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Living and working in Denmark (Copenhagen)

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Tangfastic, May 20, 2009.

  1. Tangfastic

    Tangfastic Senior member

    Messages:
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    Sep 3, 2007
    Location:
    Bristol
    A friend has recently forwarded me a job advert for archaeological work in Copenhagen. Apparently there is 4-6 years work on the construction of a new line on their underground system.

    Having recently done a little fieldwork on secondment and realised it is by far the most enjoyable way I can think of to earn a living, I'm very tempted to apply.

    I'd love to hear anyone's experiences of Denmark (as a native or ex-pat).

    I'm specifically interested in pay rates - the advert says in line with ny lon, which from my best efforts at google searching and translating seems to be a government pay band scheme. It seems the wages in Denmark are relatively high - circa £25k per annum for a trainee over the age of 25. I may have got this completely wrong. My research has also given me the impression I could rent a flat in Copenhagen for circa £700 a month. If this is true, I can see a move being financially viable. I am aware of the 40 - 50 % tax rate and high cost of food, but it still seems I could be affordably living in a great city doing a job I love.

    On the downside I would be giving up a safe job with a great pension in the UK. I suppose I'd be eligible for a Danish pension, though have no clue how that would work.

    I also speak no Danish. The job advert was in English and didn't state the need for Danish suggesting that this would not be a problem - certainly the majority of the tasks of the field archaeologist could be carried out with a limited technical vocabulary. However I have also read that Danish is essential for most skilled / professional jobs in Denmark.

    Any advice gratefully received!
     
  2. The Swede

    The Swede Senior member

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    Stockholm
    Almost everyone, especially in academic settings, speaks English. Danish is a horrible language that no one should be forced to learn.
     
  3. MLIW

    MLIW Senior member

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    UK
    You should do it, the CV/Resume points for this kind of thing are incredible
     
  4. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Senior member

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    The Capital
    You should do it just for the adventure. If I had an opportunity like that right now, I would take it.

    b
     
  5. rkw5000

    rkw5000 Senior member

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    Vancouver
    I spent six months in Copenhagen on a University transfer in 1989. Even if I tried speaking the six words of Danish I learned, everyone responded in English. I think they appreciated the attempt at Danish but you will have no problems as a unilingual anglophone. Great city.
     
  6. Davidko19

    Davidko19 Senior member

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    I only visited copenhagen for a few days a couple years back, but it is a lovely little city. High standard of living, very cosmopolitan. The true capital of scandanavia. If given the opportunity to move there I would.
     
  7. misterbear

    misterbear Active Member

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    Go for it. I only spent a week or so there (commuting between Copenhagen and Malmo, Sweden) on a business trip, but thought it was a great place to live: high living standards, clean, metropolitan, but with much less crowds and hustle and bustle than say NY. Quite a few people who work in Copenhagen take the ~30 min commute from Malmo over the Oresund Bridge because it's cheaper to live in Sweden (or rather outside of Copenhagen, which is the 7th most expensive city in the world to live in. See link below.) So you could live in Sweden and work in Denmark, getting the best of both worlds. I'm sure the Swede could comment more on this.

    http://lbstadler.wordpress.com/2008/...t-design-city/
     
  8. Tangfastic

    Tangfastic Senior member

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    Thanks everyone - I've e-mailed the employer with some more specific questions. The more I read about Denmark and Copenhagen the better it sounds. If the pay and conditions are reasonable I'll be applying.
     
  9. JacobJacob

    JacobJacob Senior member

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    Mar 16, 2009
    Keep in mind you pay high taxes in Denmark. On the other side, free health care and such is the benefit. Also remember to answer with a "yes" when people ask if ypu like the danish pastry ans such..

    Beside this, Copenhagen is a great city with big ambitions. Everybody in Denmark speaks relative good or excellent English and are not afraid to do so. Some say it might be a bit difficult tot get a social network up and going - this is something you might have to work a bot for..

    But all in all: GO!

    You might get home with a binch of cheap but still top$ scandinavian design.
     
  10. J.N.

    J.N. Member

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    May 5, 2009
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    I think you should go for it. We could use some bright minds here!

