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anyone living in Denmark???

(20 Posts)
Shakshuka Sat 21-Nov-15 01:51:17

Considering a possible move...

Want2bSupermum Wed 02-Dec-15 17:08:30

I don't live in Denmark but DH is Danish and from Jutland, about an hour from Aarhus. Where are you looking to relocate to and what are your concerns? I can ask DH questions for you as there are only a few Danes on MN.

Shakshuka Wed 02-Dec-15 20:26:11

To Copenhagen.

Just know nothing about Denmark, I've never even visited!

redexpat Thu 03-Dec-15 11:21:35

There was one of these threads a couple of years ago. It was split in 2, with those of us who live here saying dont come unless you have a job, those who dont live here were saying go for it.

I live in Jutland. Dont come unless you have a job offer.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 03-Dec-15 11:33:15

Why would anyone move somewhere randomly without a job confused (barring running away from crazies grin)

redexpat Thu 03-Dec-15 14:50:34

Well as I recall she wanted a better work life balance. Lots of well meaning mners were encouraging her to go for it, because even though she couldnt speak the language they were sure she would be able to find something once she got here. hmm

redexpat Thu 03-Dec-15 14:52:04

I should also say once you have a job, it is pretty wonderful.

Want2bSupermum Thu 03-Dec-15 15:00:11

I remember that thread. DH will be the first to tell you that you must learn some Danish. I will confirm that it's hard in Jutland with the language. If you don't speak fluent Danish they are nasty to you. If you speak english they are nice to your face and then switch to Danish at the first chance cutting you out of the conversation.

I have also found Danes to be incredibly intolerant. If you are not white I would think twice before moving there if you have children. As adults they won't be so mean to your face but the kids will be. I'm shocked by what I have seen.

Having said that Copenhagen is different to Jutland in the same way london is different to the rest of the UK. It is a cosmopolitan city which is lovely if you have oodles of money. Housing is expensive and the taxes, although high, do provide good services. Education is good and privat schools are subsidized so are very affordable. Having a car is extremely expensive. If in Copenhagen try to go without!

Want2bSupermum Thu 03-Dec-15 15:02:00

I echo the advice about having a job. DH said the same thing. It doesn't matter what you do but you must work. Everyone works, albeit very often much shorter hours if the mother, and if you don't they assume you are lazy.

Shakshuka Thu 03-Dec-15 16:14:27

No, I'd be moving for a job! It's an international organization which operates in English and also provides education allowance so the kids (at least older two- aged 9 and 12) will go to an international school. I guess we'll be in a bit of an English-speaking expat bubble which might soften the famous Danish standoffishness until we get settled and get to know people better.

Dh will be more of a problem as he'll want to work but none of us speak a word of Danish. The plan would be for him to keep himself busy with writing a PhD, voluntary work, kids and learning Danish until something comes up if we make the move. We figure that in the worst case he could work a couple of days a week in the UK as flights are very cheap.

Want2bSupermum Thu 03-Dec-15 16:21:51

If we were to move to denmark I would be working in the UK Monday-Thursday. There are so many flights to London and other cities that are very cheap if you book ahead of time.

Want2bSupermum Thu 03-Dec-15 16:22:44

Also with what you are describing I think that is the ideal set up. Just make sure you have enough for housing. Copenhagen is not cheap.

Shakshuka Thu 03-Dec-15 16:22:53

Good to know it's not a crazy idea (although a bit guilty about carbon footprint for considering it!)

Shakshuka Thu 03-Dec-15 16:24:47

I've been looking at housing websites. We figured we can budget about 25,000 krone and there are nice houses for that money. It's a bargain after NYC smile

Want2bSupermum Thu 03-Dec-15 16:28:38

Haha! We are in Northern NJ, Hoboken to be precise.

Check the location of those places. It's on the cheap side so would be worried about the area. There should be someone from the Copenhagen office you can give you the DL on areas in the same way that one of us could about NyC.

Shakshuka Thu 03-Dec-15 16:33:57

I was looking in Hellerup, Gentofte and Charlottelund areas which are close to the international schools and are supposed to be nice and fairly central suburbs. If I get the final offer (we're still in limbo at the moment) then I'd reseach more closely. For now, we're just trying to figure out the bigger picture and if we want to do it or not.

Want2bSupermum Thu 03-Dec-15 17:01:37

As it is Copenhagen and your DH can commute to the UK for work I think this is very doable and there is always the benefit of you being closer to the UK for cheaper trips home.

Since you don't have an executed contract see what you can get in terms of help with your taxes and expenses for your DH as the flights, while cheap, do add up when doing it weekly plus he will have the expense of a pied a terre in the UK. Your DH might have an issue with paying taxes in Denmark. It isn't easy to figure it out and you need professional help, ideally a big 4 firm who have lots of experience of this.

glacierchick Thu 03-Dec-15 17:22:13

I'm in Copenhagen - and I love it! Would find it hard to move back to UK now to be honest (been here 8 years).

1. Regarding your queries: yes housing is expensive but you could get a very nice apartment in an expensive part of CPH for your budget, or a house with garden further away (but still well within commuting time
2. Car - I wouldn't bother, I haven't had one the entire time I've lived here + I have 2 small DCs who bike to nursery/school. If you live in CPH it's completely unnecessary. We are members of a car share ( which is pretty convenient for those moments you really need to drive somewhere. But do bear that in mind when choosing where you want to live
3. Jobs: We moved with DH's job but I got one fairly quickly - it sounds like your DH is in research, in which case the language isn't really a problem at all. The science community here is very international.
4: Language: The kommune usually offers cheap language classes to EU citizens and as long as you make at least a minimal effort to say a few words, most people are happy to speak english. That is a little different outside Copenhagen though.
5: There is an active and very friendly expat community here. Expect a bit of culture shock and the usual expat whinging (I'm sorry to say), but once you get used to the Danish way of doing things, you will find it hard to live elsewhere. It's an amazingly efficient country and the people are genuinely lovely. The reputation for standoffishness is I think simply a different style, that is often misinterpreted.
6. Taxes. Yes you're going to pay a lot. But you get a hell of a lot back in return. The quality of life is very high and it is very easy to live here as a family, I have not bothered putting my kids in the (uber expensive) international school. The danish education system is excellent and as they were born here they have no problem with language. That would be somethign that you may have to weigh up though depending on how long you think you'll be here. Be warned though. We came for 3 years and now own a house here!

Hope this helps!

Good luck...

Shakshuka Fri 04-Dec-15 15:15:27

Thank you Glacierchick, that's very helpful.

We'll definitely put the older two in an international school but we have a toddler as well and the Danish system could be an option for her.

No idea how long we'll stay, it all depends on the job and how much we like it there.

glacierchick Fri 04-Dec-15 17:21:35

The International school is in Hellerup, but it will move to Nordhavn soon I believe (not far from Hellerup!), but it's close to the s-train station so even though we live on the other side of town it's quite possible to send kids there if necessary.

The danish kindergarten (børnehave) is highly subsidised and it's a great way for children to learn the language, we pay about DKK2700 per month I think, but it does vary a bit depending on if there are meals provided and which kommune you are living in.
You could consider the forest kindergarten, (skovbørnehave) which is awesome! They get on a bus and drive to the forest, run around outside all day (but they have a kind of workshop for craft activities if the weather is truly awful) then the children sleep on the bus all the way home again...

And should you plan more children don't forget the very generous parental leave options... ;)

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