Slotsvænget 1-3,

DK-5000 Odense, Denmark

Integration Approach



Life at an international school means classrooms with students from all over the world and an exciting patchwork of experiences, traditions and religions. Nevertheless, joining a new school poses the same challenges for every child. Most students quickly slip into the routines of the classroom, but making new friends and feeling happy at break time, can sometimes take longer. Attending an international school also means sharing a classroom with other students who are in the country for a shorter or longer stay. At Odense International School we would like our students to feel that they have not just attended an international school somewhere in the world, but that they have truly become acquainted with and feel at home in Odense. In order to achieve this, we have designed an integration approach to complement our educational offer.

Firstly, students study the Danish language and are linked to a Danish friendship class. Odense International School students take physical education and art with their friendship class. They are also invited to events and on trips with this class. Secondly, our international students share the after-school care programme with the Danish school. In the after-school care programme the international students have a set contact person who is a native speaker of English. This person follows up the students’ needs and conveys information to parents and teachers, as well as the after-school team. Our international teachers also run organised activities in the after-school programme twice a week. These activities are small-group activities aimed at both Danish and international students.

Upon arrival families are advised about our school’s educational and community-oriented services. Families are offered counselling on children in transition and how a school in Denmark works. Our management as well as teachers make themselves available to questions and offer follow-up meetings for new arrivals. Several times a year international cafés are held on school premises in an effort to offer new international families a chance to network with other families at school. International parents are encouraged to turn up for school events and our daily whole-school morning assemblies regularly for the same reason. International parents are also advised to have a bit of time on their hands when they pick up their children, as asking for information about the child and setting up play-dates is important. There are no extra-curricular activities at schools in Denmark. Clubs and sports are organised by independent organisations in the local community. International students are encouraged to pursue an interest after school, too, as soon as they feel ready.

International students are taken on trips locally as soon as possible, in order to familiarise them with their new environment. We also hope that the student’s enthusiasm for an activity or place will have a spill-off effect at home and encourage the family to start their journey of exploration as soon as possible. We believe Odense and the island of Funen has plenty to offer in terms of quality of life for a young family.

As soon as a child and family have links to the local community through friendships and activities, Odense will start to feel like home. We hope that our integration approach will be so successful that international families will wish to extend their stay in Denmark, resulting in requests to have employment contracts prolonged. At the very least, we hope families and students will leave us with clear and fond memories of Odense International School and their time in Odense.