Moving to Denmark for work has many positive and a few negative sides. Here are some facts to help you decide!
The decision to travel the world seeking a better life has been a part of our human existence since the dawn of mankind.
Although the process in today's advanced society is relatively straightforward, the decision has never been easy, nor still is.
For the adventurous and ambitious folk who are willing to explore different cultures, scenery and boost their careers while meeting new people, moving to Denmark may be a dream come true.
If you get off the plane during late autumn or winter, experiencing a cultural shock shouldn’t worry you. Typically, most affected are the people who come from sunny Mediterranean places. From November to March, the days are short, and not many of them are bright or without rain. It is winter in Denmark: mildly cold, wet, and overcast.
Come spring and summer, people start moving around riding their bicycles, the abundance of greenery starts shining in the sun, and the whole atmosphere changes. The river canals separating city banks and the beaches encircling the islands are full of people enjoying outdoor activities.
Denmark's flat landscape is checkered with green and brown, cultivated fields contributing to the serene ambiance of the whole country.
Being an old nation founded in 958 by King Harald "Bluetooth" Gormsson, who united the rebellious Nordic (Viking) tribes into a monarchy that lasts to this day, sightseeing historic locations while having lunch in authentic, centuries-old taverns is a real treat.
Denmark has a modern, high-functioning society continuously ranked among the world's healthiest, wealthiest, and happiest people.
Out of nearly 6 million Danes, almost 14% are migrants of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
Although friendly and kind when you get to know them, Danes are initially reserved towards strangers. Chatting to people while in a queue or on a train to introduce yourself and make acquaintances might be the wrong strategy. However, there will be many other opportunities and organised events to do so, such as taking on a hobby, course, or a group activity.
During the cold autumn and winter months, people will often talk about how 'hyggeligt' it will be to get together or how 'hyggelig' that get-together was. ‘Hygge’ /h(j)uːgə/ is a Danish way of life. It represents being in a cozy, comfortable atmosphere at home, wrapped up in blankets, having your favourite drinks in a candlelit room. Of course, liquorice is a must. Some speculate that the general mood of relaxation and contentment is one of the secrets of Danish happiness.
Putting in the effort to learn Danish is crucial for a successful integration and career boost. Although over 90% of the Danes are proficient in English and will accommodate you, they will be more open to befriending foreigners who attempt to learn their language. As I'm sure, we all would.
Denmark is a welfare state dedicated to the protection of workers' rights. The principles of equal opportunity, social and economic well-being, as well as equitable distribution of the wealth extend to all EU citizens living and working in Denmark.
Denmark is also a country with a high standard of living where food and utility costs are some of the highest in Europe.
In general, Denmark has a high taxation rate. However, when you consider all the healthcare benefits, education and Government support included in the tax, it's a bargain!
Even though Denmark has no minimum wage legislation, it still has the world's highest minimum wage, which is attributed to the power of the trade unions. This means that if a worker in Denmark has the same job as a worker in any other EU country or the USA, while the same international company employs both, the Danish worker is paid more than double than their counterparts anywhere else in the world. As the employee's qualifications and expertise increase, the salary difference can get even higher.
Working in the healthcare sector in Denmark is a reliable job that is compensated to ensure you and your family can live a quality life in Denmark. For example, the salary of anesthesiologists and the salary for radiology specialists starts at a minimum of €100k per year!
According to 2020 statistics, Denmark has a crime rate of 0.8%, making it one of the safest countries in the world. The corruption rate isn't even worth mentioning.
As a nation with a highly developed ecology awareness, its Government works hard on preserving and protecting the environment. In 2020, they stopped issuing oil and gas extraction licenses and invested in a wind-powered energy grid.
The public transport infrastructure is continuously being modernised with rapid transit systems. Cycling is encouraged by paving dedicated traffic lanes and signalisation throughout the country.
Healthcare and education are available to all Danes and EU citizens - all is included in the tax, thus university education or healthcare is free of charge upon using the services.
Government-subsidised childcare facilities are available for families with children where both parents work outside of the home.
Alternatively, you can opt for professional childcare. Depending on where you live, it could vary between 300-500 euros per month. Although, depending on the number of kids, you can lower the price. The teachers are trained professionals that highlight integration, social rules, and teaching Danish to the kids from an early age.
Like any other place in the world, Denmark has its advantages and disadvantages.
Regardless of the high prices and taxation, Danes enjoy financial stability, advocate for healthy work-life balance with a 37.5-hour workweek, a supportive system behind them, and a clean environment to live in.
Admittedly, many people find Denmark the perfect place for their careers and family, while others cannot get past their gripes. Ultimately, it all comes down to personality.
We hopefully managed to paint a picture of Denmark, albeit in rather broad brush strokes.
Remember, Denmark is a beautiful place, a safe and prosperous country to live in - if you decide to give it a try.