Semester guide: Deadlines and events you don’t want to miss

There are some deadlines you just don't want to miss. And there are events you’re really going to regret missing out on. There are also days where you suddenly bump into a parade of people dressed all in white or where all Danes apparently eat duck. Here is your guide to – and explanation of – important dates during the coming semester that you can already note in your calendar. You’re welcome.

Photos: Melissa Bach Yildirim, Ida Marie Jensen og Anders Trærup. Graphic: Astrid Reitzel


August-September: AU Intro Days

  • Intro days are organised for all international students at the beginning of the semester. They focus on the social aspects of the degree programme, getting to know your fellow students, and making sure everyone gets a good start to student life at AU. Date, time and location varies from degree programme to degree programme. Find out more here.

READ MORE: The Spirit of the Yellow Brick

15 August: Apply for exchange

  • The application system for applying for exchange from AU to one of the university's partner universities for spring 2020 opens. Deadline 15 September.


September: The autumn semester begins

  • The new students have finished the student orientation week, the old students are back from their holidays and teaching starts again. AU has a total of about 38,000 students and 8,000 employees, with students and staff divided between campus in Aarhus, Herning and Emdrup. The specific start dates vary for the various degree programmes.

2-4 September: Study Fair

Study Fair 2017. Photo: Melissa Bach Yildirim

  • Once a year for three days in September, the Main Hall at AU is converted into a veritable market. A multitude of companies, associations and organisations hand out free goodies and good offers ranging from insurance and bank accounts to dentist's appointments and bus tickets, while around 15,000 students wind their way past the many stands. For both new and old students, it is a good place to visit if you want to learn more about the many communities you can sign up for at AU, or just to get a free beer and enjoy the summer weather outside in the courtyard.

3 September: Students Organisation Fair

  • Student Organisation Fair is a bit like the study fair (see above), but smaller and directly targeted at international students. Here you can meet the different student associations at the campus, sports clubs, Aarhus cafés and companies, and hear about job and career opportunities at BSS Career and much more. Don't miss out on a great opportunity to learn more about the activities taking place both at the university and in the surrounding city. The fair take place in Stakladen, Studenterhus Aarhus, Nordre Ringgade 3, 8000 Aarhus C.

13 September: Annual celebration at Aarhus University

  • Each year the university holds a big celebration to commemorate its founding on 11 September 1928. There are speeches in the afternoon, a celebration address, the awarding of scholarships and prizes, the conferral of honorary doctorates and music in the Main Hall. In the evening the anniversary is celebrated with a concert in the Concert Hall Aarhus. Lots are drawn for tickets to the annual celebration among the employees who enter the ticket lottery. The students celebrate the day with Denmark's Biggest Friday Bar (see below).

13 September: Denmark’s Biggest Friday Bar and Sports Day

Denmark's Biggest Friday Bar and Sports Day 2017. Photo: Melissa Bach Yildirim

  • Each year, the students hold a one-day party around the university's outdoor areas to celebrate the founding of the university. During the day, students can take part in various sports competitions (or just watch), visit specially themed bars in the park, and then listen to live music in the University Park in the evening. See more

15 September: Deadline for applying for exchange and for a Master's degree programme

  • Deadline for applying for exchange from AU to one of the university's partner universities for spring 2020.
  • Deadline for applying for a Master's degree programme commencing in January/February 2020: For non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens WITHOUT a permanent residence permit (or equivalent) in Denmark with a Danish or non-Danish Bachelor’s degree.


1 October: Deadline for applying to visit Aarhus University on exchange during the Spring of 2020

  • The application system opens on 15. September (for external students).

1 and 3 October: Study Abroad Fair

  • Are you dreaming of studying abroad? At the Study Abroad Fair you can meet the international coordinators and find inspiration and help in getting started. The Study Abroad Fair visits Campus Aarhus and Herning on 3 October and Campus Emdrup on 1 October.

15 October: Deadline for applying for a Master’s degree programme commencing in the winter 2019/2020

12-20 October: Autumn holiday

Autumn in the University Park. Photo: Anders Trærup

The vast majority of study programmes do not have teaching during this week. The week off can be used for everything from catching-up on studying to a short holiday abroad.

READ MORE: Cure your wanderlust without breaking the bank

27 October: Daylight saving time ends

  • Put the clock back at 03:00 during the night between Saturday 26 and Sunday 27

31 October: Halloween

An American tradition that has been slowly adopted by Danes. Many children dress-up in scary costumes and go trick and treating in their neighbourhood. Many people also cut scary faces out of pumpkins and place them on the doorstep with a candle inside.


1 November: Apply for exchange from AU to a partner university and for a Masters degree programme


  • The application system for applying for exchange from AU to one of the university’s partner institutions for the fall semester of 2020 or spring semester 2021 opens. Deadline 1 December.
  • The application system to apply for a Master’s degree programme at Aarhus University commencing in September 2020 opens.

1 November: Aarhus Symposium

Aarhus Symposium 2019. Photo: Melissa Bach Yildirim

  • Aarhus Symposium was founded by students at AU in 2011 and has since been held every year on the first Friday in November. The objective is to create contact and debate between students and key decision-makers. Prominent speakers from politics, economics – and sometimes royalty – usually guest the event and get into a dialogue with the students. This year's theme is “Mastering Creativity". Read more about Aarhus Symposium.

10 November: Martinmas Eve

  • On this evening, Danes celebrate Saint Martin of Tours. According to legend, he was appointed bishop in 371. However, he did not want the position and instead tried to hide among a gaggle of geese. The geese revealed him, and as a punishment it was therefore decided that goose should be eaten on this day. Today many people eat duck instead of goose.

November: AU elections

  • Each year, students elect representatives to sit on the university's boards of studies, academic councils and the university board. The final date for the election has not been decided, but expect to see election campaigns at the campus with election posters, pamphlets being handed out and a panel debate between the lead candidates. In Danish, the four political student organisations at AU are called: Studenterrådet på Aarhus Universitet, Frit Forum Århus, Konservative Studenter and Borgerlige Studerende Aarhus. Closer to the election you will be able to read more here.


1 December: Deadline for applying for exchange

  • Deadline for applying for exchange from Aarhus University to one of its partner institutions in the autumn semester 2020 and the spring semester 2021.

1 December: First Sunday of Advent

  • The day is often marked by lighting a candle in an Advent wreath. The wreath has four candles, with one being lit every Sunday until Christmas. Many children also get Advent presents.

8 December: Second Sunday of Advent

13 December: St. Lucy's Day (Luciadag) 

A sight for sore eyes: St. Lucy's Day procession arranged by TAAGEKAMMERET. Photo: Anders Trærup

  • To mark the death of the Italian saint St. Lucy, the majority of schools and upper secondary schools have a St. Lucy's Day procession. The participants in the procession are dressed in white and all carry candles. At the front is the St. Lucy’s Day bride with a wreath of candles on her head. There is also a St. Lucy's Day procession at Aarhus University, but it’s more untraditional. It is organised by the TAAGEKAMMERET party committee. Both women and men take part in the procession, the wreath of candles is constructed using an old scooter helmet, and considerable quantities of alcohol are consumed along the way. You can see photos here, accompanied by Danish text.

Mid-December: Holiday farewell for all international students

15 December: Third Sunday of Advent

22 December: Fourth Sunday of Advent

24 December: Christmas Eve

25 December: Christmas  Day

26 December: Boxing  Day

31 December: New Year's Eve Most offices are closed and stores close early.


15 January: The application system to apply for AU Summer University 2020 opens.

  • Deadline April 1.

Translated by Lenore Messick