Homestead Denmark
A good start to settling in

Why Homestead?


See what other newcomers are saying about their relocation experiences.

It’s always helpful to hear what other people’s trials and tribulations were, when they moved to Denmark. Feel free to share your experiences, if you believe other newcomers may benefit from them.

You will not see names of the writers, due to something called “Markedsførsloven” (competition clause)


1- Language: all corresponding from Danish authorities (municipality, DONG, SKAT, ..) are in Danish, which needed continuous asking for help from Danish people. 2- Finding a house or a flat near the work place. 3- Getting used to the lease agreements in Denmark (a lot of money could be given to the landlord in case of damage or repair), which is not common in other places in the world. The tenant has to take extremely good care of the rented property.
…Something I would have liked to have (not completely necessary) is a guide on where do I go to buy some essential household stuff, and also a translation guide (haha). I still remember struggling with milk, because I wasn’t sure if it was milk or yogurt. Also I’ve always messed up with the water I bought, because I didn’t know what “Brus” stood for!
…Fully understanding the tax/holiday/etc system (6 years later still not sure I understand it) even though at a flat 25% it looks like it should be pretty straightforward…
I would say from my point of view and from point of view of many other people, finding work for an accompanying spouse is a major challenge here…. I also had difficulties finding a nanny, I remember. Didn’t quite know where to look and whom to ask for recommendations…
Some of the challenges I recall are - finding time to view places, I started into a demanding project straight off when I arrived and didn’t have much time to spare. Often when I looked at apartments online they were gone before I could even get to see them. Also I found it really difficult to understand how much I would get in net pay in Denmark as the tax issue is so complicated which meant I wasn’t clear on what I could afford to pay in rent until after I found a place - I could have afforded about more than I thought at the outset. Also knowing what area of the city to look to live in was a bit of a challenge…
Major Challenges - not able to get the proper guidance on the locations and transport to work. - Houses in the city are too expensive and agencies do no show better and cheaper houses little away from the city. - no support while exiting the house as owner normally deduct lot of money 6-8000 dkk for false reasons which we can’t fight. We expect that the agency should involve and make the correct decision.

“What a lovely package you put together!  My Danish colleagues were impressed!! I just wanted to let you know that It's lovely, and I very much appreciate it. I enjoyed your talk very much, and I will keep you in mind if I have any questions.” Maria Saugar American Expat in Denmark

I would say the 3 most challenging areas I faced were 1) the healthcare system - finding a good doctor, what DK norms are & adjusting to their way 2) getting a drivers license - neither of us have been successful with this one. The system has changed while we have lived here but there’s just not a single source to go to to understand all the steps and the timeframes 3) daycare processes - if you are going into the Danish system, what that looks like and if you are going to an international one, there are very few options!
1, When I first arrived the challenges were how to travel with public transport, where to get the ticket etc. because there is no information written in English. 2. The second challenge is weather, I had a hard time in winter. 3. Now that I have been living here for almost 3years the challenge is that I cannot find a real deep connected friend…
1) Paying the 3-month deposit and first month rent in 1 go just after you arrive and before you get your first paycheck in Denmark. As the kroner is generally stronger than most other currencies the amount of cash to fork out as you just arrive is rather a challenge, especially given that one does spend rather a lot of money during your move to a new country. 2) Setting up your tax with Skat and knowing the Danish tax implications on your investments in your home country. Being taxed in Denmark on capital growth on your foreign shares whilst not realizing(selling) your shares in your home country is a very unexpected method of taxing. Not normal outside Denmark...3) Danish leave terms. It is not normal outside of Denmark to not get paid leave for your first year. Was a nasty surprise the first time I took a week off:) 4) Finding an apartment and moving in… 5) Understanding the public transport setup and the most cost effective option for my own needs, and using Rejseplanen. Did not know about Rejseplanen that for a while. Also got fined for buying the wrong zone tickets.
…The first challenge was finding a place to live as you know well. especially local housing websites are not so foreigner friendly and housing market is so fast. Second challenge was to receive everything from Danish government in Danish and nothing to be sent in English. You need to count on google translate for governmental papers. Thirdly, overall Danish is a diffucult language and it makes you to integrate with the society. Being an expat, you integrate with expat community only most of the time. In the first days of my stay, I also found it difficult to arrange a place. Finding an electrician can be impossible. Every labor area has its own rules without flexibility. Service sector is very limited…
1. Language: Although almost everyone can speak English, many Danish websites, specifically the public ones do not have English transilation. 2. Tax system: I still don’t know how much tax I am paying and why... Interesting enough, many Danish friends do not know either. 3. Renting: Not many apartments available. Very high deposits, going up to 5 months… 4. Information sharing: Not a lot of info sharing among the colleagues and friends. I think this is rather cultural. People expect you to find your own rights which may be sometimes difficult especially when you do not know the language.
…The biggest challenge is around finding a proper housing.
I would say that the first challenge is to know what are your rights: as resident in DK, as european resident in DK or as EU citizen granted permanent residence in DK + get full knowledge of what to have in place before a major change happens.
…In general living in DK is very easy, people are polite, speak English well, perhaps a bit shy (to the point of appearing rude), but generally friendly, good sense of humor and trustworthy. The city is very open and easy to get around in, bike is by far the most convenient, but public transportation is great. Plenty of taxis but expensive (like everything). We never owned a car bc owning one is super expensive (esp. registration and when compared to US, and other EU), we did subscribe to a delebil service which worked well and was reasonable in price. Grocery shopping is a bit ‘different’ even though there are many shops, they are typically small (again relative to US gigantic, but also to NL supermarkets), and seem to have all the same assortment, at slightly different prices. If you have time and don’t need anything specific, the Netto is best for it’s discounts. Also labels on groceries come in three or four languages, but these are danish Swedish Norwegian and Finnish. Good for the brain but not for understanding ingredients if you don’t master these languages (ability to do so grows over time, and is one of the resins to take Danish classes, also recommended to help understand local habits). Healthcare is good, though it does help to ‘shop’ for a good family doctor. Makes a big difference as some may seem not to prescribe anything else but bedtime, tea and some paracetamol. Hospitals are also somewhat industrial, and cold, you will need to be a vocal patient to get good attention (again, there are some very good exceptions). Overall we enjoyed living in DK, Copenhagen is a great city, perfect for young kids (super kid friendly, in restaurants, busses, etc) be surprised with the strollers outside of shops and restaurants, you’ll find the baby still in it... Ay i could keep going on (ah the bike-jams in the city, and bike etiquette in general (best way to make a Dane angry...)).

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Homestead – a good start to settling in