Tag Archives: Moving to Denmark

Would The Danish Schooling System Be Best For My Kids?

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

FreddieBrown, Danish Students, Some Danish students who came to our school for the day

FreddieBrown, Danish Students, Some Danish students who came to our school for the day

 

When considering a move abroad a family with children will always want to know what the schooling system is like: Will it be better than the schools they already attend? Can they expect to achieve high grades? Will the qualifications be transferable to another country, should the family move on?

Ranked 21st in the Quality of Life Index in 2016, Denmark is a popular expat destination with much movement based on its work/life balance, despite (or because of) high wages and high taxes.

Because of the tax system, state education is generally thought to be of a high standard across the board – and of course, free of charge. Children start school at the age of six-seven, with five in six going to state school, and the other one attending private establishments. There are more than 24 international schools which tend to be filled with expat children.

Children begin their education in a ‘Folkeskole’ which is the municipal primary and lower secondary school. Children begin in a pre-school class before moving onto nine years of primary and lower, and one year 10th form. If you’re looking for a school for your child, first decide where you are moving to and then contact the municipality.

Within the Folkeskole curriculum children will study the humanities (including English), physical and creative subjects and science. Municipal International Basic Schools have been established in Denmark in order to encourage talent from overseas. They too cover similar subjects and the rules around compulsory education still stand.

Once your child has finished the primary stage of their education they will go onto Upper Secondary Education between the ages of 16-19 years old. Generally teenagers partake in courses that qualify them for higher education or those that prepare them for the labour market. See here for more details on courses studied.

Denmark itself is one of the biggest investors in education in the EU with its general government investment as a proportion of GDP standing at 7.2% in 2014 (compared to an EU average of 4.9%). Budgetary cuts have come into play in recent years but Denmark still ranks highly in terms of the early school leaving age, with this being only 7.8%. This is in comparison to the EU average of 11%.

It’s worth noting however that in the same Quality of Life Index Denmark itself had slipped down the rankings in regard to the Family Life category, which ranked it just 23rd out of the 45 countries surveyed. It came 27th within the Availability of Childcare and Education category, with 33% of those questioned feeling negative about the provision. That said, the affordability of education was considered more positively standing at around 51%.

Moving abroad is always a big step and taking your family to Denmark is certainly going to bring change. With a 99% literacy rate and a recent report ranking them number seven in mathematics and number 15 in both science and reading, you aren’t going to go too far wrong educating your children here.

If you are considering a move to DenmarkPSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 34 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Tips For Finding the Perfect Country To Relocate To

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

 

Kevin Stanchfield  Downtown LA skyline. Just after sunset.

Kevin Stanchfield
Downtown LA skyline. Just after sunset.

With advancements in travel the world has become a much smaller place. With over 5 million Brits living abroad, emigration is certainly an attractive proposition to many. But where to start? Many people will have a rough idea of the kind of job they want to pursue or even the climate they want to live in. But other key factors such as language, proximity to home and living standards can have a major influence on choosing a suitable destination.

With so much at stake, we’ve put together some tips to help you choose the right country:

1. Do your research. You may fancy life Down Under but if you don’t meet their strict immigration criteria you won’t get in. New Zealand too draws up a list of careers eligible for a visa, so make sure you read up on all the details. Those careers currently in demand are medicine, engineering and IT. The good news however is if you’re currently moving within the EU things are much easier.

2. Fancy learning a new language? There are plenty of places in the world where you can stick to speaking your native language. In fact, all countries have large expat communities so you’ll never be too far from a familiar conversation. However, you may want to be more adventurous. In countries such as Denmark learning the language is imperative. It’s easy to find courses through your local council who are obliged to offer courses to all foreign residents.

3. Read about the country in all its glory. You may have read A Year In Provence but does it really reflect what life is currently like in southeastern France? It’s unlikely. If you have a family, you’ll need to look into the school system and childcare facilities. Take some time to research housing and social welfare provision and different towns and cities within your chosen country. Expat Forums can give you interesting insights.

4. Look into the weather. Living in a warmer country is often a reason many people (especially Brits) choose to move to a new country. Sunny days may be great for a holiday but can you see yourself working and living in 40’ heat, which you might face if you move to UAE. Just like the UK the weather can be totally different around the country so when choosing a location, make sure you check thoroughly. Los Angeles may be gloriously sunny all year, but New York certainly isn’t.

5. Choose your lifestyle. What kind of life do you want in your new location? Beach barbecues? Balanced working hours? A busy social life? A large salary? Everyone will want something different but it’s important to be clear about what your priorities are. Working in Asian Pacific countries pays an expat on average $126,000 (£95,000) dollars, compared with the global average of $104,000 (£79,000).

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

 

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Can you escape student debt by studying abroad more cheaply?

