The forefront of international secondary study in Denmark

The school offers different academic levels in all classes and learners can choose one or two profile subjects during the afternoon. Academic classes are mainly taught in English. The classes are primarily project-oriented and learners will work either in groups or individually on presentations of various themes.

Profile subjects:

Sailing, SUB boards, kayaking, climbing, football, basketball, dancing, music, design, mountain biking, gastronomy and beach volleyball.

International study trip destinations:

USA, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Germany, UK, Austria, Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, Scotland, Greece, Nepal, Oman, South Africa, China, Malaysia, Philippines, Peru, New Zealand, Hawaii.

Ranum Efterskole College | The forefront of international secondary study in Denmark

Name: Nell Fingleton
Age: 16
Nationality: Irish

Why did you choose Ranum Efterskole?
Before coming here, I was living in Turkey and attended an international school there. The city I lived in didn’t have an English high school, but I wanted to continue in international education and finish IGCSE. I looked at many different international schools across Europe and came across the website for Ranum Efterskole College. The uniqueness of the school really caught my eye. I felt that it offered opportunities that no other school could and that it was the right choice for me.

What have been your best experiences so far?
One of my favourite things has been meeting so many different people. I loved getting to know my roommates and it’s great to always have friends close by. We also just came back from our first profile trip, which was a great experience.

Would you recommend Ranum Efterskole to your friends?
I definitely would! Life is never boring and I’ve made some amazing friends. I feel that there is a place for everyone and there is never time to feel lonely or homesick. Just one year here offers so many experiences and opportunities to grow and learn that you cannot get anywhere else.

Ranum Efterskole College in numbers

420 learners
85 employees, 52 teachers
19,600 square metres of teaching and boarding facilities
Students live in one-, two-, four-, or six-student apartments
Assembly hall with 460 seats
22 classrooms all equipped with ActiveBoards
Four science laboratories
Three music rooms
Four specialist classrooms: design/art, craft, multimedia, and IT.
Four gyms plus one full-size gym
Outdoor sports centre

Contact information:

Ranum Efterskole College
Seminarievej 23, 9681 Ranum, Denmark
Email: or

For more information, please visit:,

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