EMBRACING A NEW BEGINNING! WELCOMING
INTERNATIONALS TO LIFE IN DENMARK.
As the world continues to evolve and change, so do the stories that shape our lives. In this issue, we're excited to bring you a diverse array of articles that explore personal journeys, career transformations, and the pursuit of wellbeing. These stories reflect the resilience of our internationals who face challenges and offer insight, inspiration, and a dash of creativity. Thank you for you!
FROM NEW ZEALAND TO DENMARK: ONE MAN'S JOURNEY
Our feature story takes you on a captivating journey with an international who has made Denmark his home and himself a global brand. This tale of cultural fusion and entrepreneurship highlights the beauty of embracing diversity.
NAVIGATING CAREER CROSSROADS
Change is a constant in our lives - sometimes, it's a career change that can redefine our path. Our article on career transformations provides you with valuable insights, tips, and personal anecdotes to inspire and guide your own professional journey.
ART ESCAPES STUDIO: WHERE CREATIVITY MEETS COMMUNITY
Art has a unique ability to heal and inspire. Join us on a visit to Art Escapes Studio, a creative haven where artists and community members share their stories through art and community.
THE WELL-BEING TO-DO LIST: PRIORITISING YOU
Amidst the hustle and bustle of modern life, taking time for self-care is essential. Alex's well-being to-do list offers practical advice and strategies to help you prioritise your mental and physical health.
WELCOMING INTERNATIONALS IN DENMARK
Denmark's openness to internationals will enrich its cultural tapestry. We delve into the heartwarming stories of internationals who have found a second home in Denmark and the communities that embrace them.
MEET THE TEAM
EDITOR & FOUNDER
Lyndsay Jensen - firstname.lastname@example.org
MANAGING DIRECTOR & PARTNER
Kenneth Macalpine - email@example.com
LEARNING DANISH: A LINGUISTIC ODYSSEY
Learning a new language can be daunting, especially when it's as unique as Danish. Join us in exploring the challenges, triumphs, and tips from Natalia, who has embarked on this linguistic journey.
NORDIC WHISKY: A HIDDEN GEM
Discover the world of Nordic whisky, a well-kept secret that's gaining global recognition. We delve into the distilleries, flavours, and history that make this spirit a gem.
DENMARK: A COASTAL COUNTRY OF BEAUTY AND RESILIENCE
Denmark's coastline is not just a geographical featureit's a symbol of the nation's connection to the sea and its ability to withstand the challenges that come with it. Explore the coastal beauty and resilience of this remarkable country.
NAVIGATING A TOUGH TRANSITION
Parenting a special needs child presents unique challenges. Our article provides guidance and support for families transitioning their child into full-time care, emphasising the importance of patience, resilience and communication.
This edition celebrates the diverse tapestry of human experiences, from global journeys to personal transformations. We hope these stories inspire you, offer practical insights and provide a moment of reflection during life's challenges.
Welcome, and thank you for being part of our community and sharing your stories. We look forward to continuing this journey with you in our next issue.
Love, EDITOR & FOUNDER
Ophelia Wu; Alexandra Beck; Mariano Davies; Monika Pedersen; Sara R. Newell; Michaela Medvedova; Natasha Liviero; Heather Storgaard; Natália Šepitková; Luke Hannon; Rikke Skak Harboe; Dominic J Stevenson; Katharine H. Noyed (Guest writer)
SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM
Head of SoMe
Shivangi Singh - firstname.lastname@example.org
Michaela Medvedova; Aina Masood; Ane-Sophie Custura; Terumi Mascarenhas; Leslie Noygues; Shelly Pandey; Shivangi Singh; Ritika Jain; Pavlos Tsiakoumis; Sakib Akhter; Rashmi Jadhav; Shaeema Zaman
The International is published online 12 times a year. This issue was published on 11 September 2023.
Notice: The publishers regret that they cannot accept any liability for error or omissions contained in this publication. The opinions and views presented need not necessarily reflect those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek special counsel before acting on any information contained herein. All rights reserved. No part of this publication or contents thereof may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form without written permission from the publishers. Published by and © 2021 The International ApS. Registered in Denmark / CVR Number: 39118181
WELCOME TO DENMARK SEPTEMBER EVENTSLYNDSAY JENSEN EVENTS COORDINATOR email@example.com
INTERNATIONALS’ FAIR NORTH DENMARK
Are you new in Denmark and looking for all the opportunities life offers in North Denmark?
Join us at Internationals' Fair North Denmark on 14 September at the Main Library in Aalborg. The fair welcomes all new internationals, students, and families alike to Aalborg and the region of North Denmark!
At the fair, you'll have the chance to meet public authorities, relevant organizations, and NGOs and get helpful information as a newcomer living in North Denmark. Don't miss this great opportunity to learn more about the region!
You also have the opportunity to laugh at jokes from British stand-up comedian Conrad Molden, get free ice cream and network with other internationals.
16:00: Welcome by Business director at BusinessAalborg, Mette Bugge
16:05: Stand-up comedy with Conrad Molden
16:35: Announcing this year's winner of the International Award
16:40-18:00: Opportunity to visit all the different stands, drink some free coffee and network, get a free balloon animal for your child, have some free ice cream and more.
Register for the event here: https://businessaalborg. nemtilmeld.dk/546/
FOR MORE INFO: HTTPS://FB.ME/E/1L0J4P2EK
WELCOME TO SILKEBORG: INFO AND NETWORK
New in Silkeborg? Then, join this welcome event and get acquainted with the many work and leisure opportunities in the Silkeborg area.
On this evening, you will meet:
- Lene from Newcomer Service
- Emil from Silkeborg Business and
- Sarah from UC Plus, the local Danish language centre
They will share their best input on living and working in Silkeborg Municipality, Denmark’s Outdoor Capital. You are welcome to ask questions during the presentations –we are happy to help.
There will be time to network and share your best advice with other newcomers – and we will be served snacks after the presentations.
The event is free to attend, but sign-up is mandatory. Please sign up for each person separately. We look forward to welcoming you!
FOR MORE INFO: HTTPS://SILKEBORG.NEMTILMELD.DK/6/
20 SEPTEMBER SAMSØ INTERNATIONAL MEETUP
As part of the national Welcome September initiative, we invite you to come and enjoy the last sunrays of the summer while having a glass of wine and talking with fellow internationals.
Besides meeting and chatting with known and unknown faces, you can also meet Marie from the Volunteer Center, who can tell you about the different associations on the island and explain how you can start new activities yourself.
At the event, it will also be possible to ask the newcomer guide questions you have been wondering about since you moved to the island. She will contact you if she cannot answer the question immediately.
It will be possible to buy both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at the event.
Participation is free of charge - however, it is mandatory to sign up by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR MORE INFO: HTTPS://FB.ME/E/6HVCKC9RF
INTRO KOLDING 2023WELCOME EVENT FOR NEWCOMERS
Are you new to Kolding? Then, you can get to know your new municipality better at Intro Kolding – the welcome event for newcomers.
Here, you will be introduced to some of the cultural and leisure activities that Kolding offers and get a chance to meet other newcomers in Kolding.
The event will occur on 21st September, 16:30-19:00 at SDU, Syddansk Universitet, Universitetsparken 1, 6000 Kolding.
From 16:30-17:00, there will be presentations about Kolding in the auditorium at SDU. Afterwards, there will be coffee and cake and an opportunity to chat with other newcomers in Kolding. The presentations at this meeting will be in English, but Danish newcomers are also very welcome.
From 17:00-19:00, you can meet some of the local sports, cultural, social, creative and sustainability associations at a fair in the lobby of SDU. Each association will have a stand, and you will have the opportunity to learn more about their activities and how you can be a part of the community.
It is free to attend the event, but registration is required. Sign up by filling out the form at this link
21 SEPTEMBER LIVING IN THY
Are you an international living in Thy or considering moving to Thy? Then you should join the annual event 'Living in Thy'!
On the 21st of September, 'Living in Thy' takes place for the third time in a row. Last year, more than 150 internationals (with more than 20 different nationalities) participated in the event – and the place was filled with different cultures and networking between the participants.
At 'Living in Thy', you can experience many opportunities. You can network with other internationals and ask them about life in Thy. You can hear about career opportunities, local companies, entrepreneurship, culture, and leisure and get answers to practical questions as a resident in Thy. At the same time, you can enjoy a free meal and soft drinks.
We hope to see you on the 21st of September 2023 from 16:30 - 19:00 at Plantagehuset, Plantagevej 18, 7700 Thisted.
