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Expat in Denmark

Being an expat in Denmark can be both challenging and rewarding. On the one hand, you may face language barriers and cultural differences, making navigating day-to-day life difficult. However, on the other hand, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture, make new friends, and broaden your horizons.

In the following article, we will guide you through everyday road bumps you will encounter as a new expat in Denmark, in addition to tips and resources for smoother acclimatization.

Lejlighed på Vesterbro

Moving to Denmark from abroad

Denmark and Copenhagen are not only beautiful but also known for their high standard of living, excellent healthcare and education systems, and a strong commitment to sustainability and work-life balance. These factors make it a great place to live, work and raise a family.

However, in order to settle in a new country, you first need to find a place you can call home. 

At Bomae we have long experience helping expats find cosy and affordable apartments and houses across Denmark. 

Whether you prefer an inner city apartment or a countryside house, we will provide you with the best objects on the market and help you with the sometimes puzzling processes. As a buyer's agent, we are 100% committed to providing you with the best possible solution. Read more about our services here, or scroll down to continue reading about what you can expect from moving to Denmark from abroad.

Challenges of being an expat in Denmark

Being an expat in Denmark can be an exciting experience, but it can also come with its own set of challenges. Here are some common challenges that expats may face in Denmark.

Navigating the Danish language

The Danish language is notoriously tricky to master. While the grammar and written Danish have many similarities with other Scandinavian and Northern European languages, the spoken variant is a whole different story. Danes tend to talk fast. However, they don't care about articulation very much. 

Then we have the counting. You'd think learning basic numbers would be the first and easiest step when learning a new language. This is, however, not the case when it comes to Danish. Unlike their neighbors Sweden and Germany, the Danes use a system built around "scores" (i.e. groups of twenty). 

If you want a good run-through of the system, we encourage you to read The Local's guide to Danish counting. 

Luckily, a majority of the Danes understand English. So you will get on fine with your everyday life using English, with the addition of common Danish phrases like tak (thank you), undskyld (pardon/excuse me) and det er fedt (it's awesome). 

Another tip to avoid misunderstandings is to use your phone's calculator and translation app. 

Finding employment as an expat in Denmark

The Danish population may be small, but the country is home to an impressive number of multinational companies. Have you heard of brands like Lego, Carlsberg and Maersk? Like every other major enterprise, they are screaming for staff with the right competencies. 

So, are you a native English speaker with experience working for a large company? Then you will have very good chances of building a career in your newly adopted home country. Just remember that as a non-EU citizen, you may have to apply for a job visa before starting to work in Denmark. 

If you already have a work visa and competitive qualifications, the best way to get employment as an expat in Denmark is to reach out directly to the companies or niche recruitment agencies operating in your field of business. 

For entry-level positions and part-time jobs, we advise you to use one of the many online job portals, such as Jobnet, Jobindex, and Work in Denmark. Most of them let you filter job openings based on language qualifications and industry. Then, you could also use Linkedin to scout the local job market. 

There's also the old-school way where you visit places like hotels, shops and restaurants in person and ask if they need any help. 

Building a social network 

Building a social network in a new place takes time, effort and patience, and Denmark is no exception. Scandinavians are generally not known for being the most outgoing people. Still, if you learn how to approach the Danes the right way, you will eventually have a little circle of friends to call your own. In Denmark, like everywhere else, there are extroverted and introverted people. By being proactive and open-minded, you have all opportunities to make new acquaintances. 

But where to start? We advise finding people in the same situation as you, namely other expats and Danes who have relocated to your new hometown. In the next paragraph we will list a couple of expat organizations in Denmark that you can contact. 

If you have a special interest or a hobby, this is an excellent opportunity to get to meet others. Attend classes and participate in activities where you can socialize with like-minded people. It’s no harder than that! 

Understanding the Danish healthcare and education system

The Danish systems for healthcare and education are quite different from, say, the American systems. To begin with, all Danes have access to tax funded healthcare, and the same goes with school and higher education. If you as an EU citizen (or from Norway or Switzerland) are covered by a public healthcare system in your country of origin, then you will most likely have the right to medical treatment in Denmark as well. 

This means however that non EU/EEA citizens will have to pay for medical treatment in Danish hospitals and clinics (except for some emergency treatment). These medical costs can quickly grow to quite large sums. Therefore, we advise you to buy insurance that covers medical expenses before you relocate. 

For students from EU/EEA member states or permanent residents, getting a university education in Denmark is free. For international students from outside the EU, the tuition fees can range from 6 000 to 18 000 EUR a year, depending on the programme.

Read more about the international schools in Denmark.

Resources for expats in Denmark

Moving to a new country can be a bit scary, but don’t worry. You’re not alone. Here are some of the best resources for new expats in Denmark. 

Expat in Denmark on Facebook

The Expat in Denmark group on Facebook is one of the biggest communities for expats in Denmark. Here you can discuss various topics regarding Danish society, life and culture, share experiences and get in touch with other expats. Currently, the group has more than 28 000 followers. 

Join the group on Facebook:


International Community Denmark

Are you planning on starting a new life in Jutland? International Community is an organization for international employees in Denmark and their families, international graduates, and others interested in the internationalization of Aarhus and surrounding areas. The organization hosts events and supports expats who want to settle in and around Denmark’s second largest city. 


International Community Denmark

Phone: +45 86 12 72 00

Address: Søndergade 4, 2. mf, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark

Other useful resources for expats in Denmark


While there may be some challenges to overcome when moving to a new country, the opportunities to grow and learn are endless. So embrace the expat experience, be open-minded, and make the most of your time in Denmark! 

And when you need help finding and purchasing your Danish dream home, look no further than Bomae. As a buyer’s agent, we are 100% on your side, from picking the best objects to negotiating the price with the seller’s realtor and finding the best loan offer.

Buyer's Agent

Please fill out the contact form, so we can talk about how we can help you with the purchase and financing of your home.

    Or call 70 40 03 36, Monday to Sunday 9:00-20:00