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Francisco Osorio, University Life 253

Francisco Osorio, University Life 253

 

For some UK youngsters, the idea of studying abroad is hugely appealing. There is the promise of a new cultural experience, and maybe the chance to learn a new language, or enjoy a touch more sunshine. For young people with a sense of adventure, this is a much more alluring package than staying put in the UK.

On the purely practical side, studying overseas is an effective tactic to help reduce the impact of student debt. Recent research has revealed the UK to be one of the most expensive countries in the world to study for a degree.

Travel money company FAIRFX compiled a list of the cheapest and most expensive countries in the world to be a student, based on average annual tuition fees and living costs. India was the cheapest, with a yearly cost of just £3,629.62. Russia came a close second with an amount of £4,449.90, followed by Mexico, Spain, and Belgium.

Britain was one of the most expensive places to get a university degree, with an annual cost of £21,000. Only the US, Singapore, South Korea and Australia were costlier. To put this in perspective, studying for a year in China or France would cost three times less – about £7,000. In Brazil, it would cost around £8,000, and in New Zealand about £13,000.

With the prospect of paying out £63,000 in tuition fees and living costs over the duration of a three-year university course, it’s no wonder that many students are unsure that a university degree is worth the investment. For those who wish to achieve this goal, studying abroad is one way to cut costs, with lower tuition fees and reduced cost of living.

One potential spanner in the works could be Brexit. However, while there is uncertainty over its impact on UK students in European universities, it’s safe to say that fees for British students will be the same as those paid by other EU students until the UK officially leaves. The severing of ties is expected to take a minimum of two years.

After that point, we don’t know what will happen for sure. Maastricht University in the Netherlands recently stated that, if Britain leaves, its tuition fees “might” rise, from the current rate of £1,600 to between £6,300 and £8,360.

Ultimately, EU countries will each adopt their own approach. A change to fees is unlikely in Germany, for example, since study there is free to students of all nationalities. In other EU countries, though, there may be some penalty.

The impact of Brexit on the economy may also be a factor for students to consider. It is possible that the pound will remain weak against other currencies, affecting outgoing and incoming international students who pay tuition fees in a currency other than their own.

There’s clearly a lot to weigh up – but, at this moment in time, studying abroad clearly pays dividends – both financially, and in experiential terms.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International Removals can help. We are a family run company, providing friendly, professional and stress-free overseas moves. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so we are experts in full or part household removals, sending excess baggage and shipping vehicles. Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Helping Your Children Settle Abroad

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile 

 

Kelsey_MG_4812  Kids playing in the Youth Rugby Exhibition match.

Kelsey_MG_4812
Kids playing in the Youth Rugby Exhibition match.

                                                                                                                                                                                

Along with huge excitement and opportunities, moving abroad with a family can also throw up issues, especially if there are children in tow.

The ease with which your child settles into their new life will be down in part to their age. Small babies and toddlers will certainly feel the change in terms of the practical aspects of moving house but they are unlikely to feel any emotional wrenches. In this respect they are the easiest to deal with.

 

The older the child gets however, the more complicated the move. Most school-age children will have made friends and formed relationships with relatives. Before they hit the teens though, you will probably find them to be adaptable. They are most likely to seek reassurance from parents that the move is going to be OK. Teenagers on the other hand will have strong feelings about the decision. With a strong network of friends the thought of moving miles away, may not go down well.

The key to coping with the situation is preparation, preparation, preparation. Regardless of the age of the child, if they have a clear idea of what is happening and where they are going to be living, the transition should be easier.

Before you leave talk to your child about the country you are moving to. Show them the house you are going to be living in and the school will be attending. The more involved they are in the process the less scary it will be for them to understand. Give them a chance to talk through their concerns and if you don’t know the answer to something, promise to help sort it out. Allowing them to say goodbye to their friends and family is also a great thing to do. Throw a party, or give them a chance to make a photographic record of their life at home. This will help them, not only move on, but feel that they have been listened to.

Some experts recommend that you read stories to your children so that they can understand what is happening.

Some particular favourites include:

For babies and toddlers: The Bernstain Bears’ Moving Day, Stan and Jan Bernstain

For 9+ Allie Finkle’s Rules For Girls: Moving Day, Meg Cabot

For 13 + Club Expat: A Teenager’s Guide To Moving Overseas, Aniker & Akash Shah

Once in you new overseas home much of what you initially need to do practically will be similar to moving house in the UK. Making sure the children’s rooms are set up and ready quickly will help them settle in more easily. If you have older children getting WiFi installed will be essential as they will be keen to keep talking to their friends.

Over the following weeks and months, as the children start to establish new routines, especially if they are going to school, more challenges will arise for parents. Take charge of younger children’s social lives and invite the neighbour and her kids around for a play date. Find a local nursery school or playgroup so both you and your child can meet new people.