Want to know more about the 'Living in Thy' event? In the video below, listen to some of last year's participants' experiences with the 'Living in Thy' event. You can also watch when TV Midtvest joined us at the Living in Thy event
FOR MORE INFO: HTTPS://THISTED.DK/FRA-THY/FLYT-TILTHY/LIVING-IN-THY
22-23 SEPTEMBER INTERNATIONAL CITIZEN DAYS
Welcome to Greater Copenhagen! Let’s get you off to a good start, okay? Taking place in the heart of Copenhagen on 22 & 23 September, International Citizen Days 2023 brings together public authorities, private organisations, and local communities for two days of endless inspiration on housing, job and social life relevant to all newcomers.
The event is free – all you need to do is sign up, show up and have fun.
FRIDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER – 16:00-20:00
Friday is all about job and career, allowing you to meet interesting companies looking to hire international talent together with a broad range of organisations offering guidance on starting or boosting your career in Denmark.
SATURDAY, 23 SEPTEMBER – 10:00-15:00
Saturday offers a good mix of housing, jobs, and social life, including kids, inviting the entire family to join. With a lively fair representing the city’s rich cultural scene, sports clubs, and associations, you can engage in unique talks, debates, and fun activities covering all relocating essentials. You will be guided through the jungle of housing options, banking services, tax laws, language classes and career opportunities under one roof.
FOR MORE INFO: HTTPS://FB.ME/E/5TCYXZW4B
23 SEPTEMBER AUTUMN RECEPTION AT STREETDOME FOR INTERNATIONAL FAMILIES
International Community Triangle Region has the pleasure of inviting you as an international living in the Triangle Region and your family to this year's Autumn Reception in Haderslev.
11:00 – Welcome to the annual Autumn Reception in the Triangle Region / Chief of Staff, Lene Brommann Carøe, Trekantområdet
11:10 – Welcome to StreetDome / Manager, Morten Burgdorf Bennetsen, www.StreetDome.com
11:30 – Skate lessons for kids (from 10 y/o) and adults
12:15 – Lunch – International Community is hosting with sandwiches and water
12:45 – Either climbing on one of Jutland's tallest outdoor climbing walls (for adults and older children) or indoors (kid-friendly). Enjoy volleyball, pétanque, a walk by the harbour, etc.
14:00 – End. (There will be other events at the harbour afterwards).
Sign up: To Cathrine at email@example.com no later than Monday, 18th September. The event is free of charge!
FOR MORE INFO FOR THIS EVENT.
30 SEPTEMBER AARHUS CITY WELCOME
You're invited to the biggest event for internationals in Aarhus!
Visit the Information Bazar to meet more than 40 organisations, associations and authorities, dive into inspiring talks at Speakers' Corner, and meet experienced internationals at the Living Library, ready to share their best advice on navigating and enjoying life in Aarhus!
Ninety-nine percent of those joining last year's Aarhus City Welcome recommended other internationals attend this unique annual event.
Aarhus City Welcome is tailored to all international professionals, accompanying partners/families, and students.
Explore the programme and sign up at https://international.aarhus.dk/acw
Doors open at 9:45 - the event starts at 10:00 in Storesal, Dokk1, Aarhus.
Aarhus City Welcome is organised by the City of Aarhus.
FOR MORE INFO: HTTPS://FB.ME/E/2RSULHT5C
A value-driven community that welcomes students ages 4-16.
Rygaards has a strong reputation of a rich educational experience with a nurturing atmosphere where students learn to think for themselves, find their own voice, and engage with the world with confidence and curiosity.
• High academic standards
• Christian ethos
• Beautiful campus, located in Hellerup
LIVING (AND BAKING) WITH PASSION
STARTING IN NEW ZEALAND, DEAN BRETTSCHNEIDER'S IMPRESSIVE CAREER TOOK HIM ALL OVER THE WORLD AND EVENTUALLY BROUGHT HIM TO DENMARK - AND TO BRAND NEW CHALLENGES.
DDEAN'S LOVE FOR baking and entrepreneurial spirit has earned him many hats throughout his career - a global baker, published author, New Zealand's celebrity baker, business owner of an international bakery chain, and most recently, trying his hand at property development.
And just as he says in his autobiography's title - passion is the main ingredient for all he does.
DESTINED TO GO OVERSEAS
Dean's surname certainly does not suggest he's a New Zealander. Five generations ago, his great-great-grandfather emigrated from Poland and ended up in Holland, where he got married. His father is then Dutch and emigrated to New Zealand in the early sixties. "My great-great-grandmother was actually a baker, but that has nothing to do with me being one," laughs Dean.
According to Dean, New Zealand is very multicultural, and if one has a European heritage, they are naturally drawn there. "We're a young country, so we're reasonably inquisitive on what's out there." So, in his early twenties, he travelled to Europe for the customary New Zealand OE - overseas experience. "As a young New Zealander, being so far away from the rest of the world and being a part of the British Commonwealth, you are destined to go - and obviously, England is the first port of call. My OE was specific - I worked in and around the UK and Europe - I was a baker who had done well in New Zealand and went and learned more overseas."
This experience usually comes after a young New Zealander reaches their 21st birthday, which used to be the age when they were allowed to drink, vote, or drive a car. "It was almost like you got the keys to life. Normally, what would happen is that you would have a big party for all your relatives and your friends and your great auntie you haven't seen for 17 years. But my father said - you can either have a big party or you can have the money to go overseas. So I ditched my friends and went overseas."
EMBRACING THE OUTSIDE
But it's still his home and his people, wherever he is. "It's just a connection. I'm an immigrant here, and while I live and breathe my Danish life, it's still culturally very different from New Zealand. We were in Italy for a few days with some good friends from New Zealand - suddenly, I felt familiar."
Denmark feels like a less open country once you're on the inside. Dean finds Danes you meet outside of Denmark freer. "I met my wife in China, where she was an expat, and when we returned and started living in Denmark, I thought: Is it the same woman, really? Here, everything is a bit conforming. Janteloven is still a thing. You're brought up in a certain way, socially. New Zealand is a young country - less than 200 years oldand many people emigrated there. Because we're so far away and our culture is so young, we're always embracing the outside and bringing the outside influences back in. When you have an old, rich culture, there is a way you do things."
It was a bit harder for Dean to break into the culture because while he's been in Denmark for 12 years now, the first ten were in the role of a visitor, and he only became a resident two years ago. Travelling between Denmark and Singapore for business reasons made getting involved in society and making friends difficult. "For the last two years, it's been difficult for me to break into people's circles. Everyone already has their friends they've had forever. When I ask people to do something, they say: Yes, but we're already doing this with my other friends. It's not even a language barrier - they just don't need new friends." Dean also realises that his retirement does not fit other people's calendars. "It's a struggle to fit into the daily life." Luckily, his wife has travelled quite a bit, so she understands him - even though Dean says she's often more Danish than she realises.
PASSION AND FOCUS
Food-wise, Dean sees a similar trend. "Don't mess with the food, if you know what I mean. Danish food culture is very Danish. There are some great restaurants, but they're not everyday Danish." That's one of the reasons why he doesn't want to open up a bak-
ery in Denmark - which is something he gets asked often. "If I come in with what I call my new world baking mind, I would want to do all sorts of products. And people would try them and like them - but then, they would just like to have rye bread, bread rolls, and cinnamon rolls, and marzipan is everything. It can be a bit one-dimensional."
However, there's another reason - baking is really hard work with long hours. And after all, Dean had been at it for decades before deciding to retire. "I was passionate about many things - before baking, it was sports - but I was very focused on whatever I chose to do. Once I found baking, I found it very easy - there was something industrial, artisan, and technical. It's what made me get up in the morning. For some, it was mountain biking - for me, I was getting up and doing baking."
The first thing he ever baked was with his grandmother, Nana, who taught him about food and inspired his love for it. "You didn't go out and buy a packet of biscuits or a cake - you made them and put them in tins." He spent a lot of time with her as he cooked, preserved, or made jams - and she taught him how to bake scones. "She was a grandmother and a farmer's wife. But she said: When you're making scones, it's all about being light and fluffy. You're dealing with baking powder, and that's a chemical reaction, little Dean. You cannot mix the dough too much because that develops the protein in the flour, which holds back the carbon dioxide produced by the chemical reaction. It was the science behind that scone that really tickled my mind."
THE BUSINESS SIDE OF BAKING
He was able to continue exploring his interest in baking during high school. When Dean was growing up, attending university wasn't common in New Zealand - students had to pay tuition, and student loans were not that common. Another option was to do a trade. "I was at school at 16 and doing home economics - nutrition, sewing, lots of things. Cooking was a big component. I was the only boy in my year doing home economics. So when the baker from my town came to the school wanting to hire a male apprentice, I was the only boy in class by default. He happened to be a Dutch baker, by the way, and he knew my grandmother."
So Dean spent the following five years in a baking apprenticeship. Afterwards, he travelled quite a bit - with the New Zealand baking competition team and during his overseas experience - and continued learning. He also worked as a corporate baker and technical research and development baker and studied further at the American Institute of Baking before returning to New Zealand.
