Marlene, Lisa and Regina Egebakkeskolen and Husmandsstedet
55 reasons why you should choose a ESC in Denmark
The reasons are not listed in any particular order.
#1 Meet new people from all over the world and make good friends.
Dansk ICYE always hosts a lot of Volunteers through the ESC and has also other programms for young people from outside of Europe. You will get to know many people from all continents and learn about our different cultures.
#2 Kanelsnegle – one of the best candy Denmark can offer.
You can find a lot of typical danish pastries for example the Kanelsnegle, which is basically a cinnamon roll. You usually enjoy it with a coffee or a hot chocolate and we‘re convinced that Denmark makes the best in the world.
#3 You can have two seas at once: the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.
On the Eastside there is the Baltic Sea with a lot of cliffs for example the famous chalk cliffs Mønts Klint. On the Westside on the other hand is the North Sea with long white sandy beaches. The northernmost point in Denmark is also the place where these two Seas meet.
#4 You can meet the queen.
Dronningen Margrethe is very popular and beloved among the Danes! She reigns the country since 1972 after a change in the law allowed her to be the first crown princess in Denmark. Next to her representative duties she spends her time with art and culture.
#5 Snow in the winter?
Although it might be cold in winter we never expirienced snow ourself here. Which was quite a nice break from german snow.
#6 And definitely the best summer…
… if you don’t like too much heat, because the temperature will stay at a pleasent 20 – 25 degrees.
#7 You will get to know yourself better and get independent.
In your ESC you will have a lot new experiences and face a lot of challanges – both the good and the bad ones will make you grow as an indiviual. Living in a foreign country with foreign people can be hard but you will definitely get more independant.
#8 Copenhagen or København as the Danes say.
The capital of Denmark may not be the biggest or most famous city in Europe, but it definitely has it’s very own charme and is a visit worth. Copenhagen has a lot of different activities and sights to offer. You can for example visit many old castles with museums, the royal jewellery or some parts of the royal family’s home.
#9 No place in Denmark is more than 57 km away from the coast.
What is better than living close to the beach? Exactly – nothing. If you love the coast and the sea Denmark is the right place for you. Even if you live in the middle of the mainland, it will probably not take you more than one to two hours to go swimming, because this country is so small.
You can’t really describe it, because Hygge could be anything. It’s not a special activity or place. It’s primarily a feeling of comfort and joy. The warm lights of candles or friends and family can be part of Hygge. Fact is: if you once experienced Hygge, you never want to miss it again.
#11 Learn a new language.
It’s always nice to be able to speak the language of the country you’re living in and you can usually impress other people easily.
#12 A lot of islands
Except from Jylland Denmark basically consists of islands. Fyn and Sjælland, where the capital Copenhagen is located, are the two biggest ones.
#13 You can use the time as a gap year before university etc.
If you’re unsure what to do after highschool you can use your time abroad to think about what to do with your future and how to get there, whilegetting to know different perspectives and opinions.
#14 Danish people are super friendly.
One of the first things we noticed in Denmark about the people was, that they are really kind and polite. Wherever we went in Denmark strangers were nice and opened and willing to help us whenever they could.
#15 The danish flag: Dannebrog.
I don’t know a second country that is as proud of their flag as Denmark. You will discover soon that the Dannebrog is a huge part of the culture and that the Danes like to show it as often as possible. For every holiday, birthday or funeral the flags will be visible.
#16 Possibility to work, maybe in a field that you haven‘t experienced yet.
By being a volunteer you might experience a new working practice and are possibly employed in a line of work you intrested in. Through this you’ll become more sure wether this field suits you or not.
The first time we went Swimming in Denmark was in the Middle of April (which is not really winter anymore), but with 6 degrees the water was still freaking cold. After around 30 seconds in the water we could barely feel our legs. It was a short bath, but also a great experience and we will definitely do it again!
#18 You can live with a Danish family.
