Is this a paradox, or just a coincidence?! Copenhagen typically tends to rank as one of the best cities in the world. It seems however that expats have a bitter-sweet opinion about it.

Expat City Ranking 2020,

“Placing 46th out of 66 cities in the Expat City Ranking 2020, Copenhagen ends up in the bottom 10 for nearly all factors featured in the Getting Settled Index. The only exception is the ease to live there without speaking the local language (13th). But expats in the Danish capital really seem to struggle with making new friends, which 59% say this is hard (vs. 33% globally).

An Expat Dilemma

In the expats’ eyes Denmark is one of the best countries in the world to have a family with great options for childcare. It is very safe, highly-digitized and it provides an amazing balance between work and leisure — but on an absolutely different extreme, it is the worst country when it comes to personal happiness, feeling at home, friendliness and finding friends. Denmark is overall the hardest place in the world to settle in, with a score of 63 out of 64 countries in 2019. It is precisely the category of “easy of settling in” that…

An Expat Dilemma

Some time ago a new neighbor moved in on my street, whose house is just about 30 seconds walk from mine. When I passed by her postbox I saw the name´, and to my embarrassment, I “facebooked” it to find who the neighbor “was”. Some 16 years ago, when I was a lot less Danish, I would have maybe knocked on the door and said hello, but not anymore. …

An Expat Dilemma

Some years ago I visited Lapland, which is a region in the northernmost part of Finland. And if you are looking for a pristine, never-ending place in this world to get lost and feel one with the nature, then this sparsely populated, subarctic wildness is definitely for you. Here I also had to experience a dog sledding tour in the snowy forests. After the four-hours trip we returned back for some rest and warm refreshments.

While I was poring some delicious and warm, berry juice, I also intended to give a cup to the local guide. However…

An Expat Dilemma

In hierarchical cultures it is typical that one’s success and well-being often depend on how close one is to the centers or persons of power. If one is not a “highborn” or does not have the “right” parents — to climb the social ladder — one needs to work his or her way up through the use of education, relatives, friends, hard work and probably some luck.

The more intriguing question is: “How does one work his or her way forward in an egalitarian society such as the Danish one?!” The short answer is that none of…

An Expat Dilemma

In my last fifteen years of travelling around the world just about anywhere outside Northern Europe, the general cultural patterns point to the same contrasting values: most of the world is hierarchical and very hierarchical. In most of the world people don’t really trust each other (especially authorities). Most of the world is quite polite and formal. Most of the world is a bit corrupt and very corrupt. Most of the world is religious and very religious — now I know this sounds quite provocative and are some heavy generalizations, but they make sense to me when trying to put…

Anatolie Cantir

Associate Professor, Globetrotter, Speaker & Facilitator

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