Denmark is a country of contrasts that scores both top and bottom-positions in expat surveys.
Recently, Oxford Research’s Expat Study 2014 found that arriving in Denmark is considered smooth. It’s easier nowadays to get off to a good start compared to just a few years ago thanks to less red tape and smoother procedures.
I attended the launch of the study as one of 170 company representatives, and the general opinion was that, as well as improved public service, companies also put a lot of effort into welcoming international employees.
So arriving is easy, but what about living and working here? Studies have shown that the vast majority of international employees and their families are pleased with their stay. But the latest InterNations study of Top Expat Destinations 2014 placed Denmark 32nd out of 61, which isn’t exactly flattering.
When it comes to questions regarding Denmark’s work-life balance, family life and the cost of childcare and education, it is in the top three. But it is close to the bottom concerning friendliness, language and finding friends.
I often get asked why I’m still living in Denmark. My best explanation is that priorities are different here – especially when it comes to work-life balance. Danish companies are innovative and productive despite intentionally leaving room for family and spare-time activities. Moreover, people are down-to-earth without frills and facades – what you see is what you get.
Moving on up
In my opinion, one of the major challenges is telling the world what working and living here is like. That is also why I am excited that International Community is part of the nationwide initiative: Talent Attraction Denmark.
The materials in the initiative’s online ‘toolbox’ – especially the personal testimonials from internationals (including Princess Marie of Denmark) – show that many internationals are happy here, both professionally and socially.
I hope to see Denmark in the top ten of the InterNations Top Expat Destinations 2020.