At around 23-24, he borrowed money from his parents and opened his first bakery. "I wanted to put everything I had learned overseas into practice. Running a business was waking up at 1 in the morning, going to work, and going home at 6 in the evening. But I wanted to sell it in five years - take it over, make it better, do things my way, and sell it
to move on in life. I didn't want to own a bakery for the rest of my life and then hand it down to my children or anything."
But running a bakery does not stop at baking - Dean had to think about the business side, too. "I remember going to my first meeting with my accountant, and I prepared my budget for the next year. I'm not financially trained, but he said, You're like an executive baker! Most bakers just turn up almost in their aprons and hand over many receipts, asking him to sort them out for the next year. I went to him with expectations of how much I wanted to make by the end of the year because I thought about wage costs and food costs and sales."
A GLOBAL BAKER
Over his impressive career, Dean has always understood what business's non-baking side is - people management, brand development, customer service, and marketing. At one point, he ran a big technical centre in China for one of the biggest bakery groups in the world, running the research and development site. He always had another side to him that was more interested in the technical aspects of baking.
But he could also combine all of that with a marketing understanding. "Book publishing came into it. I wrote my first book on baking 20 years ago when no one else was writing them. My business started to grow because I was published and seemed to be an authority on baking. That then led to television - I was a judge on a show in New Zealand called The Great New Zealand Bake Off. People would come to the bakery because I guess I was a celebrity baker in their eyes." He still baked - and put a lot of time into putting his white shirt on. But he also had to run and develop the business. "You can get a great chef, but that does not make them a great restauranteur or entrepreneur. I've done a lot of stuff I didn't want to, but you have to do it because it is important to the brand. 24/7, I was thinking about baking, which allowed me to be successful in a world about business."
All his knowledge, hard work, and marketing instincts led to Dean establishing a truly global brand. When he was working in Shanghai at the beginning of the 21st century, with his publishing and television career already in progress, he was approached by the New Zealand government to meet with people interested in China, spend some time with them, and teach them about the country. "I was having some wine with a guy who owned a winery and talking about my life, and he said to me: You sound like a bit of a global baker. And when I went home at 1 in the morning, too many wines later, I goog-
"I'VE DONE A LOT OF STUFF I DIDN'T WANT TO, BUT YOU HAVE TO DO IT BECAUSE IT IS IMPORTANT TO THE BRAND."
led globalbaker.com - and it was available, so I grabbed the domain." That's where he truly worked out what he wanted to be - a global baker. "That's when I started my journey on pulling everything in - everything I've learned, industrial, theoretical, technical, publishing, television - to fit under the global baker brand. There were no cultural boundaries - I had a global mind about everything."
Dean's time in China impacted his life in a different way, too - it's where he met his wife. Her children were younger than his son, so when her time in China was over, Dean moved to Denmark with her, still flying to New Zealand to be with him. "There wasn't any ultimatum. I was just getting out of corporate life, and it seemed to me I didn't need to be anywhere other than where I wanted to be. So I chose to come and live in Denmark."
And then, he accidentally opened a bakery in Singapore.
PASSING ON THE TORCH
At that time, Dean was living in Denmark, consulting for a Swedish company in the United Kingdom. But once, he went to New Zealand via Singapore, where he met with a good Danish friend. "We went for a bike ride and wanted good coffee and bread. They didn't have it all those years ago, so we considered - should we open a bakery?" Dean didn't want to live in Singapore but decided to run it from Denmark. So, twelve years ago, they
decided to risk it and make quite a significant investment to set up a bakery in Singapore. It then grew to 24 shops and quite a considerable business, and they opened franchises in Saudi Arabia and the Phillippines, too.
However, Dean said two years ago - it's time for me to enjoy life a little bit. So he sold his shares, and needless to say, the initial investment paid off. "I put a lot of pressure on my relationship with my wife because I was practically away for ten years. We'd meet in different countries, or I'd come home for ten days with my mind still back in Singapore. Denmark was like my hotel."
But retiring from his previous business endeavours does not mean Dean has not found a new challenge in Denmark - turning an old ice cream factory in Næstved into seven highend apartments. "Everyone looks at me and says: But you're a baker. I'm not a property developer, so yes, I'm outside my comfort zone. But I wouldn't say it's unfamiliar to me because, for me, it's a project. It's like building another shop or a bakery. And a property developer would turn those seven apartments into 27 small boxes. It's a passion project to me instead of something I want to make a lot of money out of."
He took on the project to make a difference in his city. "It's a risk, it really is, on what I can sell them for versus what it costs me. But the only guy I need to justify that to is me. It's part of my DNA to be a bit risky."
There's one challenge left that Dean hasn't quite figured out yet. "I am where I am today because of other people who helped me along the way. Somehow, I feel like I want to give back. It's not about giving stuff to people - it's about mentoring, finding a young me, and getting them to work as hard as I did. Many people gave me something, and I just ran with what I learned - and then learned more. I'm ready to give my skills to someone else now." THE-INTL
"EVERYONE LOOKS AT ME AND SAYS: BUT YOU'RE A BAKER. I'M NOT A PROPERTY DEVELOPER, SO YES, I'M OUTSIDE MY COMFORT ZONE."CLAUS PEUCKERT
TRANSITIONING CAREERS: HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY NAVIGATE A CAREER CHANGE.
IIF YOU DO what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."
This quote has been attributed to many people, from Henry Ford to Tony Robbins Regardless, you may decide it's time for a change at some point in your career. Time for a new job. A new direction. A new career. But how?
Changing careers can be tricky if you don't know what you're doing. It can lead to many people quitting their passion before they've even gotten started. So, let me take you step-by-step and show you how you can successfully navigate a career change. Let's get started!
START WITH WHY
When considering any career change, ask yourself one question: "Why?"
Knowing the answer to this question is the key to everything that follows. Why do you want to make a career change? Are you dissatisfied with your current career? Do you want to follow your passions into a new area? Are you looking for a job that aligns more with your values? By understanding your "why" you'll be far better able to pinpoint what, how and when you can make a career change.
If you want to make a career changestart with why.
ASSESS YOUR SKILLS
Skills pay the bills. And transferable skills help you navigate a career change. To change careers, you need to objectively assess where your skills are and where you need to develop. This will help you to understand the possible options open to you. It'll help you create a plan to learn the skills you lack, which could mean anything from taking online courses to volunteering or gaining certifications. Once you've done this, you can compare your skills to your
interests and passions and better understand your next move.
If you want to change your career - assess your skills first.
(RE-)CREATE YOUR CV AND COVER LETTER
How do you get an interview without the proper experience?
The key is to re-write your CV to highlight the transferable skills necessary for the job in your newly chosen field. The time for sending generic CVs is over! It's time to get hyper-specific. Analyse each job you apply for and ensure you fill your CV with as many relevant skills and keywords from the job description. It's crucial to reinforce your CV with as many relevant examples as possible and include numbers and statistics as you can.
Hate writing cover letters? Guess what?
A well-written cover letter can be the difference between getting the interview or not. By showing the hiring manager your passion and drive, you can successfully stand out and convince them you're the
best person for the job.
If you want to change your career - you need the perfect CV and cover letter.
ACE THE INTERVIEW
You've landed an interview - congrats!
But don't celebrate too soon. You may have gotten an interview, but you still need to be able to convince the manager to take a shot on you. In the interview, it's vital to highlight your experience and knowledge and how it's relevant to the job. Do your best to use specific examples to highlight your transferable skills. Just as important, though, is to be open and honest where you have gaps in your skills and experience and be prepared to explain how you plan to learn. If you can do this, you will be much closer to landing a job and taking the first steps in your new career.
If you want to change your career, you must ace the interview.
There you have it! My simple how-to guide on how you can successfully navigate your next career move. Best of luck!
“When considering any career change, ask yourself one question: "Why?"LUKE HANNON SENIOR TALENT ACQUISITION PARTNER
Luke is a Senior Talent Acquisition Partner at SYBO Games, the company behind the smash-hit game Subway Surfers. Based in Copenhagen (by way of London)!, he has been working to make SYBO grow. He spends his time finding the best talent that the games community has to offer!
He is always keen to build relationships by bringing passion and enthusiasm to the recruitment process. An advocate of Employer Branding, Luke works with the talented people at SYBO to let the world know how great a place it is to work.
When he's not hiring awesome talents for SYBO or cycling (he does live in Copenhagen, after all!), he's busy reading his favourite books and channelling his inner Hemingway as a writer!@Luke Hannon @ Hannon Recruits @ hannonrecruits
ART ESCAPE STUDIOS
A SPACE OF CREATION AND COMMUNITY.
