The fight to make internationals feel more welcome in Denmark starts here – The Post

The fight to make internationals feel more welcome in Denmark starts here

On Saturday, International House Copenhagen will host its biggest ever event. International Citizens Day at DGI-Byen will include 76 stalls providing information and advice on a whole range of issues, including housing, careers, taxes, education and leisure opportunities

Make sure you don’t miss International House Copenhagen’s biggest ever event (photo: Hasse Ferrold)
September 19th, 2019 1:40 pm| by Ben Hamilton

In 2018, there were a total of 190,000 foreigners working full-time in Denmark, of whom 43,000 were employed in Copenhagen and a further 49,000 in the Capital Region, according to International House Copenhagen (IHC).

Various expat groups and media such as CPH POST do their best to make the internationals feel welcome, and at IHC, which opened in late 2013, they have a home to call their own where they can take care of all their CPR concerns and other logistical matters, attend events that aim to broaden their horizons, and network.

But sometimes it can be difficult to attend five to ten events every year to advance your understanding of how Denmark works in regards to housing, careers, taxes, education, sports and hobby clubs, and other leisure activities.

Accordingly, IHC has decided to incorporate everything into its biggest ever event, International Citizens Day: a one-stop window of opportunity that will seek to answer every question an international might have about living, working, studying and parenting in Denmark.

A good welcome is everything
“A good welcome should make international talents stay longer in Greater Copenhagen,” contends Nina Skyhøj Olsen, one of the organisers of the event, which will take place at DGI-Byen on Saturday September 21, starting at 10 in the morning.

IHC is expecting a big turnout, possibly as many as 1,500, so it is good to know it will be spread over five hours and staged in the huge main hall at the Vesterbro sports centre, which is handily located just 100 metres from Copenhagen Central Station.

Experts will be at hand to lend their advice on some of the aforementioned issues, and along with the usual suspects of sports and hobby clubs among the 76 stalls present, there will be a few less predictable ones exploring a wide range of subjects particular to Denmark, including traditions, workplace culture and bicycle culture.

An introduction to Denmark
Above everything, IHC wants internationals to feel welcome, both at the event and in general, because their highly sought-after work skills enable Danish business to stay globally competitive.

In short, once recruited, it is important to retain them, as over half of all the highly-skilled foreigners working in Denmark tend to leave within five years of their recruitment.

“It is positive that foreigners choose to study and work in Copenhagen and the metropolitan area, but we would like them to stay here for a longer period,” explains Franciska Rosenkilde, the city’s deputy mayor for culture and leisure.

“It can be difficult to make a living in a foreign country, and so we want to provide a warm welcome and an introduction to Danish traditions, working life and association life.”

Register for the event here.