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What is the Life in Denmark Like?

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We think that the life in Denmark is “just like this”, but in reality, the truth is different.

Mentioning the Scandinavian countries and in particular Denmark, the words “high standard”, “expensive”, “cold”, “unreachable”, “impossible” immediately come to mind… When we think about the Danes – “cold people”, “conservative”, ” non-communicative “…

Are all these associations a reflection of the reality? The mass media can make and spread various images, stereotypes and prejudices. Most people do not have the opportunity to check personally whether what they have read is the truth. In fact, the real picture is quite different from what we are presented with.

The 12+ years we have spent in different cities in Denmark, our life experience and contact not only with Danes, but also with Swedes and Norwegians, gives us the opportunity to break some of the misconceptions that exist, which we continue to hear from potential students, who want to study in Denmark and their parents.

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1. The Life in Denmark is expensive! – The high life standard (high salaries of the Danes) makes the transition to Denmark from poorer countries difficult! It is true that this requires an initial investment to allow the foreigner to settle in the country. Food prices are very similar to those in Bulgaria, for instance. On the other hand, some goods are much cheaper in Denmark! If you start working in Denmark, in fact, you will be able to afford absolutely everything you need! A lot more than what you would have had in Bulgaria, for instance. The main difference the foreigners feel is due to the monthly rent, as usually they own their apartment/house back home. This will be your biggest expense in Denmark. However, in Denmark you will have no expenses for education or healthcare, and along with these things comes a high salary, supplements, discounts, pension insurance, peace of mind, stability, security, 13 month salary and a well-paid vaccation!

2. It is very cold in Denmark and it is constantly raining! Nonsense! The coldest month is January, with an average temperature of 0°C, and the warmest is July – 17.8°C. August is the most favorable month if going to the beach, as the water temperature reaches 18°C – 20°C. Wherever you are in Denmark, you will not be more than 52 km from the beach. The Danish coast itself is a long sandy beach. Denmark’s beaches are often considered one of the best in Europe! The climate in Denmark is much more favorable than in England or the Netherlands, where the sky is gray and it rains on a daily basis! The real problem here is the wind – be sure to get a scarf and gloves! As for the rain, it rains a little more than what we are used to in Bulgaria. “I’m still surprised how milder the winter is compared to Bulgaria. Somehow, when you think of a Scandinavian country, you don’t expect you will lack snow for a proper snowmen all winter long! And honestly, the weather is not so bad as you might have heard.”

3. The Danes are boring, cold and distant! – The Danes can be very different from one another! A lot depends on the group/groups you will come across. “I know great people of both sexes, I have Danish girls and guys friends, they are educated, kind, curious people, who also ask about Bulgaria. They are very initiative, always offering nights out, picnics, barbecues, etc. I have heard from many Danes that they like women with our appearance and humour. However, the Bulgarians I know share that Danish women are not really interested in them, or at least a lot less. I think also speaking the language plays a big part in that.” The Danes are always ready to laugh with you! Black humor is believed to have originated in Denmark, but jokes about racism and gender discrimination may not be well received!

4. There is nothing interesting to do in Denmark! – We don’t even know which landmark to mention first or an activity you shouldn’t miss trying during your stay in Denmark! If we exclude the capital Copenhagen, where are situated the 2 oldest amusement parks in the world – Tivoli and Baken, there are places all over Denmark that deserve all your attention – LEGOLAND, Viking cemeteries, castles, beaches, skiing, surfing, climbing of towers, treasure hunts and you name it… As long as you have the desire, there is no way you will stay bored at home.

5. Without Danish you have no place in Denmark! Well, that’s not entirely true. You can live and work in Denmark without knowing Danish. Danes speak perfect English and you can find emplyment, but mostly unqualified, with an exception of the IT sphere. However, not knowing Danish will significantly limit your social contacts, as the official language in the country is Danish and all people – in the store, on the street, in the bank, etc. will expect you to speak Danish. Ask yourself what your life in your home country would have looked like if you did not speak the language?

Another myth is that “Danes speak English, so you don’t need Danish to find a qualified job”. A free tip – invest in yourself and learn Danish, while still in your home country!

6. As Denmark is a northern country, it is conservative… – Conservatism? Not here! The Danes are quite relaxed, they stick to their comfort and preferences! They don’t care much about people’s opinions, so you will often see extravagant outfits, hairstyles and all sorts of combinations. Denmark is at the forefront of the most innovative countries in the world! The economy of the country has a very small number of natural resources. This imposes a dependence on imported raw materials and foreign trade (Denmark ranks first in the world in terms of foreign trade turnover per capita). That is why it is very important for them to be creative and to discover new, modern ways of improvement.

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7. The Danish Cuisine is Tasteless! – The Danish cuisine is strongly influenced by the German and the Scandinavian culinary traditions. At the center of many local dishes are fish and seafood, pork, potatoes and other vegetables. The traditional dishes are rich in nutrients and vitamins. One of the best ways to touch the local culture is through the food that people in the country like eating. So do not be afraid to try the usual country cuisine. You will love it! It should be noted that the best restaurant in the world is located in Copenhagen – Noma! Unfortunately, if you want to visit it, you will have to book a table a few months in advance!

8. All Danes are Blond and with Blue Eyes! – Yes, quite often you will notice the lack of the pigment melanin in the Danes. However, this does not mean that there are no brunettes with dark eyes. If we can talk about a ratio, it would be 60% blond, 40% other; 50-70% blue eyes, 50-30% others. What the foreigners cannot deny is that the Danes are very beautiful – both women and men!

9. The Danes look like the Vikings in the movies! – Yes but no. If you have such expectations, you will be disappointed. Danes like to dress formally. Don’t be surprised when you see shirts, suits and elegant dresses for someone’s birthday. Every party or national holiday is an occasion for them to wear the finest clothes they have in their wardrobe and will not miss a single opportunity. Christmas, New Year, Easter and basically every other day chance without any exceptions. As for the Vikings, there are specially organized events, where you can not only watch, but also get involved in the action and taste the life and traditional activities of the Vikings – sword fighting, archery, shipping and so many other…

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