What is højskole?
The højskole of Vestjylland is a place with space to grow indoors as well as outdoors; we have room for personal as well as professional development. We are a cultural power plant, placed in the beautiful nature by the Fjord of Ringkøbing and nearby the North Sea.
Vestjyllands Højskole is a Højskole that offers non-formal adult education. Most students are between 18 and 26 years old, but we have students in their 70s. We have no academic requirements for admittance, and there are no exams, but you do receive a diploma when you leave. We are a school for adults - a school for life. We emphasize holistic, mind-broadening education, specializing in dancing, music, singing, ceramics, painting, theatre, sustainable lifestyle, and cooking.
We are the green højskole of Denmark! Our meals are 90-100% organic, we produce our own C02 neutral energy, and we have an inspiring 19 acres of land and garden. Our teachers are all active professionals who are passionate about their subjects and teaching in general. Most of our teachers are living nearby the school with their families; the school is their home, so we have a very cosy family-like atmosphere.
At Vestjyllands Højskole, you can compose your schedule from among all our subjects. You can choose to focus all your classes in one direction, such as dance, sustainability, or art. You can also choose to try many different classes.
For eksampel, start the day with theatre, make ceramics in the afternoon, and carve wood in the evening.
You choose your classes when you have arrive.
Eduarda Krázelová, 23 years old, from Nitra, Slovakia
Classes: World Dance, Ceramics, Cooking, Pastry, Choir, Danish for beginners.
How is it to be on højskole?
"I think that I have developed as a person, and I am happy about that because I think it has opened many doors for me. I find many things in my life, which was there already, but I was blind to it before. Now I can see many things happening, and I am thinking "OK, this is also me and I have to do something with this and I should try more".
I have become more confident, or at least I want to be sure, that I am doing what I want to do and not what others want. Fight for me, even though "fight" is a strong word.
Before I came here, I studied at university. After I finished a bachelor's degree in psychology, I figured out that I did not want to continue, so I did not apply for the master's degree.
In Slovakia, only a small amount of people knows about højskole. However, I read a blog by a girl in the neighbouring Czech Republic, who had gone to højskole. She was so excited about it and Denmark, so I thought: I need to do something else than university because I felt that I did not want to be a psychologist.
My favourite classes here are cooking and pastry, and I look forward to every Thursday and Friday. My dream is to have a café, where I would make the cakes. I want to create a space for people to enjoy their spare time and where they can learn something at the same time through workshops and talks. It would be something rare in my culture.
It was hard for me to have any expectations because in my country we do not know anything about "højskole", so I could not speak with anyone who could share their experience. I was a little bit afraid when we travelled here, and it was difficult for me to explain to my parents why I was going. In the end, I am happy that I made this decision, and it was one of the best decisions that I have ever made.
It might be a cliché, but we are like a family; even though it is sometimes hard to be a foreigner and to not understanding things in Danish, I feel the love from people and the contagious energy.
At Vestjyllands Højskole we focus on community. By being together, we are inspired to create a better version of ourselves and a better world for others. We are dedicated to developing our relations with ourselves and with others.
Vestjyllands Højskole is about learning something far beyond just subjects in a classroom. We believe that every single person can do more than they believe that they can. We create an environment where you can develop your professional and social skills. Our wish is to be a højskole with a wide range of subjects, where we can inspire and learn from each other about community and democracy.
Vestjyllands Højskole is a leading ecological and sustainable højskole situated in West Jutland. For us, ecology and sustainability are a natural part of our daily life. We not only talk about sustainable changes, but we make them happen! We create projects to shape a greener future here at the school as well as in the world. Every day, we feast on organic food while our wind turbine, geothermal facilities, and the solar system power our showers, lights, and heating. You can read books, knit with friends, try cultural crafts, or dance the night away—knowing that you have a minimal carbon footprint!
We offer a wide range of ecology and sustainability classes overlooking our organic garden. We seek creative ways to create a sustainable society. You will find inspiration for ecological methods in our garden. Daily life here is about putting sustainability into action in our life. Our students are always challenging us to become greener, and we provide the space, resources, and encouragement to try out new things. We are eager to hear your ideas about how we can reduce our footprint and increase our awareness.
The father of the Danish højskole, N.F.S Grundtvig, lived in an era full of change. He had a goal to educate farmers to become active participants in the new Danish democracy, and he focused on creating a whole person – a person in balance. Today, the challenges are somehow opposite. We have well-educated young citizens with no practical experience. We need to make people connect with nature and to think about the environment. We are continuously developing and teaching a sustainable lifestyle. We are a living laboratory for the sustainable society of the future.
In 2009, we were the first school in Denmark to receive the Green flag for our actions, and we can proudly say we have maintained since then! In 2008, we won the prize "Rav-Aage Prisen" from our main organic dairy provider Thise Mejeri. We are also one of the first schools in Denmark to achieve Fairtrade status. You will hear us discussing food a lot! There are many opinions on how to eat sustainably, and we welcome you to join the conversation!
We are part of international and Nordic development projects, mentor other schools, and cooperate with green associations. Our students continuously challenge the school to become even more sustainable. Students have started many sustainability projects around the school.
In the middle of nature, there is a unique place called Vestjyllands Højskole. We have a view of the fjord, and on a clear day, we can see the North Sea as well. Situated in rural western Denmark, we are 5km away from the quaint town of Ringkøbing. The nearest village is Velling 1 km away.
Nele and Albert talking about their stay
At the school, we often have volunteers in our garden. The volunteers primarily work in the garden, but they can be part of some classes, special events, and student organisations. We teach volunteers about ecological gardening--plants, biodiversity, soil enrichment and, the food system, holistic health, and permaculture. We expect the volunteers to take part in everyday school life.
Maintenance tasks depend on the time of year. Besides gardening, the volunteer can explore building and crafting techniques. While interreacting with the other students, the volunteers develop social skills and communicative competences in Danish and English.