On integrating in Denmark

Four months ago, I gave a talk to a group of Filipinos about integrating in this country we now call home. This is especially helpful to those who have just arrived and am trying to find their way in a matrix of this “new culture.”

IMG_0071_2I am not an expert in this topic so I asked my LinkedIn network their tips in integrating and here are 10 tips I’ve gathered and shared in my talk:

1.     Develop a routine.

2.     Learn the language.

3.     Volunteer – Volunteering is one of the best way to know the culture and to meet other newcomers and most of all, meet Danes who will most probably give you info and tips about Denmark. To volunteer, check out www.frivilligcenteraarhus.dk orwww.volunteering.dk

In Asia, asking for help is a sign of weakness. But try to forget that, here, asking for help is an opportunity to learn and opens a lot of closed doors for you.

4.     Join networking activities. The bigger cities definitely have more activities catered to both foreigners and the Danes. If you are new in Aarhus and would love to hang out with other newcomers, check out some networking activities from Spouse Community, International Community and my very own LinkedinLocal Aarhus. The more you speak the language, the more confident you will be in joining activities done in Danish.

5.     Ask for help. In Asia, asking for help is a sign of weakness. But try to forget that, here, asking for help is an opportunity to learn and opens a lot of closed doors for you.

6.     Utilize the many possibilities in education and career. – JobcenterStartvaekst-Aarhus.dkTax seminarWorkinDenmark and many more.

7.     Stop criticizing the culture. Be curious instead.

8.     Try your best to be independent. In the grand scheme dear, the best person to help you is YOU.

9.     Be proactive and do personal projects. For me, I organize LinkedInLocal events, for others it is cooking one Danish recipe a week, while I know of others who start training for marathons here. Do something.

10. Ask yourself, “what makes me happy?” or “what are my dreams?” and organize your life around it.

Integration is win-win for yourself and for the society.

My talk ended with this encouragement:

Think Win-Win. Your integration means a lot to your spouse, partner, to the Danes and to the community in general. But more importantly, integration means a lot to yourself. When you know the importance of integrating and work on integrating well, you will soon realize that integrating in Denmark (or in any other country) means embracing the many possibilities and opportunities the country has to offer. Integration is win-win for yourself and for the society.

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