Angie, Copenhagen

Who are you?

I am an American teacher and blogger in my late 20s.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

I decided to move to Copenhagen, Denmark in October of 2014 to live with my long distance, Danish boyfriend.

What challenges did you face during the move?I struggled with downsizing my all of my belongings to fit into only a few suitcases. My friends and family know me to be a bit of a hoarder, so it was really hard to decide what to leave behind, sell, or get rid of.

How did you find somewhere to live?

I got really lucky because I moved in with my boyfriend who already had an apartment in Copenhagen.

Are there many other expats in your area?

It’s amazing how many expats are in this city. It seems like everyone I meet is from somewhere else. I’ve been lucky to meet people from so many different countries.

What is your relationship like with the locals?

The Danes have a reputation for being hard to befriend, but every Dane I have met is really nice. It also helps that my boyfriend has introduced me to a few of his friends.

What do you like about life where you are?

I love the work/life balance. People in Denmark have reasonable work hours and a minimum of 5 weeks vacation. It’s wonderful!

What do you dislike about your expat life?

I know it’s horrible, but I really miss American fast food, snacks, and candy. There’s a good amount of similar things available here, but it’s just not the same. Also, I really miss my sports from back home. Soccer just doesn’t always cut it.

What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?

I’m definitely not used to idea of not talking to strangers. I’m a very social person and start conversation with people everywhere. However, it’s just not something you do in Denmark.

How does shopping (for food/clothes/household items etc.) differ compared to back home?

Back home, grocery shopping happens every two weeks to a month, and you stock up on everything you could possibly think of needing. Here in Denmark, we go to the store very frequently and only buy what we need for a day or two at a time.

What do you think of the food in your new country? What are your particular likes or disliked?

For the most part, I like the food here, even though it’s a little on the heavy side. However, I really haven’t developed a taste for remoulade. Also, I have a hard time with all the licorice flavored things. It’s just not a taste I enjoy.

What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

Definitely be aware of the fact that people will bring up your nation’s stereotypes, but it’s usually all in good fun. Also, don’t be discouraged if people don’t seem as friendly as you’re used to, it’s nothing personal. Finally, relax. Most people speak English and are general really helpful.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m planning on staying indefinitely, so I’m taking Danish classes to try to integrate here a little better. Also, I intend to travel around Europe since I had never visited prior to moving.

Angie shares more information about life in Denmark through her blog, thestereotypicalamerican.com.