Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live in a country considered “one of the best to live in the world”? Well, in the following interview we will tell you about the experience of working and living in Denmark with a “working holiday visa”. Whether you are from a Member State of the European Union or not, we believe that what Nacho is going to tell us will be interesting for you.
An Argentinian in Denmark
My name is Ignacio, I am 29 years old, from Argentina and I have a Degree in Agro-industrial Management (although I have not worked in my area for several years); for the last few years I’ve worked in the area of hospitality and tourism.
I am currently living in Copenhagen, Denmark. I chose this country because the visa (called “working holiday visa“) allows you to stay and work for a year in certain countries and Denmark seemed to me to be one of the best options.
What is it like to live in Copenhagen?
- How long have you been living there? I have been living in Denmark for 8 months, although I previously lived in Sweden for a year, so since July 2018 I have been in Scandinavia.
- What have been the procedures to be able to stabilize you there? (i.e. to rent a flat and be able to work): In my case, I applied for a visa (working holiday visa) of which the main requirements are: being between 18 and 30 years old and having enough money for the first few months, for a return ticket and to take out a health insurance for a year.
Working holiday’s procedures
In my case it took 3 weeks to been approved. The next step after approval is to get to the country and find a place to live (usually rent a room, since a flat is very expensive in these countries). Once you have the rental contract you can request the social security number (called CPR) that allows you to look for a job and open a bank account.
A large majority of Danes speak English
How has your adaptation been with the language? Is English enough to live and work or have you had to learn Danish? In my opinion Danish is a complicated language to learn, I have lived in Sweden and I think Swedish is easier. However, since my intention is to stay here for a year, I do not really need to learn it. Also English is enough to work since everyone in Denmark masters it perfectly (Denmark is ranked 2nd in the EF profiency Index).
What is Danish culture like?
What cultural differences have caught your attention? Could you share any anecdotes with us? There are many differences, for example, in Argentina we are warmer and closer (we greet with a kiss and with a hug), here they’re colder. Sometimes I’ve instinctively approached to greet someone “in our way” and they stopped me by reaching out to say hello.
I consider Denmark to be a world-class country, I could realize it during the pandemic and I feel that all the good work it has been doing over time has paid off at this difficult time.
There was no complete quarantine here, they closed bars, shops, schools and universities, but you could always go out on the street without any restrictions. In addition, the government provided aid to businesses and this helped make the country continue to function normally.
What is it like to work and live in Denmark?
Let’s talk about work, what differences can you tell us about your country or some other countries you’ve worked in? According to macro data, in Denmark there is no stipulated minimum wage, but it is estimated that the average of workers earn about 2100€ per month (net wage). Anyway you also have to consider that the cost of living is very high.
I think here they are much more relaxed, they do everything calmer and they don’t get so overwhelmed. They attend their work schedule and, if there is anything left to do, it’s left for the next day (they don’t work extra hours).
Is Denmark a good country to live in?
Would you recommend this country to live in? I would definitely recommend it. It has an excellent standard of living, good wages, good quality of life and everything works very well. If you like cycling it is ideal, since most of the population uses it as the main mode of transport.
Of course, not everything is so beautiful. The weather is not excellent. You have to get used to very gray, rainy, dark winters (sunset is at 8.30 am and at 4 pm it’s already dark)
Useful tips before moving to Denmark
My advice is that first of all to come with savings, because even though you can get a job soon, it is a very expensive place to start a new life. Then try to get a room that is up to 20-25 minutes by bike from the center, so you can take advantage of using bicycles as a means of transport.
Finally, I also recommend coming close to summer, that’s when there’s the most job offers, plus this way, the adaptation to the dark and cold winters will be easier.
- Do you plan to live there for a long period?: I came here to stay for a year (now I am 2 months away) and then I will continue to travel and try to live a year in another country.
- Finally, could you tell us what your next projects and/or destinations will be? Once this visa is over, if everything returns to normal, I would like to be able to travel for a few months and then apply for another visa, although I still don’t know where.
In conclusion, these visas offer you a great opportunity to travel, work, learn languages and have new experiences in different countries.
Interview conducted with @nachoenviaje.
Click HERE to see more about Working Holiday Visa in another country.