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What do expats find most challenging?

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We asked expats and digital nomads what they find the most challenging about the local culture in Denmark. They wrote...

"The language. The politeness of Danes which can sometimes be mistaken for them wanting to be friends with you. Don't assume that. A girl friend told me she had a lovely dinner with a group of people when she arrived, hit it off with one girl there and when the night ended, asked this Danish girl if she'd like to get together for coffee sometime. The Dane actually responded something to the effect of "you're being a bit needy and I have enough friends". It took everything for my girl friend not to burst into tears. Danish men are great. Danish women put up HUGE walls. Don't expect ANYONE to speak in English at a dinner party. They have never been taught that it is amazingly rude to speak in Danish and cut off a guest for hours and hours. I have spent many a night out in silence because unless you keep talking, they'll flip right back to Danish. I know many others who've experience this. I finally told my husband (who did try to get English going) that unless he did something, I wasn't going to these dinners (sometimes 8 hours at a table!) anymore," mentioned another expat when asked about moving to Aarhus, Denmark.

"Expats in Denmark often find the local culture to be quite different from what they are used to. The language barrier can be a challenge, as Danish is the official language and English is not widely spoken. Additionally, the Danish culture is known for its emphasis on personal space and privacy, which can be difficult for expats to adjust to. Furthermore, the Danish work culture is quite different from other countries, with a focus on work-life balance and a strong emphasis on punctuality. Finally, the cost of living in Denmark is quite high, making it difficult for expats to adjust to the local lifestyle," commented one expat who made the move to Denmark.

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Other Questions:

What do expats find most challenging?

If you live in Denmark, newcomers to Denmark would love to hear your answer to this question.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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