Top marks to grantees

Two of Cphbusiness’ international students have successfully completed their education in Denmark with a great grade point average and top marks in their bachelor projects.

01 March 2014

For many of Cphbusiness’ international students from outside the EU it may be difficult to make ends meet when the cost for one semester in Denmark is DKK 32,000 in tuition fee, not counting living expenses. International students outside the EU pay out of their own pocket for their education in Denmark and student grants are also off limits, when your passport says Kenya or the Philippines.

Different nationalities - different conditions

And yet, two of Cphbusiness’ international students have successfully completed their education in Denmark with a great grade point average and top marks in their bachelor projects. Rahab Kamau and Melen Fontanilla are both newly minted bachelors in International Sales and Marketing Management from Cphbusiness Nørrebro and as non-EU citizens they have not had access to the same benefits during their education in Denmark as their Danish counterparts.

- As a non-EU student you pay around DKK 32,000 for a semester, and typically you won’t get any student grants either. You have to save money and when you come from a developing country it is not always possible to get your family to help out, says Rahab, who comes from Kenya.

Rahab’s situation is far from unique. For other non-EU citizens, who want to pursue an education in Denmark, the challenges they meet are not only about cultural differences and family deprivation - the economic costs associated with their education can often prove to be the biggest obstacle on the road to a Danish diploma.

The silver lining 

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel for students like Rahab and Melen. Each year at Cphbusiness scholarships and grants are issued to students coming from countries outside the EU. Scholarships and grants are issued to students based on a motivational letter as well as a reference from the student’s teacher about the student's involvement in their study programme. Rahab and Melen were two of the students who managed to meet the criteria and receive scholarships and grants for part of their education.

An economic subsidy that, according Melen, has been well spent and has paved the way for good results and success at her study programme.

- It has been a great help for me to receive a scholarship. It was a blessing and also an opportunity for me to focus on my bachelor thesis, says Melen, who comes from the Philippines.

For Rahab, the possibility to receive economic support has also been important.

- It has been a great opportunity for me to receive a scholarship and it gave me the opportunity to use the time to actually study and not focus on work all the time, says Rahab.

Katja Wæver, international employee at Cphbusiness, helps decide which applicants will be awarded scholarships and grants. She welcomes the great results that Rahab and Melen have achieved. For Katja it is in fact a key issue to provide financial support to international students from outside the EU, particularly during their third semester, when they have their internship - an especially tough period.

- I am very interested in helping international students during their internship semester, as I believe that it must be extremely hard to have to work full-time for free at your internship, and actually also work full-time to make a living. So I 'm sure that scholarships and grants can help the students a lot and give them the time to focus on their study programmes, says Katja.

With their new title, both Rahab and Melen have the world at their feet, but during their stay in Denmark, they have both become so fond of the country and the ties they have made here that they have decided to stay and work in Denmark.



  • Facts

    A scholarship is payment for one semester. A grant is a monthly benefit similar to the Danish student grant (SU).
    Both Rahab and Melen have had a student job during their studies. Rahab has worked as a cleaning assistant and Melen has worked at Johan Bülow liquorice.

    Rahab and Melen both came to Denmark to work as au pairs.