moving to Copenhagen- advice please!(7 Posts)
Is there anyone living in Copenhagen?
I got a very interesting job offer and we are considering moving with 2 small children.
How much is rent in Copenhagen? We are owning a 3 bed house and would be looking at something similar (i.e. 100m2).
Can you recommend any English nurseries/ school? We looked at the English Montessory nursery which seems good and maybe for later at Rygaards International School.
How do you like living in Copenhagen? Is it easy to make friends and feel part of the community? We are both from EU countries and really feel at home in the UK, we are part of a lovely community and I am worried of loosing that, whereas DH is really worried about Brexit. Is the social system and work life really as family friendly as it is portrayed?
Thanks for any help and personal experience!
Is it a short term contract? Itd probably be easier to settle in if you send the kids to a danish school.
no it is a permanent contract. I would prefer not to send the children to a danish school from the beginng as we already speak three different languages at home .
I’m a serial expat and recently spent 2 years living in Copenhagen, life there can be fantastic, and there are are many lovely things about living there like being able to cycle everywhere and Rygaards has the reputation of a really great school; but you do need to think carefully before you move as it is not the perfect place as one might think from all the surveys you read about where it comes out as the happiest nation iIn the world. So please be warned that the Danish income taxes are very high, as are other taxes (for example I can’t remember exact figure but cars are taxed at around 150%!) and the cost of living is VERY expensive (makes London seem cheap!) also winter is very long, very cold and extremely dark (vitamin D supplements are essential) and it can be hard to make friends with Danes, as all are superficially nice but they are not so welcoming to new arrivals in the way Brits and American are, it’s just not in their culture as they are very family focused and also value time with people they’ve known forever, since kindergarten and are less comfortable with making new friends. Finally be warned that even for skilled linguists the Danish language is not easy to learn, even with the free lessons, and without speaking Danish it can be very hard to get a job so you may need to be able to live off one salary and your partner may struggle to settle. Also if you do move don’t consider moving there without relocation support as finding somewhere to live is very tough. There are lots of expats in CPH groups on Facebook and I’d strongly recommend you post there to get some advice from people currently there to hear from them as it can be a great place to live and we enjoyed our time there but we were also very happily relieved to leave when it was our time to relocate onwards as we never felt settled there in the way we have in every other of our moves and it never felt like home for any of us. Sorry to sound so negative as I said it can be great but I would strongly recommend that you do some careful research first, especially around lifestyle, income and cost of living, before you decide if you want to move there or not.
Oh and one final thing I wish someone had told us! It is very common for expats to have to pay 6 months rent on rental properties in advance- this is typically 3 (or 4) months deposit and 3 (or 2) months rent on advance -also as a tennant be aware that when you move out you will also have to pay to the full cost to repaint all walls, ceilings, window frames etc and to resend all the woodern floors! And to pay rent while the works are carried out even though you don’t live there!
What ILove wrote about the rental properties also mean that you are likely to move into a house/flat with newly painted walls and newly varnished floors, which is really nice. All showers have good water pressure and you don't have to do the British shower dance (ouch, ouch freezing cold, ouch, ouch, burning hot)
In order to get friends join a club or take an evening course. It will have to be a club in the afternoon or evening as more that 80% of Danish women work. But there are all kinds of clubs and the University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen Business School have many courses in English. You can also volunteer at the children's nursery or girl guides or something like that. Danes invite each other home and not for get togethers at pubs or restaurants as that is really expensive. So you can ask your new acquaintance to come to your home for a cup of tea and a sandwhich/cookies. Then you'll chat and hygge. .
Christmas lunch season is just around the corner. It is called "julefrokost" and you'll be invited to one at your company. Google "survive julefrokost", there are a couple of funny articles written by anglo-saxons about the subject. One was from Oregon Times, I think.
Small warning: many companies have a weekly breakfast meeting in which you eat breakfast together in the lunch room or meeting room at work. It'll be tea, coffee, white bread, jams, cheeses and maybe even Danish pastry (called "wienerbread" in Denmark). People usually take turns bringing and buying the breakfast for everyone. These meetings are usually with a certain amount of hygge (if you are at a good company, anyway). The warning is this: it tastes good and you'll gain weight, if you are not careful.
At your birthday, you bring in treats or cake. Don't eat the cake other people bring at their birthdays if you don't want to bring cake to work at your birthday. If your birthday is in the weekend, you just bring cake on the Friday or the Monday.
Go to the Christmas fair in Tivoli. Drink glögg (mulled wine) and eat æbleskiver (the word means "sliced apples" but it is actually pancake dough that they shape to balls. You eat them with icing sugar and jam).
And yes, Denmark is really family friendly. If your kid is ill you have the right to two days of with pay. Day care is cheap. There are many playgrounds.
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