MMELANIE DAWN SMITH is from Newfoundland, Canada and grew up in a tight-knit community where people, kindness, and connection constantly surrounded her. Moving to Denmark in 2013, she wanted to create a space in Denmark that emulated the same values and atmosphere as in her upbringing. This was how her business, Art Escape Studios, was created.
"I started it because I wanted a community for others, myself and my son and daughter. I wanted to be able to give that to other people as I knew how lonely it could be coming here and how difficult it can be to find your people. I also wanted to create a space where people could just come and have a friendly chat, get creative, learn something, or even find a new friend. I think we have done that very successfully!"
Located in the Østerbro neighbourhood of Copenhagen and just a short distance from Rigshospitalet, Art Escape Studios is both a cafe and an art studio, bringing together people of all backgrounds to share the space and enjoy being creative. The space is truly for everyone - whether you're a beginner or experienced artist looking to take classes or workshops, a company looking for engaging team-building activities, a family looking for a birthday party venue, a student looking for a nice place to study, a patient at Rigshospitalet looking for a healing place to relax, or someone coming right off the street to enjoy a coffee - Art Escape Studios strives to be a supportive and welcoming place for everyone and a place that puts the community at the forefront of its work. Melanie shares:
"Every time someone supports the studio, comes for a coffee, or comes to the art cafe, it puts more money back into the space for us to offer more things to the community. We try to give back as much as possible."
AES ART COLLECTIVE
In addition to being a unique space for the community, Art Escape Studios is also home to AES Art Collective. Created to provide opportunities and supportive space for artists to pursue their creative endeavours while making a living from their craft, the collective has since developed organically into an all-female group. Coming with diverse professional backgrounds including psychology, education, human rights, and finance, the collective is dedicated to creating and teaching in the artistic disciplines of "oil painting, acrylic and watercolour painting, pastel and graphite drawing, photography and digital media, collage, paper sculpture and design, creative coaching, textiles and regenerative painting materials" (AES Art Collective on Art Escape Studio's Website). When speaking about the women of AES Collective, Melanie lights up.
"All of these women bring so much to the space - they are so skilled, so talented, and they have such amazing insight to offer, and there are lots of days when they are here, and we're working together; there could be 5 or 6 of us working here on projects or painting. So when guests come in, they get that extra energy seeing these artists bounce ideas off each other and create. They also want to be involved, help people, and answer questions."
So the next time you stop by the space, you might have the chance to meet some of the incredibly talented women of the AES Art Collective: Melanie Dawn Smith, Ida Glad, Ellie Trier, Sylwia Ziółkowska, Alizé Dubouchet, Peewip Nilssen, Joanna Mugford, Sandra Gruescu, Dyveke Noack, and Christine Petersen.
Every month, Art Escape Studios hosts a solo art exhibition showcasing the work of different artists within the collective. AES Art Collective artist Dyveke Noack recently presented the exhibition "Tupilak and Other Tales from the North," running through mid-September. The next art exhibit will showcase artist Sylwia Ziółkowska with a Pop Up Exhibition titled Magical Art, opening from September 29th 17:00-19:00. In October, Ellie Triar will present her work, and in November, the studio will host a free Christ-
KATHARINE H. NOYED
"EVERY TIME SOMEONE SUPPORTS THE STUDIO, COMES FOR A COFFEE, OR COMES TO THE ART CAFE, IT PUTS MORE MONEY BACK INTO THE SPACE FOR US TO OFFER MORE THINGS TO THE COMMUNITY. WE TRY TO GIVE BACK AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.” - MELANIE DAWN SMITH
mas party where the community can come together, find unique and locally created gifts for the holiday season, and celebrate the artists and their work.
If you want to learn more about Art Escapes Studio and see how you can get involved, click here. See their Instagram and Facebook pages to stay up-to-date on their events and happenings. THE-INTL
Originally from the US, Katie moved to Denmark in 2020 with her Danish husband. She now works as an outreach coordinator at an international school that offers volunteer programmes addressing pressing global issues. Katie has a MSc in Development and International Relations, and is passionate about social justice issues and mental health advocacy. This led her to create the ‘Life with Color Podcast’ which examines the intersection between eating disorders and different societies. In her freetime, Katie stays busy by teaching dance classes, exploring Copenhagen, and working towards Danish fluency.
Social media contacts: LinkedIn / Instagram / Podcast
A WELL-BEING TO-DO LIST
WE AEW RESETTING OUR MINDS AND BODIES, DEDICATING MORE TIME TO PRIORITISE OUR HEALTH, AND ALLOWING GREATER FLEXIBILITY TO FOCUS ON WHAT TRULY MATTERS. OUR FITNESS EXPERT, ALEX, EMPHASISES THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SELF-CARE AND SELF-RESPECT.
IIT SEEMS LIKE the Covid lockdown days are so far behind us!
Working from home, away from in-person meetings and larger social gatherings, was a way of life that prevented us from doing so many things yet enabled us to reset.
Now slowly but surely, the old habits are poking us - and it seems fair to stay in the office later, accept all the meetings regardless of the time of day, fill the weekends with every single family and friend gathering, book the kids into every sports camp, art class and choir, then get back into our complaints about how little time we have to eat a healthy meal and get to the gym twice a week.
Extremes are trendy. But keeping up with this latest trend may sooner or later backfire and land us in the stress pit.
The biggest reasons for postponing exercise are stated above. I bet you can recognise yourself in one or more: late meetings, kids to be picked all over the city, long-lost friend gatherings and family trips that cannot wait.
So, this is your reminder that work will always be there. Social gatherings will always be there. You will not miss out, nor will anyone scold you for taking an hour or two for yourself a couple of times a week because you know what won’t always be there if you don’t - your health.
Being a parent myself and having had a busy corporate life before changing careers, I know how hard it is to say no, to counter-propose dates and to want my daughter to have all the playdates and activities that exist. Thankfully, some things helped me set my health and fitness back on track while balancing my work and personal life.
1. BLOCKING MY CALENDAR
Making 2-3 hours weekly is non-negotiable, non-movable, important, and urgent. Mostly the same days/times each week, which over time created a pattern not only for myself but for my co-workers who knew that I might be unreachable during those times but that I would gladly pick up any work-related matters once I was back from my class.
2. SHARING KID PICK-UPS AND PLAYDATES
It would be unfair if you were the only parent picking up all the kids for playdates at your house. Coordinating playdates, pickups and football games with other parents can relieve you of a few hours here and there - a plan so that you can meet your class times and help other parents when they need a break. It’s nice to attend your kid’s games, but your kids will also thank you for taking time for yourself to be a better cheerleader for them.
3. GETTING YOUR FRIENDS/COLLEAGUES INVOLVED
Combining your workouts with social interactions - make workout dates, and follow on with a coffee or dinner. You could even
take colleagues with you to your favourite classes so that they better understand the feeling post-exercise and how it positively impacts your work. And on hectic days, you could even brainstorm on the treadmill or walk around the office block.
4. RESPECT YOUR BODY AND ITS NEEDS
This is probably the most essential thing you must remember now and forever. If you keep postponing your health, your health will postpone you.
I’m sure you already know most of what I keep rambling on about, but as a health professional, I truly believe that I must remind you that moving is an essential part of life - and it’s great to encourage your children to be active. Still, the best way to do that is to be active yourself. Staying strong and active will ensure that you stay mobile, flexible and able for the longest time and who doesn’t want that? THE-INTL
ALEXANDRA BECK PERSONAL TRAINER & NUTRITION COACH
Alex is a Swiss/Brit mom and wife who has lived in Copenhagen since 2009. She switched from corporate life in communications to the independent life of an outdoor personal and group fitness trainer. She coaches people of all ages and fitness levels to find fun and consistency in movement through individual and group workouts. Delivering entertainment and spreading group fitness magic is her superpower. Alex encourages you to high-five her if you see her in the capital!
WELCOMING ALL NEW INTERNATIONALS
WWITH ITS BLEND of a progressive work environment, stunning landscapes, and a strong sense of community, Denmark offers a unique experience for international citizens during this vibrant month.
Many thousands of young international students each year choose to study in Denmark, and September signifies the start of the academic year at Denmark's universities and educational institutions. The country's commitment to high-quality education and a strong emphasis on research and innovation make it an attractive destination for those seeking intellectual growth and cross-cultural experiences. The welcoming and open academic environment ensures that students from around the world feel at home while pursuing their studies. During September, you will often see many new students around the cities as many fun events are happening to introduce them to their new life as university students.
WHAT TO EXPECT AS AN INTERNATIONAL WORKER
September marks a time of new beginnings in Denmark's professional landscape. Many companies begin their fiscal year this month, making it an optimal time for international workers to embark on their career journey in the country. Denmark is renowned for its inclusive and collaborative work culture. International workers expect a workplace that values diversity, encourages open communication, and fosters professional development. The Danish work environment strongly emphasises team collaboration, ensuring that newcomers are integrated seamlessly into their teams and have the opportunity to contribute meaningfully from day one.
