Do as the Danes Do!

What I’ve learnt about Denmark/Danes/Danish culture in my first few weeks here…
1) Danes get paid to go to university and study! They receive about 6,000kr a month (approx. $1,200) and this easily covers their rent and general expenses.
2) Danes have access to one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Although the Danes are subject to higher tax rates, the government priorities health and educaation. Even as an exchange student, we were offered a CPR card which allowed us access to the healthcare system. I’ve already been to the doctor a couple of times for free and even the pill is half the price here than back home!

A funny thing was when one of the girls in my kitchen who studies medicine laughed at me when I said that I couldn’t believe that Denmark had cold and flu tablets – “Cold and flu tablets?!” What is that??!” I miss pseudoephedrine to get over my colds haha.
3) The price of coffee, water and non alcoholic drinks in Denmark. The average price of a coffee is between 35-50kr (approx $7-$10). I am so glad that I don’t drink coffee but what is an everyday expense at home becomes a luxury here (especially as a poor uni student).
4) The Danes are incredibly good looking but also have a stylish smart casual dress sense. Colours aren’t their thing though – black on black on black is common. Going out at night, it’s a rarity to find girls wearing dresses and heels. It’s actually quite refreshing as it’s not pretentious like Sydney is and I can dress up or down without having to look out of place.
Danish fashion
5) Having a car in Sydney is the norm. Having a bike is like a car in Denmark. Rain, snow, hail or sunshine, the Danes will be riding their bikes to get from A to B. One Danish friend said “I hate walking” and I can understand that when it’s faster and easier to ride a bike rather than walking to places. As I arrived in Aarhus, I searched for a bike to use for the semester but luckily Helena, my tutor offered me her old bike. All I had to do was get the wheel replaced and I was good to go!
My new wheels!
6) “Hygge” is a Danish word that can’t literally be translated but it means “cosy”. All the Danes say this word to describe a cosy setting with good company and can including a night in with friends, a fun event etc.
7) Never ask a Dane “how are you?” This is a common opening phrase in Australia and other predominantly English speaking countries such as the US and UK but Danes do not like to engage in small talk and see this as being insincere. In this regard, it can be a little harder to get Danes to warm up to you but when they do, they are extremely friendly and loyal.

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