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Minister took a tour of International House

Top Danish minister Margrethe Vestager impressed by the facilities at University of Copenhagen co-sponsored building

Margrethe Vestager, Minister for Economic and Interior Affairs had 24 hours as an ‘intern’ at the City of Copenhagen. She took a glimpse of the challenges met by international staff and students on their journey from rookies to full-fledged Copenhageners, as she visited International House Monday evening.

The International House is designed to help newcomers to settle smoothly by providing assistance with paperwork, housing and networking. The Minister’s day ended on the penthouse of the building, which is managed by the University of Copenhagen.

See a gallery of the building in our article covering the opening here.

This reporter knew little Danish, and didn’t quite understand the full content of the Minister’s speech, but she praised the innovative concept and sleek scandinavian and said the visit was very fruitful.

Cooking, eating, socialising

According to Vivian Tos Lindegaard, head of the International Staff Mobility (ISM) at the University of Copenhagen, “the visit confirms that talent attraction is becoming more of a priority,” says Vivian Tos Lindegaard, head of the International Staff Mobility (ISM) at the University of Copenhagen.

The number of internationals at the university has more than tripled over the last decade. Besides acting as a new citizens’ advice bureau, the International House offers a number of social and cultural events, such as crash courses on the Danish job market. The Researcher Hotel, located on the fourth floor, provides affordable short-term housing to international staff while they look for more permanent accommodation.

In the big, shiny common kitchen on the top floor, Oda-Kange Diallo, an anthropology student and ISM employee, is preparing a quiche for the daily food club. “Cooking and eating together is one of the social activities that we organise for the hotel’s guests,” Oda-Kange said.

Vivian Tos Lindegaard explains that the “International House is not just a place to assist newcomers with paperwork. Researchers are encouraged to socialize and mingle with each other. We want to help them to build a network straight from day one”.

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