Everybody who has spent time in a different country knows that expat life is not quite like anything else in the world. The confusion of the first few days and weeks, the slow, but steady process of acclimation, the little peculiarities and quirks that might strike you about your new surroundings: almost any situation you encounter can make for a great story. If you are so inclined and want to blog about it, of course!
Our InterNations recommended blog section features talented expat bloggers from around the world. Their offerings to the blogosphere have been selected for their great entries and high quality, whether they may be funny, informative, interesting, deeply personal or a combination of all of the above.
Let’s hear from our featured bloggers in Denmark:
It’s not easy being a foreigner in Denmark. Danes are notoriously private and not trusting of outsiders. You will need to make the first step, don’t wait for people to ask you into their group, you will be waiting a long time. Drink beer, it will help break down social barriers with Danes. Learn to appreciate irony and don’t get offended when people are abrupt (Americans find this challenging I think).
If I changed anything about my process for coming to Denmark: (two backpacks, one pocket dictionary, no clue), I would never have become the person I am or had the opportunities I have had.
Be an extrovert, but do it humbly. The Danes are a reserved people, and they are put off by people who boast. As an American, these Danish traits can be a bit frustrating and confusing. But if you take the time to be self-aware, you’ll do just fine.
Of course I was not prepared at all I just bought a ticket and came without any clue about anything. Even though if someone would said that it is so extremely hard to find a place to live I would think “it cannot be so hard as they say that doesn’t make any sense and I will figure out everything when I am there”. And I am really grateful for people which I know that let me to stay with them for a longer time than I expected because it was really hard to find where to live.
Everything is different, food, language, climate, midnight sun in the summer and cold dark winters, I’m not yet fully adapted to it, their culture of drinking (incredible, it can go on for a week!) and suicide find it shocking! Otherwise, greenlandics are very, very warm and friendly people i have met.
The area of the U.S. where I grew up had a strong Scandinavian, German and Polish population, so moving to Denmark wasn’t that big of a culture shock. For me, the biggest change was the way this country substitutes co-operation for competitiveness.
The only real difference is that you’re doing it in a foreign country, which makes everything a bit more of a challenge. I’ll never get used to the 18 hours of darkness we have in midwinter or the 18 hours of daylight we have in the summer, the cost of living, the lack of diversity and choice, the taxes, etc. But I don’t consider that culture shock, just personal preference.