The Efterskole is a residential school, where students from the ages of 14 to 18 can choose to finish their primary education. There are about 250 efterskoles spread across Denmark and about 20% of all Danish students attend an efterskole.
All efterskoles deal with both the educational and personal development of the students. They embrace a common educational focus on enlightenment for life, general education and democratic citizenship. One of the things that are unique about the efterskole is the teacher-student relationship. Teachers and students are together all day from the time the students wake up until they go to bed. This often engenders a close, personal and non-formal relationship between students and teachers.
The different efterskoler specialise in different themes, such as sports, arts, interculture, outdoor, drama, creative subjects, environment/nature, music, crafts, etc.
This program gives you the opportunity to work as a volunteer in such an Efterskole. It is a great chance to experience the “enlightenment for life” philosophy practiced at the schools, to test or practice your teaching abilities, to gain experience working in a school environment and to learn how to interact with youngsters in a school environment. You will also learn about a way of teaching and teacher-student relationship which is probably very different from the one you have experienced yourself.
The volunteer tasks may include:
- Assisting teachers in language lessons or other subjects for which you have a passion or special skills
- Helping organise weekend events and evening activities for the students
- Offering informal courses for the students in the evenings on subjects where you have special expertise or interest
- Assisting staff in general both indoor and outdoor
- Helping the teacher on duty, during some weekends and evenings
Which tasks and responsibilities you will be given depend on your interests and skills. You will be working closely with one of the teachers, who will support and guide you.
You will work 30-37 hours per week including your language lessons. You will be part of the staff group and typically take part in staff meetings.
You will also be part of the vibrant social life and the many extracurricular activities going on at the efterskole in evenings and weekends.
- All costs in connection with your participation in this program are included: such as food, accommodation, language education and orientations. However, you will need to bring pocket money for your own spending. Denmark is an expensive country so it is recommended having a minimum of USD 170 per month.
- You will be met by AFS on arrival to Copenhagen airport and be taken directly to the on-arrival orientation. On day 3 they you will be helped board the train to your local community where your host family will meet you at the train station.
- You will be invited to mid-term orientations with AFS which are held in April and November.