University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Your ten step guide to moving to Denmark

Maybe you are a student here, and want to move to Denmark permanently. Maybe your loved one is here already. Maybe you are here, but have trouble adapting. Our ten-step guide will help you out

Step 1. Goodbye for now

Maybe you are one of those who has met your boyfriend /girlfriend while you, or they, were on exchange in Copenhagen.

What to do now? After spending hours, days, or months together, eventually, one of you must inevitably head home. If you have decided to try and make something out of this fling, be prepared to be well acquainted with long distance and discuss where you both stand on this. Nothing worse than saying goodbye to your sweetie at the airport without fully knowing what’s next. Communication is key. Whether it be writing e-mails, exchanging letters, sending gifts, or chatting on the phone, do whatever it takes to make sure you both remain a big part of each others lives.

University Post article: Top Ten Places to Find Love (hey, I’m looking to get laid…) (for the more serious, academic type)

Step 2. Immigration and the Visa

What about the visa rules? If you’re from the EU, fortunately for you this visa business does not apply thanks to a little something we call ‘Free Movement’. If you are from any other country you must understand the visa process. Understand what kind of visa you will be applying for before reloacting. Be sure to look at the application processing times to ensure that you will have a visa before you enter, or shortly after entering into Denmark.

If you’re not from the EU, the Working Holiday Visa is the best bet for your first time entering Denmark and looking for work.

Find the application here at the New in Denmark website.

Step 3. The waiting game

Patience, patience, patience. If you weren’t fortunate enough to have your visa before arriving, it can mean a whole lot of sitting around wondering when it’s going to arrive. It is also the perfect opportunity for worry to creep up and begin to take over your thoughts. But remember: worrying does nothing. Worrying does not speed up the process, it does not change the outcome.

Step 4. The job hunt

You’re in Denmark, holding hands and strolling down the streets, all is well in the world. But eventually real life will start knocking on your door saying ‘alright, alright, let’s get over the honeymoon phase and keep moving’. Presumably your significant other is studying or has a job, meaning you’ll be spending some time by your lonesome. Enter: the job hunt. Applying for jobs takes time. Even if it’s not your ideal job, it could open your eyes to new opportunities and provides a great environment to network with others who can help you in your job hunt.

Seek out English speaking jobs here: Work in Denmark, and here: Jobs in Copenhagen. Although this website is in Danish, there are a few English jobs posted: Jobnet.

Step 5. Keep yourself occupied

Volunteering is a great way to network, meet friends, and get out there. Although some might have the mentality that working for free is not going to fly with them, you might be surprised at how much you enjoy yourself. The organisation Cph Volunteers has a number of activities happening every month and they are always looking for volunteers. As payment for your time you’re given food and drink, and an opportunity to take part in something that usually costs money. On top of it all, it will give you a sense of ‘yes, I really can do this! I can make my way around, I can be independent, I can meet new friends.’ These are all important when moving to a new country.

The University of Copenhagen’s Studenterhuset, located in the centre of Copenhagen, offers volunteer opportunities and a chance to connect with lots of non-Danes. Find out more here: Studenterhuset website.

Check out our guide from (a couple of years back) to the top 10 volunteer jobs.

Step 6. Learn Danish

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Danish people speak English… isn’t that enough? No, it certainly isn’t. Although you will rarely encounter someone who can’t help you in English, it will make both your life and the lives of Danes much easier. And plus, when Danish-language classes are free with your visa, why wouldn’t you?

Don’t get discouraged when Danish people reply back to you in English. Keep trying, and don’t let them get the best of you. It takes time and energy, and you will likely always have an accent, but don’t give up.
What is the funniest word in Danish? The most difficult and the nation’s favourite word? Check out the The Danish Language website.

Step 7. Stay in touch

Talk with friends and family from home often. Putting distance between you and your loved ones makes you reflect on the time you spent together and how much you enjoyed their company. Learn to cherish the good times and really appreciate future time that will be spent together. It’s also important to maintain those friendships from back home that can easily slip through the cracks due to time differences and physical distances. Those friends can offer advice, give you an outsiders’ perspective, fill you in on what’s happening at home and last but not least, provide reassurance that what you’re doing is not only really incredible, but that it takes a certain, brave type of person to deal with the trials and tribulations of moving somewhere new and unfamiliar.

Feeling stuck? Check out the Happiness Project website.

If you are not for Skype, make sure you are for easy, free communication. If you want to call home, Lebara has cheap international rates. Go to Lebara’s website for more information.

Step 8. Start a new hobby

Not having a job and not having a large social network is the perfect opportunity to do something you’ve always wanted to, ie. that hobby you’ve always said ‘one day I’d like to pick up….’. Whether it be knitting, working out, sewing, jewellery making, taking up photography, learning how to make a website, reading that book you’ve been too busy to tackle, or mastering the art of cooking – anything is possible. During this time, nothing is too time consuming, too difficult, or too hard to learn. Head to the nearest store, pick up the supplies, and get learning!

Faking your own death? Tape art? Check out this list for 10 of the strangest hobbies: Toptenz website.

Step 9. When in Denmark…

I realise that this isn’t exactly a tip or trick, nor is it going to make the process any easier, but for the love of God the pastries are amazing. They can be found everywhere, in mass quantities, often served with coffee and sometimes tea. They are high in butter, sugar, some with marzipan, some with nuts, but regardless of their size, shape or form, they are delicious. Try the classic wienerbrød to start, move on to a thick piece of drømmekage, and finish with a hindbærsnitter, and of course don’t forget to wash it down with another cup of coffee.

A list of places to cure your sweet tooth: Visit Copenhagen website.

Step 10. Enjoy yourself!

You are doing something that many people wouldn’t even dream of doing. It takes a certain type of person to leave everything they are familiar with and begin a new life elsewhere. There are a lot of people who admire you for your strength and dedication. When it’s hard, remind yourself that establishing a new life takes time and patience, and there will be a lot of ups and downs. Enjoy every minute of it, because you never know when a new opportunity might be around the next corner.

Check out The Holstee Manifesto.

Also, read our article 50 Things to do before you leave Copenhagen.

Good luck!

So there it is! We wish you all the best in moving to Denmark!

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