Today’s interview is with Anna, an Australian expat who is living in Denmark. Originally from Australia, Anna Cohen is a well-travelled mom of two energetic boys. After a childhood in Sydney, university years in Oxford and Paris and then in Sydney again, she and her husband, Michael made the move to Vancouver. Whilst in Vancouver, she taught at various schools, had two children, worked for the University of British Columbia with student and staff families, started her blog Simply Stylish Mom and dabbled in personal styling, PR and events management. She has written for various parenting websites, spoke at ‘urban Mommy’ events, and magazines and has been featured the Vancouver Courier, The Globe and Mail and on Canadian radio shows. Recently, Anna and her family relocated to Denmark and she is continues to work for a crispmedia.ca remotely, runs the International Club at Syddansk Universite and will return to teaching in August.
Here’s the interview with Anna…
Where are you originally from?
Sydney, Australia (but have also lived in France, England and Canada)
In which country and city are you living now?
How long have you lived here and how long are you planning to stay?
Since August 2012 and we are going to be here for at least three years.
Why did you move and what do you do?
We moved here because my husband was offered a job at the university.
Did you bring family with you?
Of course! We have two boys aged 5 and 2.
How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
Not as difficult as I thought it would be. The language is difficult and the weather an adjustment, but we’ve really enjoyed moving to this city and have met some incredible people.
Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
Yes, it was surprisingly easy. We were told that the Danes are tough bunch to become friends with but we have had the opposite experience. We probably have 50/50 Danish friends/ International friends.
What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Odense is beautiful and relatively small and flat, so just get a bike and ride around, visit the old town, ride along with windy river and hangout in our pretty parks or in a local cafe.
What do you enjoy most about living here?
Cycling, the old buildings, the restaurants, summertime, the cultural festivals, the parks and gardens and the cake shops!
How does the cost of living compare to home?
About the same as Sydney and Vancouver, the last cities we lived in. Rent is cheaper but other things are more expensive so it equals out.
What negatives, if any, are there to living here?
Living faraway from grandparents, getting a good grasp of the language and the cold weather!
If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving here, what would it be?
Make the most of a sunny day (even if it’s cold), learn the language, learn to cycle and make efforts to make friends – with not just expats but especially with the Danes.
What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
Definitely learning Danish!
What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
Learn the local language, fill your days with activites and/or get a job you enjoy, make friends with locals, try new things and be open, be flexible and don’t blame your bad days on the country/the locals: bad days happen wherever you live!
Published by ” Expats Blog “