This is Youth Goodwill Ambassador Astha Sharma's personal meet with Denmark. It has also been posted on her blog: http://asthaindenmark.wordpress.com/
A decision that evolved me as a
human being, a professional, a wayfarer and an enthusiast was coming to Denmark. Moving from Jaipur, a city that is home to 3.3 million people to Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark with less than 1/10th inhabitants compared to my home city was really exhilarating!
As every other Indian student wrapping up her bachelor studies, the next big thing on my mind was to find a Masters program that could realize my childhood dream of going abroad. Struggling with finding out the best consolidation of an elite university and alluring country, swiftly I figured out my way to Denmark.
When the plane from Delhi Airport took off making that whirring sound, I said to myself while sitting on the window seat and looking out at my dreams, ‘’hey, I have achieved what I everlastingly wanted to from this life’’
Well, I never knew that was just a blast-off.
After missing a flight and my luggage, taking a detour to Oslo, I eventually landed in Aarhus.
The adventure goes like this: I missed my connecting flight from Helsinki to Aarhus and hence had to jump on a plane to Oslo and then lastly to Aarhus. I was expected to touch down Aarhus at 5 in the evening, however I debarked at midnight on a mute Sunday night at this teensy-weensy Aarhus Airport. While I was trying to recover from the trauma of missing a flight, I had another challenge queuing up for me, and that was arriving without any luggage as it went misplaced while I was rambling through Scandinavian Airports. I couldn’t even register the complaint at the airport, as I was risking to miss the last bus going to the city center. After all that chaos, when I subsequently got to the city and met this guy who dropped by to hand over me the keys to my dormitory, I couldn’t find the address. At 2 am after wandering through the empty streets on a haunting and dead Sunday night, after making capricious efforts, I finally was offered a lift by a random chap driving his car who stopped after seeing this terrified girl. Still frightened, couldn’t trust this complete stranger, but still I took his kind offer and harmlessly reached my room in Teknolog Kolligiet. Whoa! I had quite a venturous kick off, I must say. Nonetheless, it prepared me for quite temerarious travel and treacherous hike coming along the way.
Only after a week of being in Denmark, I realized that all that hardship was so worth it. I started school and everything went as planned. I learned a great deal studying with such a diverse and talented pool of students from different parts on the planet. I completed MBA and as I wished for, my course was businesslike, involving company visits, working on real life business problems and challenged my thought process to bring out the finest results.
As a part of settling down, I envisioned that it was not just moving to a new country, but was also about moving into a completely different environment where things are poles apart. In no time, I was already impressed by Danes, their honesty and receptiveness, the culture and a happy feeling that one gets when one starts a life here. While doing my Master studies, I found an internship at a Danish company called Pressalit which was my first encounter into the Danish work culture. As I read before, I realized how much emphasis is given to work-life balance in Denmark and how flat the hierarchy is.
Currently, I am happily living in Copenhagen and working for a Danish company called Xstream in their international sales department. I love my colleagues who are extremely generous and are putting up with my broken Danish. I have had numerous experiences while living in this Viking land from travelling the world to making some life time friendships that I will treasure forever. I’ll need to write another blog for that ;)
One of the plentiful things that I really apprize about living here is the sense of safety and the freedom to express yourself. And one of the countless things that I grasped being here is cycling and running. A girl who could only run for life is now running in various running competitions, thanks to Denmark! Also I love cycling through this world’s most livable city, Copenhagen and guess what - that’s how I commute every day.
I can assuredly say, I have a home away from home. Tak Denmark!"