If you do not have a job, many local job centres provide job search courses in English. In North Denmark, International House North Denmark provides valuable tips on upgrading your applications via job search courses or one-on-one sessions, and you can send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. One of our experts would happily consult you on your application process and how the Danish job market works. Maybe you are also bringing a partner from a different country to Denmark, and they now need a job. Then, it might be ideal to sign up for our next Spouse Space event. You can sign up on this website: https://businessaalborg.nemtilmeld.dk/ For more information: https://ihnd.dk/spouse-space
CONNECTING WITH OTHER INTERNATIONALS
Broadening your network and connecting with other internationals can be a good idea for all the newcomers who have just moved to Denmark. International House North Denmark is arranging two annual events as part of Welcome September 2023, where international citizens can get connected and gain more information about living and working in Denmark.
Diversity Evening is happening at the Aalborg Zoo on September 7, 2023. Visitors can expect free entrance to the Zoo from 17:00 - 21:00 - registration is not required. This event is an excellent opportunity for internationals to forge connections and exchange insights. International citizens will get the chance to see 138 species across 33 habitats at Aalborg Zoo. Pachamama Band will hit the stage at this year's event and play world music. You can also buy food and beverages in the restaurant at the Zoo or bring your own food and grill it at the designated barbecue places.
AALBORG INTERNATIONAL FAIR
New and residing international citizens can meet over 20 public authorities and volunteer organisations in the area at the Internationals' Fair North Denmark. Learn about educational options for your children, local athletic and social clubs, starting a business in Denmark, and work life in Denmark. The International Fair 2023 will be held on September 14, 2023, from 16:00-18:00 at Aalborg Main Library. It is free to attend this event. The International Award 2023 will be awarded at the fair. Everyone had the chance to nominate a person or an organisation that does outstanding work for the international citizens in north Denmark.
SUPPORT FOR A GOOD START IN DENMARK
If you are new in Denmark and are interested in knowing more about all the opportunities that life in North Denmark offers, International House North Denmark invites you to join Internationals' Fair North Denmark and Diversity Evening at Aalborg Zoo. You can read more about the events and register for Internationals' Fair North Denmark 2023 at International House North Denmark's homepage at www.ihnd.dk. International House North Denmark serves as a one-point entry for international citizens and provides help to North Denmark companies with international employees. You can visit us in person at Rantzausgade 4, 9000 Aalborg or follow us on our social media pages under International House North Denmark on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. THE-INTL
For a complete list of Welcome September events, visit: https://lifeindenmark.borger.dk/ theme/welcome-september
AS SEPTEMBER USHERS IN THE AUTUMN SEASON, DENMARK OPENS ITS DOORS TO EMBRACE INTERNATIONAL WORKERS AND STUDENTS SEEKING NEW OPPORTUNITIES, PROFESSIONAL GROWTH, AND A HIGH QUALITY OF LIFE.PHOTOGRAPHS PEXELS TEXT RIKKE SKAK HARBOE
TV OR LIVE STREAMING
WHAT ARE THE FUTURE TRENDS?
LLATEST FIGURES SHOW that in the US, more than 34.8 per cent of total television consumption is live streaming, whereas 34.4 per cent of viewers watch traditionally broadcasted television channels. This trend towards more flexible access to digital entertainment can be seen worldwide with the increase of 4G and 5G internet availability.
Approximately 78% of all American households now use streaming services – either live streaming or streaming on demand. This makes the US the country where most households use streaming services, followed by Canada and the Nordic countries. Therefore, on average, Americans watch more television than any other nation – estimated at roughly 270 minutes per day.
According to the most recent data, the average time spent watching television across all European countries came to 220 minutes per day in 2021, with vast numbers of Romanian and Greek TV viewers spending up to five hours in front of their television daily.
The three most used streaming services globally are Netflix (233 million subscribers). Their nearest rivals are Amazon Prime, with 200 million and Disney, with 158 million.
Today, you can easily use an external streaming device to turn your regular TV into a smart TV. This is accomplished using small dongles or boxes with internet connectivity supporting video and music streaming services. Some well-known streaming devices include Google TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick and Google.
A smart TV will work fine without an internet connection. You can watch TV channels with a cable box or an antenna or connect Blu-ray/DVD players and hook up speakers like a regular TV. You will not, however, be able to use any of the video streaming apps that come with it.
Present technology does have some limitations for smart TVs. These include software crashes when updating is needed, freezing or crashing apps with insufficient processing power, input lag when pressing buttons, not always getting updates or software patches and limited app features.
You don't need a streaming device if you already have a smart TV. However, a streaming device could be a better choice if you have extra needs or an older smart TV. Streaming devices provide more content, such as endless options for entertainment.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DTV AND DIGITAL TV
DTV refers to the traditional broadcast television transmissions used for decades, whereas digital TV refers to over-the-air broadcasts using digital signals. However, DTV uses analogue signals and is easy to set up.
Due to a range of additional features, smart TVs are generally more expensive than regular TVs. They also provide more flexibility and convenience in terms of content accessibility. This is because, on a smart TV, we can use streaming services.
Digital television typically provides a better viewing experience with sharper colours and a crisp picture. Furthermore, they do not require an antenna or cable service subscription to be used.
CAN A DIGITAL TV BE CONVERTED TO A SMART TV?
If you are thinking of getting rid of your digital non-smart TV so that you can buy a smart TV, there is an alternative solution
worth considering. You can easily convert your digital TV into a smart TV and enjoy watching various online streaming services such as Netflix.
While digital TVs have built-in set-top boxes and can access free-to-air channels through terrestrial antennas, smart TVs have built-in smart features and can access the internet via Wi-Fi.
There is no failsafe way to convert a digital TV into a smart TV. However, it is possible to connect smart functionality to a separate device such as a smart TV box, stick or dongle. This will enable the digital TV to access the internet and use smart apps.
All the popular television networks now offer their own proprietary mobile app that enables you to stream current or recent TV show episodes and watch them, free of charge, on your mobile device's screen. The number of recent episodes for any specific TV series varies, and viewing typically includes commercials.
Smart digital entertainment has become the new normal and technology has embraced the opportunity that multiple devices offer service providers. THE-INTL
MARIANO ANTHONY DAVIES
PRESIDENT & CEO OXFORD BUSINESS SERVICES APS
Mariano has over 40 years global experience as a bus iness executive. He spent ten years with KPMG, so far thirty years with British Chambers of Commerce (while also running Oxford Business Services ApS). He is a British citizen, who grew up in Kent, went to boarding school in Sussex and has a British university education. He has been married to a Dane for over 45 years and has held over 150 official anti-Brexit speeches since 2016. He both speaks and writes Danish without difficulty.
"APPROXIMATELY 78% OF ALL AMERICAN HOUSEHOLDS NOW USE STREAMING SERVICES – EITHER LIVE STREAMING OR STREAMING ON DEMAND."
LOOKING FOR A TRADITIONAL BLUEBERRY MUFFIN WITH STREUSEL TOPPING RECIPE?
LOOK NO FURTHER - THESE ARE GUARANTEED TO HIT THE RIGHT SPOT!
PHOTOGRAPHS & TEXT: NATASHA LIVIERO / PEXELS
MAKES 12 X REGULAR-SIZE MUFFINS
STREUSEL TOPPING INGREDIENTS:
17g white granulated sugar
17g brown sugar
3g ground cinnamon (or to taste)
150g white granulated sugar
Zest of 2 lemons
210g flour, sifted
10g baking powder
3g ground cinnamon (optional)
100g canola/sunflower/neutral oil
10g vanilla extract
1 XL egg
150g blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1. Make the streusel by melting the butter and then cooling without solidifying.
2. Add the remaining streusel ingredients, mix until they resemble breadcrumbs and refrigerate until needed.
3. Set oven to 1900C and line a 12-hole, regularsize muffin pan with paper cases.
4. In a large bowl, zest two lemons and massage the zest into the sugar with your fingertips.
5. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon if using. Mix with a spatula and then make a well in the centre.
6. Mix the buttermilk, oil, vanilla and egg in a jug until well combined.
7. Pour the liquid into the centre of the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
8. With your hands, coat the blueberries with the flour.
9. Gently stir the coated blueberries through the batter.
10. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases, evenly distributing the blueberries.
11. Sprinkle the streusel on top of each muffin without overcrowding the tops.
12. Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and cool for 3-5 minutes before removing the muffins and placing on a cooling rack.
