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Integration In Denmark Is An Overrated Subject

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Immigrants in Denmark
Immigrants in Denmark

Recently, a major Danish media vehicle hired a Syrian refugee as an intern and started a discussion about ‘How to make it in Denmark’. My impression was that the goal of its series of articles was to discuss whether Denmark offers enough opportunities for immigrants and refugees, and in general to bring more nuances to the topic. It certainly needs it.

Hard all over the world
Before moving to Denmark with my wife (who’s Danish), she chose to be in Brazil – to live, study and find work while I was finishing my studies. There, she faced many of the challenges that I have been facing here. Being a foreigner in Brazil was absolutely not easy for her.

So this discussion about Denmark being particularity ‘closed’ compared to other countries is to me extremely shallow, tedious and perhaps to a certain extent not true.

The safe bet
Foreigners in Denmark shouldn’t expect to make it ‘as easily’ as in their home countries for the simple reason that people in this case, the Danes, will more often go for the ‘safe bet’, or at least with what they are familiar with.

Foreigners have to prove themselves more, or they have to stand out. That’s how it is whether you live in Denmark, Brazil or Australia. I don’t believe this is solemnly a Danish standard.

Drop the victim mentality
It’s always very convenient to become a victim when all the odds seem so difficult.

To me integration means moving forward, day-by-day, knowing and reminding yourself of your real purpose, and getting out of your comfort zone. Actively take part in activities, challenge yourself, and be humble enough to ask for help from other people, whether they are Danes or not.

All of the above reflects my personal opinion, but with this said I’m also curious to know: what are you doing to make it in Denmark?

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Carlos Monteiro is a Brazilian citizen, graduated in Business Administration by the Catholic University of São Paulo. He lives in Odense, Denmark with his Danish Wife, Cathrine, and their half Danish /Brazilian daughter Ines Marie. You are very welcome to be in contact him at any time.

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