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An Expat Talks about Moving to Copenhagen , Denmark

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

Copenhagen

Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

1. Lots of thermal wear:

Unless you are from a polar like region of the States its can be extremely cold in Denmark. The natives may look at you and say, "hey its not cold" I just put my frosty hand on them and they quiet up.

2. Clothes in my (plus) size:

This is a major problem is Denmark. I'm not sure if it's movement to keep people thin by not having real plus size clothes available or if it's just that Danes are not often BBWs or BHMs. I'd like to believe its just a untapped market that someone really needs to work on. So if you are a size US size 26 and up bring as much as you can in clothing or be ready to learn how to sew/crochet/knit (something a lot of ladies in Denmark do anyway).

3. Mental compacity to say no to pasteries!

I know it sounds like i am making fun but in Copenhagen alone i have noticed there seems to be at least one bakery in every city block (if not on every corner). I often wondered how the population here stays so fit and the answer seems to be the natural tendency of most to bike around. At least thats my logic.

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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?

I have to agree with the advice given by someone else in that you really want to learn the language. They will say it a million times "oh everyone in Copenhagen speaks English" but they dont. They say well everyone under 50 speaks it. Again wrong. The other matter is Danes are very touchy about foreigners not speaking Danish because of all the refugees/immigrants who live here and who dont know Danish after several years of being here.

So it is best to try to learn what you can at least some of the basic phrases. Berlitz has a great phrase book that is really helpful (and i only say that cause even my Danish teacher here thought it was great for english speakers when i showed it to her), but also try getting a self-learner tape or two (which is hard to find cause Danish is not a widely spoken language). But most of all get a phrasebook, sign up for some danish classes here in Copenhagen (can get some cheap classes if you look around) but mainly use the language. It's the hardest part to do because when you try to say things in Danish the Danes won't understand you (because they slur their pronouciations so that even they dont speak correct Danish) and they might not make an effort to understand but for your own good in the long run, keep at it!

What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?

My boyfriend who i stay with lives in a share-housing building. Seems it is very rare these days in Denmark/Copenhagen. I guess in the states it would be cooperative living as best translated. People in the building own the building and put in for the up keep of the building. They have a committee that meets about building issues and also meetings where all people of the building come. Here they pay for their shard in the building and from that have a right to live in the building. But they have the flexiblity to change their own living space as if they owned their apartment solely but at a lesser cost as if renting.

I dont know why its rare but i would guess it has something to do with the ability to cooperate with others. I think for a lot of people it would just be easier to own it alone and deal with all the issues solely or rent and let someone else deal with the issues.

Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

It's really hard to say. I honestly find it hard to compare prices here and back in the states because you have the exchange rate which makes things seem a lot more here then there when at times its not. But I have heard people say 5k-6k for a rented apartment is on average in Copenhagen. Back home in DC depending where you live that could be cheap or expensive. My area in DC is poorer so we might pay 600 for an apartment. At times we have rented for as little as 475 so Copenhagen is expensive but on averaged compared to Washington, DC its probably cheaper.

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Moving to Copenhagen

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.

Living in Copenhagen

An expat living in Copenhagen offers an incredible glimpse of what it's to live there. Although Denmark is very homogeneous, Danish people are open to other cultures. The high cost of living and tight job market can make staying in Copenhagen long-term difficult for many expats.

Culture Shock in Copenhagen

An expat in Denmark talks about what it's like to move to Copenhagen. Meeting people and making friends isn't easy in Denmark, because Danish people are reserved and take time to get to know. He enjoys the fact that most Danish people are into fitness and healthy eating.

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Moving to Copenhagen

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.

Living in Copenhagen

An expat living in Copenhagen offers an incredible glimpse of what it's to live there. Although Denmark is very homogeneous, Danish people are open to other cultures. The high cost of living and tight job market can make staying in Copenhagen long-term difficult for many expats.

Culture Shock in Copenhagen

An expat in Denmark talks about what it's like to move to Copenhagen. Meeting people and making friends isn't easy in Denmark, because Danish people are reserved and take time to get to know. He enjoys the fact that most Danish people are into fitness and healthy eating.

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