13. They are best eaten the day they are made.
14. Store in an airtight container for up to three days.
NATASHA LIVIERO - PASTRY CHEF
Natasha is a pastry chef who is South African by birth and Croatian by blood. She spent many years working for a wellness publication but did an about-turn at the beginning of 2020 when she joined a culinary school to fulfil a lifelong dream to study patisserie. She’s passionate about European patisserie and loves spending time in the kitchen experimenting with recipes (while quibbling with her fe-line friends), and is always on the hunt for interesting new cookbooks.
THE CHALLENGES OF LEARNING DANISH
DANISH IS A SCANDINAVIAN LANGUAGE FROM THE SAME OLD LANGUAGE – OLD NORSE. IT MEANS THAT WITH A LITTLE EFFORT, DANES, NORWEGIANS AND SWEDES CAN COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER, SPEAKING THEIR LANGUAGE. THIS IS A GOOD REASON TO START LEARNING ONE OF THEM.
WWHEN YOU MOVE to Denmark and decide to live here (after getting a residence permit), you can study Danish for the first five years free in municipal language schools (in Danish – Sprogcenter) nationwide. I started learning Danish one and a half years ago. And if you assume that after such a long time of learning a language directly in the country where this language is spoken, I must already be able to hold a fluent conversation with the Danes, I have to mislead you. My Danish is still not good enough to start talking immediately.
Danish is such a complicated language. Some of my schoolmates have problems with grammar, others with reading or writing. It is very individual. I have, for example, problems with listening and correct pronunciation. And I am not the only one. Understanding Danish native speakers when they are talking is challenging – because of the fast-talking and the "vowels eating". Learning Danish also has more challenges, but let's start from the beginning.
LETTERS AND NUMBERS
Primary, you need clarification about two things. First are Danish unique letters. Danes use Æ, Ø and Å, and they pronounce them like extended "e", slashed "o", and "o" in the English exclamation "oh". You should also know that the letter "y" in Danish words is pronounced like "u".
The second strange thing in Danish is numbers. From 0 to 20 are Danish numbers quite okay, but if you want to count 20+, you need to remember that Danes use different ways like we use in English and many other languages.
The first is always units and then tens. For example, number twenty-five is in Danish "femogtyve" (five and twenty). Danish numbers 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90 can also be bizarre for foreigners. Fifty is "halvtreds", sixty is "tres", seventy is "halvfjerds", eighty is "firs", and ninety is "halvfems". Explaining this phenomenon is even more complicated than simply learning these numbers by heart.
Another challenge can be time. It is tough to include learning Danish in the daily routine. Especially for women and mothers if they have long to-do lists full of daily duties. From my experience, it can be done if you find the right way that works for you. My advice is to find an activity that is a pleasure for you so that it will be relaxing.
For example, if you love reading books, you can read them in Danish. If you have your favourite TV series, you can try to watch it in Danish. Whether you prefer to understand grammar, you should find an application or website to help you train in grammar. The good thing is also a practice book with answers. And, of course, as a participant in a language course, do your homework. As a pupil, I wouldn't say I liked homework, but now is when I can switch my brain to another mode: relaxation. What will fit you more is up to you; bring a little fun to the learning language.
To advance in Danish, finding at least a small opportunity to talk, preferably every day, is also good. It can be with a shop assistant, postman, neighbours or mothers in a playground (of course, only if you have kids there, too; otherwise, it will be a little weird). I know some of my schoolmates who started doing team sports or joined various collective hobby activities where they can communicate in Danish with native speakers.
I have, for example, one friend. She is not originally from Denmark but has lived here since childhood. When we write messages, we write in Danish and sometimes talk in Danish. This way is easier for me because I am usually too shy to start talking in a foreign language until I determine if my speech will be good enough. Maybe in the beginning, you will feel that learning Danish is all Greek for you, but over time, it will get better, and you will progress quite quickly, also thanks to the fact that you live in a country where this language, perhaps entirely new for you, is spoken. THE-INTL
TOP TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR DANISH:
#1 PODCASTS: There are many podcasts in Danish for beginners, but my favourites are DanishTube and Dansk i ørerne
#2 BOOKS: I have already started reading Danish novels, but if it is too much for you, you can begin with bedtime stories, fairy tales, short news or audiobooks. A good application is eReolen
#3 MOVIES AND TV SERIES: Streaming services are full of movies and TV series where you can also find Danish movies or select Danish subtitles. I recommend checking the DR TV archive, which is free.
#4 DANISH SONGS AND RECIPES: Singing popular Danish songs or preparing national meals can also be fun. I draw inspiration in the kitchen, for example, here
NATÁLIA ŠEPITKOVÁ FREELANCE JOURNALIST AND WRITER
Natalia is a Slovak journalist based in Aalborg, Denmark. She has around 15 years of experience in journalism. Her experiences as an editor and a reporter were founded in Slovak magazines and newspapers. She was also working as a TV reporter, a TV moderator and a host in radio broadcasting. Part of her career included working with PR and marketing. Natália is also a content creator on her social media. Follow her blog www.mamavdansku.com , where she writes about life in Denmark.
@Mama v Dánsku
@Mum in Denmark
"DANISH IS SUCH A COMPLICATED LANGUAGE. SOME OF MY SCHOOLMATES HAVE PROBLEMS WITH GRAMMAR, OTHERS WITH READING OR WRITING. IT IS VERY INDIVIDUAL."
NORDIC WHISKY MIGHT SOUND CONTRADICTORY, WITH WHISK(E)Y NATIVE TO WATER-RICH
GGOING FROM ALMOST non-existent at the start of the century, there are over 50 distilleries in the Nordic region. Nearly every territory, country and region is now represented, with whisky being distilled in new distilleries from Faroe to Finland and up to the Arctic Circle.
Despite being a relatively new phenomenon, the Nordic whisky industry appears increasingly confident and bold. Earlier this year, Denmark, Finland and Sweden were all placed in the top 5 regions in the world for growth of the spirit. Typically, there is a focus on organic raw materials and production methods, while Scotland still has only a handful of organic distilleries. Locally grown goods are also crucial to Nordic distillers, with many projects aiming to revive local heritage strains of barley and other grains that have fallen out of use in the age of industrial farming.
Danish whisky-making started in Jutland, with Stauning launching first on the West Coast and probably being the best-known Danish whisky internationally. Further up the West Coast, Thy Whisky was opened in 2014 on a family farm keen to try a new direction. The whisky is entirely single estate, with everything grown on the farm and byproducts from the production fed to the farm’s happy, organic cows. In true Danish style, there is also a big focus on fælesskab, community, in the industry: Thy use their malting facilities to also malt the barley of other Danish distilleries to their own specifications, supporting their fellow distillers.
Coming from a far-flung part of Scotland that has built its economy on our national drink, I’ve always known of the benefits that can come with the spirit. Now, living in a part of Jutland considered Udkants Danmark , the Danish periphery, new developments such
as whisky distilleries can do good in the countryside. Tourists visiting distilleries need accommodation, food and other sober activities, and distilleries. After the Stauning distillery this summer, I visited a restaurant in the small town of the same name and felt an odd de ja vu hearing Danish whisky fans around me discussing Macallan, visits to the whisky island of Islay and their favourite Danish whiskies. Clearly, whisky in Denmark is bringing people to the lesser-visited small towns, generating interest in the regions and supporting jobs.
WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY
I am lucky enough to get to combine my love of writing with telling the world the stories of my home country’s national drink. But, beyond the spirit itself, there are culture, people, and unique stories to
be told that go far beyond Scotland. Earlier this year, I worked on a project in partnership with Norwegian distillery Aurora Spirit, based beyond the Arctic Circle, a couple of hours north of Tromsø. We marketed a whisky to be auctioned for charity, named Fram and inspired by Norwegian polar explorer and humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen. I got to use my Danish language skills to attack Norwegian stories of legendary polar exploration, humanitarian work and even the boat builder, who happened to be Scottish-Scandinavian. Maybe it is not a relatable enough story for it to go in the promotional flyers for language school, but it was indeed a great moment for me personally, with brilliant results overall - Fram was so popular that the first bottle became a record breaker as the most expensive Norwegian spirit ever sold! THE-INTL
"Going from almost non-existent at the start of the century, there are over 50 distilleries in the Nordic region."
HEATHER STORGAARD WRITER
Heather Storgaard comes from Northern Scotland, grew up in Switzerland, and lived in England and Germany. She met her Danish and soon-tobe British husband back in 2017, and they now split their time between Central Scotland and Helgenæs, a peninsula in rural Eastern Jutland. Suitably for a Scot, Heather works with whisky, spending her time writing and translating, with a particular softspot for the up-and-coming world of Nordic Whisky.