    Danish is a horrible language that no one should be forced to learn.

    ..said the swede.[​IMG]
     
  11. oneeightyseven

    oneeightyseven Senior member

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    become a member of the Hells Angels!!!![​IMG]
     
  12. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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    I'M IN MIAMI, BITCH
    Out of curiosity, how expensive is living in Denmark?
     
  13. J.N.

    J.N. Member

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    Copenhagen
  14. coldarchon

    coldarchon Senior member

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    Almost everyone, especially in academic settings, speaks English. Danish is a horrible language that no one should be forced to learn.

    and english isn't?
     
  15. mas_cerveza

    mas_cerveza Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    New York City
    I visited Denmark and Sweden a couple of weeks ago and I loved it. I stayed at one of my friend's house and he lives in the suburbs of Copenhagen but I had no problem commuting into the city. The trains and metro there are clean and efficient but can be costly. The suburbs are actually pretty comfortable and quiet depending where you are.

    The only problem I had was the cost of things there from food to clothes. As a high school student with no job, I was watching where my money was being spent. However, as other people have suggested, Sweden is comparably less expensive than Denmark and is a train/car ride away if you plan on living there and working in Copenhagen.

    The only thing I really have to warn/address you about is the Danish mentality. The formalities present in the US don't really exist in Denmark so don't take anything too personal, especially if they blurt out their opinions. Nonetheless, you start to love their culture once you get used to it, especially the coziness of everything and their humor. I have absolutely nothing against them, it's just that they have a different culture.. I guess something you'll run into pretty much anywhere you go.

    If you do go, have a great time and drink lots of Tuborg!
    Jeg elsker Danmark!


    Almost everyone, especially in academic settings, speaks English. Danish is a horrible language that no one should be forced to learn.

    I think Danish is hot language.
     
  16. The Swede

    The Swede Senior member

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    Stockholm
    Swedish and Danish are closely related in a very strange way. They understand perfectly what we say but to us their strange guttural gargling is incomprehensible. This leads to the common phenomenon of us trying the speak English with them and them answering in Danish to us.

    Norwegian is easier to understand, provided they speak the one of their two languages which is not crazy sounding.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_language
     
  17. mgz

    mgz Senior member

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    Norway
    The norwegian language you're referring to isn't a spoken language, it's written. What we speak are dialects. So there.
     
  18. The Swede

    The Swede Senior member

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    I know, but they are still difficult to understand. I have always wondered though: Norwegians understand Swedish better than we understand Norwegian. The same goes for Danes. But how well do Danes and Norwegians understand each other?
     
  19. mgz

    mgz Senior member

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    Norway
    I understand written danish perfectly, and spoken only if they speak VERY slow. The other way around with swedish. Dunno what it's like for danes.

    Btw, Copenhagen is a sweet city. OP should go.
     
  20. misterbear

    misterbear Active Member

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    Jan 19, 2008
    Swedish and Danish are closely related in a very strange way. They understand perfectly what we say but to us their strange guttural gargling is incomprehensible.

    As an American with no prior knowledge of either language, Swedish was definitely more intuitive to me than Danish - the words SOUND like what they LOOK like. Danish, on the other hand, seems to have a lot of silent consonants or something ... when I was asking for directions to the my company's engineering R&D office in Copenhagen at the Hertz office in Kastrup Airport, I was like "Um, excuse me, but how does THIS correspond to aroowowwowoewewewow. Could I have a GPS unit?" "Uh, we're out." Great.

    Needless to say, after missing an exit, I found myself taking a stochastic drive all around Copenhagen for a couple of hours. One of the gas station attendants that I queried pointed me in the wrong direction - ironically, it was the guy who spoke excellent English. The attendant at the Shell Station with a shaky command of English gave me better directions by wildly gesticulating and making clicking and popping noises with her mouth. I'm pretty sure she was just adding sound effects to help illustrate her directions and wasn't speaking Danish to me. Pretty sure.

    I really liked Copenhagen though - the city, the people, the overall vibe. You Danes seem to have the largest concentration of TALL hot girls in the world. I kind of felt short over there at 6ft/183cm.
     

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