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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Copenhagen, Denmark

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What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?


Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?


Moving to Denmark soon?

If you moving to Denmark and are interested in expat health insurance, take a minute to get a quote from AXA's Global Healthcare team.

If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?

Not yet, There were no opportunities to learn Danish where I lived.

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?

Not really, I thought I was an experienced expat

How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

Cried much more and was more stressed by this move compared to others.

Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?

I am in the rejection of culture phase -- I am past anger and irritation.

What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

Depression, frustration and yes definitely homesickness!

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

The transport system

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Rules that have been put in place to limit and frustrate foreigners irrespective of what kind --- i.e. even if you are hosted by Denmark at their invitation they treat you as if you should be grateful and tax you mercilessly so you leave quickly. Worse, the beaurocrats don't take questions or queries -- however polite you are!

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!


Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

Don't believe everything you read and hear about a country, it's never enough to prepare you for the reality!

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Expect to live in an apartment and not a home unless you have a very large budget for housing expenses. CIS and Rygaards are the only international schools I would recommend in any way. When setting a budget, double or triple it. And, lastly, rent through a rent manager and NOT directly with a home owner.

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Comments about this Report

Sep 1, 2010 13:28

Sounds (reads) like the bloom is OFF the rose for most destinations-I suppose high minded nationalism is in place for most of the locations reviewed here to resist immigration?

May 16, 2012 09:42

hi. I have just read about your culture shock, i am a dane, have been back, nearly 10 years now, and yes you are right thet tax you heavily, and you should be gratefull to be here. They treat you like s... here and I say that as a dane, I will be leaving dk this year for good, and never to return, perhaps only when we have sold the house here. Our neigbour ones said to us, you are welcome in dk, but only if you have a return ticket!! and I think he is right, sadly. all the best for the future

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