CELTIC SCOTLAND AND IRELAND. WHILE NOT HAVING A LONG HISTORY FOUND OVER THE NORTH SEA, NORDIC WHISKY IS MAKING WAVES, WINNING AWARDS AND CREATING A NEW INDUSTRY IN OFTEN REMOTE REGIONS.
A COASTAL COUNTRY
IIF A COUNTRY'S outline, coastline, or unfathomable shape had a casual observer or a geographical obsessive eating from the palm of its hand, indeed, it was Denmark. I found it exciting to look at on maps (a beautiful thumb and all its additional parts) a bewitching body. I lived here. Where nothing was too far away, everything reachable, accessible, a spectacular world on the doorstep.
Denmark had a peninsula – growing off Germany as if it were the most breathtaking bulbous appendage – many islands, both large and small, bridges connecting them to the rest of its brothers and sisters (or else for trips to deliver visitors there or inhabitants to and fro) as well as neighbouring Sweden, and beaches aplenty for its less than six million residents. No beach was ever packedthey were all free to use, and there appeared to be almost endless space for such a small country. In short, Denmark could breathe. With the sea so nearby, with spectacular bridges and views of the islands/peninsula from over on the other sides, you could never be far from something that caught your attention. It was a flat, open, thrilling land with a structure like nothing else, and the wind and rain were never far away. The lack of mountains was more than made up for by the unfathomably pretty beaches and coastlines. Granted, it was cooler than most of Europe and with many people sun-seeking for their annual holidays, it made sense that Denmark was a secret treasure trove, a series of love letters to the earth yet to be uncovered. Freedom was everywhere.
Denmark invited natives, expats such as me who lived here, and visitors and holidaymakers from beyond, not obsessed with sunshine and heat, to bask in its inconceivably elegant beaches, vistas, and majesty, the unpredictable weather affecting every moment. Secret magic murmured, lay around every corner here. Having recently ventured a short distance to Trelde Naes and unearthed sights and space as if we had made our own special discovery, we were again stunned. In a nutshell, this was the country we had moved to, what we had hoped for, what existed in the unlikeliest locations. We had encountered peace for not the first time during our new life in Denmark.
I was curious how the average native Dane saw it, as in my past experiences, I had found those who lived in a special place didn't tend to explore it, appreciate it, or even know many of its charms. Did they cherish the wonder surrounding their lives? Time alone would deliver that answer to me.
I had thus far become acquainted with several holiday spots along the west coast of Denmark, both north and south of Esbjerg. I knew the bridge that connected Fyn to Jylland, had been to some of the beaches on both the peninsula and the country's central island. My experiences of Zealand were thus far limited to a trip to coastal Copenhagen some years earlier. The smaller islands also appealed and would bring their own unique gifts, further treasures to be taken on board over time. The very idea that
so much lay out there, within our grasp, both to inspire and learn about, was entirely thrilling.
The sea whispered tales of Vikings, further Scandinavia beyond, past and present, and what was yet to come. The ever-perplexing Danish weather sometimes made you feel the earth and its waters had collided with the sky and heavens above, where one ended, and the other began no longer being discernible. The coastline of Denmark, its obscure weather system, the endless mystery, and magic for such a small but perfectly scattered flat land was scarcely comprehensible, a prize for adults and children alike, a place to fall in love with repeatedly, a country apart from others.
Here were some of the whitest, sandiest, and most pebble-laden beaches I had ever witnessed. The waters can be intoxicating shades of green and blue, as clear as exotic seas and their white sandy beaches of countries continents removed from our own.
The curves of her body were exquisite, the (coast)lines traceable, contours designed to hike, to wander, to follow where they went until every beach had been visited, every inch of her body explored, covered. Denmark's shape was desirable beyond any other, possessor of a charm I had not known in a country before. THE-INTL
DOMINIC J STEVENSON
WRITER / MUSICIAN / ARTIST
Dominic J Stevenson is a 3-time published author and the creator of the Literary Portrait / Visual Artwork project. He comes from Nottingham, England (Robin Hood land) and is a husband and father. He is a writer, musician, and artist. His writing has been published on many platforms - both online and in magazine format. He has lived in Denmark since 2022, in several European countries before that, and has recorded one album as Vincent Bella (The Dark Side Pulling At Us) and speaks fluent Spanish. He is enjoying learning Danish, albeit rather slowly. He loves the arts (music, film/ TV, literature, impressionism and more), tennis, football (Nottingham Forest FC), travel, languages, laughter, and Lego.Dominic J Stevenson
NEW BEGINNINGS - TIMES FLIES!
HHAVING JUST SAID farewell to my firstgrade class, I am reflecting on the year that has just passed. And the most startling aspect is that it just flew by. It evaporated so quickly that it hardly seemed possible! Is this an age thing, or is this reality. As we have a graphic organiser in the class called ‘Days in School’, it did become something concrete for the children. As they showed their ability to count and subtract, they concluded that twenty-three days and counting down was not a long time. They realised that I would no longer be their class teacher. At this point, reality set in and, as I had anticipated, some coaching and reassurance needed to be bestowed regarding the issues of change and transition.
The security of their grade 1 experience was being upturned. While some students were more pragmatic, others were clearly upset. Many daily hugs, words of reassurance, and story time were needed to try to alleviate some of the anxiety. What had become safe and enjoyable was disappearing, and even though the desire to ‘go up to the next class’ had always been so important and exciting, it was not so in the moment. The desire was to ‘stay put’.
And, for myself, the same feelings turned around in my head. I had worked hard to create the right environment, build trust, which takes a long time, and develop a mutual understanding and strong bond. And then, in a flash, it was destined to be gone. I, too, was not ready to let go of the class. I was and am sad.
This relates to the children and the time, energy, communication, and relationship-building with the parent base. It is a far more challenging group with which to align and have support, so it is a double loss.
It has led me to question the system of the one-year turnover. In an International School or in the international section of a Danish school, a class tends to only spend a year with a teacher. I am unaware of the reasoning, but it may be argued that it allows the teacher to become a specialist for
a particular age group.
A regular Danish school has a different system, and the teacher keeps the class until they leave primary school. This allows for a real journey of growth and evolvement to take place. From the dialogues of this experience my Danish colleagues shared, it seems much more enriching and satisfying. The time together allows for long-term, fundamental understanding and support for the children. It is easy to see why the class teacher is such a critical person in a young person’s life. It is even more important if a child does not have a stable home life. School can be a lifeline.
As the reality is not changing at this point in time, I am happy that I am only a few steps away from their next classroom. We share the same recess time, and I will be teaching them for one class per week, so I will take the positives and be happy!
The pre-schoolers, or ‘Maj børn’, as they are referred to in the Danish system, are already in situ, and they and I have had the
opportunity to meet and spend a little time together - thus, the transition is a little smoother and provides some scope to establish new connections with the children and the parents. This is really positive.
So, for now, I will continue my reflections on improving my teaching strategies and materials and await the arrival of my new class with glee. THE-INTL
MONIKA PEDERSEN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR
Monika comes from the London area of the UK, where she worked in the state system and the international school system, as an English teacher of 11-18 students and then a high school principal. She has also worked in leadership roles in Germany and in Denmark. She has an overview of the British, International, American, and the Danish system. She has many years of experience and continues to enjoy the profession. She has relocated to Copenhagen and enjoys the city and summer house life with her Danish husband.@monikapedersen
CHOOSING THE BEST FOR YOUR FAMILY WITHOUT PREJUDICEPHOTOGRAPHS PEXELS TEXT MICHAELA MEDVEDOVÁ / SARA R. NEWELL
AAS PARENTS, OUR role is to protect our children and ensure they receive the best care possible. This is all the more important if you are a parent to a child with special needs, and in some cases, you might have to tackle a difficult question - whether or not to move your child into full-time care.
We talked to a mother who has a child with special needs about her decision to move her child into full-time care, how to navigate the process, and how to deal with the guilt and stigma that unfortunately often accompanies this decision.
SELECTING A NEW LIVING SPACE
In her experience, parents can start considering moving their child into full-time care when they feel they can no longer cope as a family. This can happen for many reasons, including a lack of support from family or kommune (municipality) for respite. Most people get support with one weekend a month (usually Friday after school until Monday morning) or more if you ask for extra support. Fighting for services for your child from the komunne while holding down a full-time job and caring for the rest of the family can be a lot to handle. According to research in the USA, divorce rates for families with children with autism are as high as 80% and for families of children with all disabilities that number has been touted as high as 85-87%.
The mother shared they were too burnt out in her specific situation. “We felt like we were not giving our best as parents to both our child with special needs and their sibling. Our child was not sleeping through the night and would wake up 2-3 times a night, which meant everyone had broken sleep. We both had full-time jobs, so we went from working all day to caring for our child until the early morning hours.”