You might get the chance to live with a Danish host family and experience the danish way of living first hand. Not only do you get a second family but you also get to understand danish traditions.
#19 Many events from your organization (ICYE).
For every danish tradition Dansk ICYE will organize an event for their volunteers, for example a Christmas Dinner, the Nytårskur, an Easter Brunch… It’s always super fun and a great way to grow closer to each other. In our opinion some of the best memories were made there.
Some of us had the chance to actually live in Aarhus and they love it here. With around 350000 habitants it‘s the second largest city in Denmark. Aarhus has a huge university, that means you can meet a lot of students your age and it’s at the coast.
#21 Great nightlife.
If you’re a party person, Denmark is the place for you.
Trust us, Danes know how to have fun 😉
Be prepared, the danish Christmas starts in September and ends in February. The hundreds of Christmas dinners, Christmas lights and other traditions help the Danes to cope with the dark days and cold weather.
#23 Discover Denmark’s Wildlife.
The nature here might not be much different from the one in your home country, but seeing seals or even dolphins in the ocean is an unforgettable experience. If you can’t make it to the ocean, the countryside also has nice wildlife to offer.
#24 Get lost in the fairytales of Hans Christian Andersen.
Probably the only celebrity I knew before coming to Denmark. He’s famous for his enchanting fairy tales like ”The Princess and the Pea”, ”The Emperor’s New Clothes” or ”The Little Mermaid”. In his birthplace Odense you can even see part of his work in a museum and his home.
#25 Sankt Hans.
Sankt Hans, also known as Midsummer-celebration, is a big event in the Scandinavian countries to enjoy the longest day in the year. Traditionally, you spend the night with your friends sitting around a big bonfire, while chatting, singing and drinking.
The second favourite drink of the Danes after beer is definitely coffee. As soon as you enter a house, you will be offered a kop af kaffe and it always tastes good.
#27 Learn to love liquorice.
Danes are presumably the only people in this world who actually like this candy. You can find it in every store in every imaginable version. It’s a tough challenge, but you can learn to like it – or at least tolerate it.
#28 Christiania – an alternative way of living.
Only in Copenhagen you can find a place like this. Christiania is a free town, which means that the usual danish law doesn‘t count there and the people living there are still tolerated by the government. It used to be and still is a place for those, who don’t fit in the society and who want to live by their own rules.
#29 Easy bike rides – no mountains.
Bikes are one of the main ways of transportation in Denmark. Bike lanes and bike stands can be found everywhere, so that you can easily get to every destination without a car. Another big advantage is the flat landscape, which makes it even easier to bike.
#30 Sunday is Board Game-Day.
Living in a danish host family, you’ll definitely experience the, by Danes much beloved, board games. No matter where, being at home, in a cafe just for board games or at a camp, playing games is always part of a fun, hygge evening.
#31 Improve your fashion sense
A lot of stereotypes about the danish people are far from the truth, but them being well-dressed is spot on! Wool-coats in Winter and cute flowy dresses in the summer are the to-go looks.
#32 Find a kærste.
„Kærste“ means literally translated dearest and is a term for boyfriend/girlfriend. You might be lucky and get to know „en smuk pige eller dreng“.
#33 Learn to appreciate the long days during summer.
After a really dark winter with only a few hours with light, the summer nights will be a paradise. There are some weeks where the sun doesn’t really set. Especially for young people it’s a nice time to have parties and dance all night long.
#34 Discover Scandinavia.
Denmark is the perfect location to get to know the Scandinavian countries better. You can effortlessly reach Norway by ferry and Sweden by train. Travelling for us was a big part of our ESC and we would 100% recommend it.
#35 Visit Legoland.
If you didn’t know, LEGO is a Danish invention. Legoland is a theme park created around the famous toy. Many danish families and maybe even your workplace will go there – It’s definitely a trip worth!
#36 Learn how to manage your budget.
