Academic Guest House

Are you planning to study in New York for a semester or two? Then we might have the place where you can have your home base in the American city together with other Danish students.

The application round is open
from May 6 to June 10, 2024
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Outside Europe, New York is the city that receives the greatest number of Danish students. Our establishment of Academic Guest House was based on a desire to provide the best possible framework for Danish students, researchers and anyone requiring further education in a city where it is difficult to find suitable accommodations.

The Academic Guest House is located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The property is a charming townhouse on a quiet side street adjacent to Central Park. This is a central location in relatively close proximity to many of the city's educational institutions. Having several subway lines within 5 minutes' walking distance means a maximum of 30 minutes' commuting between your home and the city's most important universities and art schools.

The Guest House has room for 22 students distributed between 12 fully furnished and move-in ready apartments. During your stay, you will have excellent opportunities for entering into communities with the other occupants. Other than the private apartments, the Guest House also provides access to a meeting room, a small library and a roof terrace.

History and ownership

Academic Guest House is owned by the Bikuben Foundation's American sister foundation, Bikubenfoundation New York Inc., which was founded by the Bikuben Foundation in 2003. The 1300-m2 Manhattan property was acquired in 2005 by Bikubenfoundation New York Inc. for the purpose of establishing a hall of residence for Danish students. This hall of residence, dubbed the Academic Guest House, was inaugurated on 1 January 2008.

History and ownership

Academic Guest House is owned by the Bikuben Foundation's American sister foundation, Bikuben Foundation New York Inc, which the Bikuben Foundation established in 2003. Bikuben Foundation New York Inc. purchased the 1300 m2 property in Manhattan in 2005 with the aim of establishing a dormitory for Danish students. The dormitory was named Academic Guest House and opened on January 1, 2008.

Board of trustees
  • Søren Kaare-Andersen – Chairman
  • Niels Smedegaard – Trustee
  • Irene Krarup – Trustee
To be accepted as a resident, you must meet a number of criteria. Our selection committee decides who will be offered residency. We receive around 100 applications annually and have room for 22 residents.
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  • You can apply for admission to the Academic Guest House when you meet one of these criteria:
  • You are enrolled as a full-time student at a US educational institution in the New York area
  • You have a formal agreement for private master classes with a named academically relevant teacher
  • You have a formal agreement for an internship with an employer that has no equivalent in Denmark
  • You have a formal agreement for a full-time continuing education program

In addition, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Your study period is a minimum of one semester. Shorter study stays are never granted.
  • You must be 21 years of age at the time of moving in.
  • Your stay must be legally/content-wise eligible for a relevant valid US visa for the period applied for. You cannot stay at the Academic Guest House on a tourist visa.

In addition to the formal requirements for admission, the selection committee will also look at your motivated application and assess both your academic and social profile. To become a resident of the house, you must have a strong and well-argued plan for your course of study, and you must be able to demonstrate the particular relevance of your American study place to your Danish studies.

The majority of students admitted to the Academic Guest House are enrolled at Master's or PhD level. During the selection process, preference is generally given to students on long-term credit-bearing higher education programs. Students in the first part of their studies are only considered in exceptional cases. However, we do make some exceptions - for example, if you are enrolled in an artistic program that requires the entire program to be taken at the school in question.

It is our goal that the residents of the dormitory are composed with the greatest possible professional diversity. Therefore, the committee emphasizes that as many subjects as possible are represented - but never at the expense of professional qualifications. In addition, we want a socially well-functioning dormitory and therefore prioritize applicants who want to engage in the community and commit to actively participate in the Academic Guest House's academic program.

The selection of students for the Academic Guest House is made by a selection committee consisting of:
  • Jon Stokholm - Supreme Court judge
  • Søren Kaare-Andersen - CEO of the Bikuben Foundation
  • Bradley Abrams - Managing and academic director at AGH
  • Sanne Kofod Olsen - Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Gothenburg
  • Daniel Otzen - Professor at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO) and the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Aarhus University
What is the cost of staying in Academic Guest House?
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You don't pay actual rent. However, there are a number of costs associated with being admitted to the dormitory.

If you are admitted to the dormitory, you will have to pay a one-time administration fee of DKK 4,000. In addition, you will pay a deposit of DKK 4,000. As a rule, your deposit will be returned when you submit an evaluation report to Bikubenfoundation New York Inc. about your stay. However, if you cause damage to the inventory during your stay, we may deduct the cost from your deposit.

In addition to the administration fee and deposit, you will be required to pay various one-time fees at the beginning of your stay, totaling approximately $250, covering linen, cleaning supplies, etc. All residents of the residence hall pay the same fees, regardless of whether they are staying in the residence hall for one or two semesters.

At the Academic Guest House you do not pay actual rent, but there are utilities and tax on free housing to the US government that you must pay. The amount depends on the size of the apartment you live in. There are three types of housing: smaller shared apartments for couples, larger shared apartments for multiple students and studio apartments for individuals. Allocation of apartments only takes place after the application procedure has been completed. It is cheapest to live as a couple in a smaller shared apartment and most expensive to live in a studio apartment. In 2017, the cost of tax-free housing was between $200 and $420 (with most people paying between $270 and $330.) If you don't have a paying job while living in the dorms, you can expect to get at least 2/3 of your tax expenses back from the US IRS after moving out. Utility costs depend on the size of the apartment and are approximately $320 per month.

To be admitted to the Academic Guest House, you must be able to present a valid visa.
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You can submit your application without a final visa, but please note that our commitment to residency will never be final until you have a relevant valid visa stamped in your passport.

If you are admitted to the house and a visa is not obtained by January 15 (for spring semesters) or September 1 (for fall semesters), your place will usually be reassigned.

Your stay must be of such a legal/content nature that it triggers a relevant valid US visa for the period applied for. You cannot stay in the Academic Guest House on a tourist visa. Artists can obtain a B1/B2 visa on the basis of private master classes and be accepted into the house with it. For all other students, a full visa such as a J or F visa is required.

Frequently asked questions

When can you apply?

There is one annual main application round prior to the fall semester. This is in the middle of May/June. There is also an application round where we accept a smaller number of students prior to the spring semester. This is in October/November.

Can I apply before I have been accepted to my program?

If you have not received a final commitment from your educational institution when you apply, you will receive a conditional commitment. The commitment will lapse if you are unable to present an acceptance letter from your educational institution when you apply.

How old do you have to be to apply for admission?

You must be at least 21 years old when you apply.

Can I bring my boyfriend or spouse?

Spouses/partners can only join if they also meet the admission criteria and apply in the same way.

When will I receive a response to my application?

If you have applied for the spring semester, you can expect a response by mid-December at the latest. If you have applied for the fall semester, you will receive a response in early July. If you have not received a final commitment from the educational institution at the time of application, you will receive a conditional commitment.

What do I do if I haven't received my visa by the application deadline?

It is possible to forward visas to us after the application deadline.

PA, bestyrelsessekretær og kommunikationsmedarbejder Mette Roer Sveigaard
+45 29 92 75 25
PA, bestyrelsessekretær og kommunikationsmedarbejder Mette Roer Sveigaard
Mette is responsible for co-ordinating the work of the management and the board of directors. She is also responsible for the foundation’s work with the Academic Guest House.
Merete Dam Bredsdorff
+45 50 60 54 81
Merete Dam Bredsdorff
As the Bikuben Foundation’s office manager, Merete is responsible for planning meetings and seminars and other administrative and practical tasks. In addition, Merete assists Mette with administration of the Academic Guest House.
How to apply

AGH applications are open from May 6 - June 10, 2024 at 23:59.