The kommune started telling the parents from an early age that there are facilities that can support their child full-time, so if they feel overwhelmed, the kommune can provide it. Sadly, there should be more support or an option for additional home help, but it’s few and far between that have that kind of support, and once over 18, it becomes an impossible fight. Once you have mutually decided, the kommune starts looking for places, and you decide together before your child moves. “We looked at two places before we moved our child, but the kommune will always choose the most cost-effective one, which isn’t great if it’s not the one you wanted. There are not enough facilities in Denmark. Our child requires 24-hour care, and they battled to find places close to home, which is one of our criteria as we still want to be involved with all aspects of our child’s life.”
After selecting the place, the kommune will begin by setting a mutually agreed date when the child will move out of their home. The parents got to visit where their child would move to and see the room and the other children they would be living with. “They are very kind when your child moves to a bosted (the full-time care facility). They are very supportive of your child and your family. We received many pictures and calls in the first few weeks and came to visit whenever we wanted. We also got to bring him home for on and off weekend visits, holidays, etc.”
When engaging in this process, she would recommend talking to other parents who have gone through this process before through Facebook groups. It’s also good to check the institutions’ websites and read the supervisory reports (tilsynsrapporter) to ensure the institution follows the correct rules. What’s best for your child ultimately depends on their individual needs.
WALK A MILE IN OTHERS’ SHOES
Besides dealing with the selection of the new bosted, the mother also experienced much stigma surrounding the decision to move her child to full-time care. “A lot of the time, the stigma is self-inflicted as I’ve found that most people, especially Danes, look at fulltime care as a practical solution. Danes have a saying: You need to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you help someone else with theirs. But if you are an international, most sit with the guilt of giving your child over to someone else, that you’re not good parents - even though I’ve come to believe this was the right decision for everyone, and most importantly, our child.”
She mostly faced external stigma and strong opinions from people back in her home country, but she soon distanced herself from them. “I always say - walk a mile in my shoes. It was the hardest decision we have ever had to make, and unless you’re in the same situation, you will never understand how it feels. I think there needs to be more understanding. Perhaps if others share their stories and feelings, other people might understand.” After their child moved out, the parents took time off work to grieve (it can feel like an unnatural loss), sleep as they had never slept before, talked a lot about their feelings, tried to handle their guilt surrounding the move, and spent time with their other child. “We also agreed that if our child wasn’t happy in the bosted, we would bring them home. But our child was so happy and fit in so well - having people around who had the energy we just didn’t have anymore. During visits, we became parents again, not carers – we just wanted to be mom and dad.”
NEVER TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF THE WHEEL
The involvement after moving your child into full-time care varies from parent to parent. “I am very involved. I made the mistake of backing off and not keeping on top of my child’s care, and things started to slip. Now he lives in an adult institution - I constantly check on them, hold regular meetings, and continue to fight with the kommune. It’s important to still be in your child’s life as the kommune takes parents more seriously compared to a representative from a bosted. My advice is - never take your hands off the wheel, do spot checks on your child’s care.”
The biggest fear for most parents with non-verbal children/adults is abuse. “There have been isolated incidents in the media (and, of course, the bad stories bring out our worst fears), so it is a worry for all of us. My child has had his leg broken twice while in adult care without a reason why - the prime suspect is bad moving from his bed (using a sejl (hammock) to a wheelchair.”
The relationship between a carer and your child is very important. Most form close relationships with their carers as they become like a second family, which can be challenging and comforting for the parents. “The only thing I don’t like is when they try to take over and try to parent. A good carer should know when to back off and give parents space. Communication is the biggest problem in bosteds, so being honest and expressing your feelings is important. Another issue is the high staff turnover that happens in places like this. Your child can get close to a carer, and then the next minute, they’re gone. That’s not fair or healthy for your child.” Current research suggests that by 2030, Denmark will be short of 16,000 staff for the social care area – so there is a constant need for labour. It affects our children as those with high needs will get less and less care that they desperately need. THE-INTL
MICHAELA MEDVEDOVÁ comes from Slovakia and moved to Denmark 3 years ago to study for her Master's degree. She says living in Odense is the perfect city for her because it's not too large to be intimidating, but still exciting! She works at Umbraco as a Magical Copy Whisperer and started a podcast with her friends - @humans.of.sdu. She loves watching and talking about movies, Harry Potter, karaoke nights (even though she can't sing to save her life), and pub quizzes (winning them, to be specific).
SARA R. NEWELL is from Canada, went to high-school in Costa Rica, and has worked and studied in Iceland and Denmark. She is a disability rights activist and has a master's degree in Technological Business Development and Biomedical Engineering from Aarhus University. Sara has lived in Denmark since 2003, and lives with her husband and daughter. She hopes to contribute and share insights with others who have children with disabilities. https://www.linkedin.com/in/sararose-newell-b1904726 / https://m.facebook.com/groups/bakopomdepaarorende
RIDING OUT A STORM
TTHERE'S ALWAYS A storm here and there that we can get caught in without any preparation. Some people easily ride it, and some struggle a bit more - either way, we don't have an option but to ride it out. But how?
If you're spiritual, you will believe it when people say, "We will be able to overcome and are ready for everything that happens to us in life." Truthfully, I struggled to believe that for many years because when a storm hits, it hits. It doesn't matter how hard it hits and in which area in life - you are just being swept up, and things get disrupted, and you feel a sense of hopelessness and helplessness with that initial shockwave. But in hindsight, everything worked out for the better despite it not seeming so then. Sometimes, we just need to hang onto that faith that things WILL work out in the end - if it doesn't, it's not the end. There are so many things in life that are heartbreaking and irreparable. Some losses are permanent loss and change you forever. I guess the key in whatever situation is our perspective. You can choose to dwell on it and focus on the negative sides, pity and victimise yourselves, or use it as an opportunity to grow and progress in life. It's easier said than done, but sadly, that's all we can control and decide.
We need to trust that we can overcome any upheavals. Initially, it might seem very heavy and big, but it gets lighter and clearer daily. Our minds are very powerful, and it does wonders. I'm not saying we must push down and put aside our emotions and feelings - we should allow and feel all of it, regardless of how long it takes to process and subside. We let it sink in and try to see the lesson in every situation. Usually, they are a chance to show us something for healing or growth, or both, and it might not show up right away, but with time, it will become clear why. Before that happens, we can only try to remain calm and grounded, so we deeply anchor ourselves, our hopes, our faith, and our beliefs to ride it out. The eye of the storm is usually calmest while the surroundings are going crazy - that's how we want to try to maintain while waiting for the wave to pass.
PRACTICAL THINGS WE CAN DO
In all that frantic moment of being caught in a storm, sometimes we don't seem to see the end of it or any way out, and it's so normal how we feel this unwanted situation has suffocated us. Remember, it is a situation, and it is temporary, although it might feel forever. While we go through this temporary overcast, we can find practical ways to lighten the feelings. If it's a scenario with practical solutions (e.g. financial, a change of job, taking some time off from burning out, etc.), then look into what actions can be taken to detach ourselves from those negative thoughts for a while. Be open to asking for and receiving help if it's an option that can elevate the situation. Look for alternatives that might not be ideal but a stepping-stone for the time being while retreating and recovering a little. If it's a scenario without a practical solution (e.g. death of a dear one, breakup, etc.), sadly, there are
no quick-fix band-aids to heal or resolve it. It takes time and effort to heal from it. Talk to friends, exercise, have a routine, eat healthily, and look after ourselves first. Be open to talking to a professional or going to therapy.
There is really no short-cut to riding any storms in life - as painful as it gets to let it pass, it is essential to be kind and compassionate to yourself, be patient, and take it a day at a time because, after all, everything is temporary and if we do the work and process our emotions and traumas properly, we will be on a good journey to healing and become stronger. You are not alone on any journey - there will always be more solutions than problems. Believe it or not, life works in mysterious ways - resources and help will be available to help us get through it. I love to think that if you find humour in every situation in life, you win. THE-INTL
OPHELIA WU FASHION CONSULTANT & JOURNALIST
Like her hometown Hong Kong, Ophelia has a diverse background and upbringing. She moved to Copenhagen in 2019 after 10 years of living in London. Her fashion and journalism career began in 2007 at ELLE Hong Kong magazine, and later on as an online stylist at Net-A-Porter.com in the UK; she has worked with all sorts of creatives, brands and celebrities globally. She now works on everything fashion and communicationrelated. With her love of travelling and places her work brought her to, people she met from all walks of life inspired her to start her own business M for Minimal: a place to raise the awareness of going back to basics through conscious consumption and mindfulness with a touch of spirituality - something she has been practising since her teenage years.
"SOMETIMES, WE JUST NEED TO HANG ONTO THAT FAITH THAT THINGS WILL WORK OUT IN THE END - IF IT DOESN'T, IT'S NOT THE END. "