Having only your pocket money each month is definitely a challenge, especially in Denmark where you have to pay high taxes and things aren’t cheap. But it’s an important skill to learn and you’ll definitely need it in your future.
Risengrød is a big part of the Danish culture and often times enjoyed in the colder months. In English it is known as Rice porridge/pudding. We loved it and ate a lot of it during Christmas time.
#38 Almost die because of snaps.
You’ll find Snaps in every danish household and you’ll definitely be offered some at a Christmas dinner. Whether it will be a good experience or a bad one – you will have to find out yourself 😉
#39 Tongue twister.
Rød grød med fløde.
Fem flade fløde boller på et fladt flødebolle fad.
Døde røde rødøjede rådne røgede ørreder med fløde.
You choose one!
#40 Learn to appreciate the sun and become weather resident against wind and rain.
The weather here changes constantly. It might happen that it’s sunny while it rains or terrible cold while there is no cloud in sight. This makes it even nicer when it’s sunny and warm outside. You’ll get used to the wind as it is your permanent companion.
#41 Second hand shopping.
Genbrugsbutikker are quite popular among the young generation here. And we love it: you can find pretty cute vintage clothes, its affordable AND you do something for the environment.
#42 Improve your English.
Coming to a country, not knowing the language is beyond difficult. That’s why it’s so relieving to be able to communicate in English since everyone can speak almost perfect English.
#43 Show solidarity and help others.
By volunteering you’ll be able to help others and change their life to the better.
#44 Being active part of the European Union.
As an ESC you’ll be raising awareness about European initiatives and actively showing solidarity towards all Europeans. Maybe you will inspire somebody to do the same.
#45 Get a stronger sense of togetherness.
We‘re all in this together and it shows when we stand hand in hand make our dreams come true.
#46 Meet the people with viking blood.
The Danish people are also known as Vikings and there not afraid to show it. They will walk around in winter with just shorts and a T-shirt, they go „vinterbader“ and they are nearly alcohol resistant. Who knows, you might discover your inner Viking.
Where a queen is, there is a castle. Where else could a royal person possibly live? In Copenhagen alone you can find the queens palace, the castle where the parliament is located and a castle for the royal jewellery and in the rest of Denmark are many more.
#48 Learn new things.
Especially Corona made it possible, but also without a pandemic virus, you will have enough time to start a new hobby or learn new things like playing the Ukulele, knitting or crocheting.
#49 Experience one of the happiest nations in the world.
In 2019 Denmark was chosen to have the happiest inhabitants of the world right after Finland. We are convinced that Hygge contributes a lot to their high position in the ranking.
Nisser are danish elves, who may or may not be real. Either way they are very important here. So important, that they even have a TV-Show during advent about the Nisse Tinka and her adventures.
#51 Taste Denmarks sweet side.
Brunkage, Hindbærsnitte or Lagkage. Cakes (or kager in danish) are a big part of the Danish food culture. For every birthday or event the Danes will serve different kind of cakes and cookies in large amounts.
#52 Go to a Sommerhus.
Summer houses are very common in Denmark. A lot of families own or at least rent one, to enjoy the holidays there. Especially on the west coast the houses are usually just a few hundred metres away from the sea and other beautiful nature.
#53 Music festivals.
During the summertime Denmark becomes a happy place with people enjoying themselves, because one music festival follows another. Almost every city has one or more festivals, both small and big ones. The most popular is probably the Festival in Roskilde, where they also invite internationally famous musicians.
Fastelavn is a carnival tradition in the Nordic countries in Europe on a Sunday between the 1st of February and 7th of March, where children dress up and celebrate a day with a lot of candy. Due to the cold weather in Denmark the big parades are always later in the year in May.
#55 Relaxed work environment.
Whereas in other countries hierarchy is a big thing, Denmark shows, that also the opposite is possible. The work environment is more relaxed, you work to live and not the other way around. And you call everyone by their first name, even the prime minister!
2019/2020 Children and Youth the Danish Way: ESC11-2019-010