Keep to routines that were firmly established at home. If Sunday, was ‘dog walk and lunch day’ make sure you continue this once in your new country. More family time may be the key to success in settling expat children as they are bound to need more of your guidance. Teenagers in particular may find the initial settlement period very difficult so it’s important to talk to them about how they are feeling and be respectful that they may not have wanted this move as much as you. Encourage them to join clubs, such as sporting activities, if that is what they were into before, and to keep in touch with old friends. Expat communities are all over the world and talking to someone who’s been in the same position as them will help them offload their woes.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

 

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Expat Issues and How to Resolve Them

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

 

Donnie Ray Jones, Cheesey Family

Donnie Ray Jones, Cheesey Family

Starting a new life abroad is an exciting time. New career opportunities, a positive change in your quality of living, not to mention better weather, are all great reasons to make the move. Settling into a new country may however bring with it a mixture of negative feelings and pressures.

It is no surprise that one of the biggest issues for any expat is battling with feelings of isolation or loneliness. The lack of familiar support systems when things go wrong can make even the smallest problem seem insurmountable.

They key to banishing the feelings is to keep connected – either through physical contact or technological contact.

Technological contact: Skype and FaceTime make talking to family and friends back home easy and cheap. If you arrange a specific time each week to speak to them, you’ll gain a sense of routine

Physical contact: If you have a job, meeting colleagues after work or grabbing lunch will open doors to new friendships and pursuits. If you’re at home, talking to a neighbour, pursuing a hobby or joining a sports club will take a proactive approach, but a regular night out each week will make you feel part of things and give you something to look forward to. Both will help combat those negative feelings.

Relationships can too come under strain when you’re in a new environment. Moving abroad may help change the location, but any problems you had with a marriage or parenting can be exemplified under stress. In many cases the key problems arise when roles are changed. Maybe you both worked back home, but now one of you has taken on new domestic or childcare duties. This can cause huge resentment, especially if the person going to work is finding friends and the other isn’t. Keep talking. If the worst comes to the worst, talk to a professional. Relationships Australia offer family and relationship counselling whilst the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy offers a database of practitioners and general information.

Understanding cultural differences both in the workplace and within the social structure, can be mind-blowing at first. While your new office and new job feel familiar, how your colleagues do business will no doubt be different. The key to success is to look and learn. Watch your colleagues; how do they dress for work? who takes the lead in meetings? Only by observing the business world you’ve entered will you get a true idea of what’s ok and what’s really not.

Cultural differences obviously apply outside of the work arena and it will take some time to work out how you are expected to interact with your new neighbours and friends. In some countries the gender divide is much more pronounced and in others a friendly but formal approach is essential. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, you will probably make the odd mistake, but others will be mindful that you don’t know all the rules. There are plenty of websites and blogs written on the subject so it’s worth doing your research before you go.

For more information about how PSS International can help you make your move visit https://www.pssremovals.com

PSS International Removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 33 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

 

 

Should You Learn a Foreign Language?

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

 

Jonas Foyn Therkelsen, Their moment

Jonas Foyn Therkelsen,
Their moment

 

 

Whether you’re migrating for business or for pleasure, learning the language of your new destination may be something you’ve added to your extensive list of ‘things to do’. Even with the best intentions in the world, the complications of an international move could be enough to be getting on with and it could be that you hope to get by with a few choice phrases and comments.

If you’re heading to somewhere like America, Australia or New Zealand and your first language is English, there will be very few situations when you need to think of talking in a foreign tongue. However, if you’re relocating to France, Spain, Hong Kong or any number of international areas, it may be necessary to swot up on something more than greetings, food ordering and the odd directional phrase.

Obviously certain areas and regions are particularly popular with expats and it could be that you’re placing yourself within an area where on a day-to-day basis, your native language is enough. For example, some regions in France are known to be particularly popular to the Brits and have been given names such as ‘Dordogneshire’ as a reflection of their inhabitants. It is also well known that Spain’s Costa Blanca has a large expat community, many of whom are retired, so learning the language could seem an unnecessary hassle.

But what if you’re planning to work in your new home or send your children to a school where they WILL have to speak the native language, it may be that you have no choice but to fully integrate yourself into society.

In countries such as Hong Kong, it’s almost essential that you learn either Cantonese or Mandarin if you’re planning to live there for any length of time.  In Denmark too, whilst English is spoken widely, anyone who wants to reach the top in their chosen career needs some Danish under their belt.

Learning a language will however take some preparation and perseverance. There is a school of thought that says you can only truly learn a language, once you are fully immersed in the new culture. That said, there are plenty of ways tolearn a new language either online, with an App or simply by signing up with your local college. Doing this before you leave will give you a head start on arrival.

If you don’t have the time or the inclination to crack on with the language, before you depart, there will be no harm in signing up for a course, online, or otherwise once you arrive. In countries such as Spain there are a number of courses run for people to learn the language while living there. See herefor more information.

Whether you learn a language or not will almost always be dependent on what you are hoping to get out of your new location. The benefits of communicating with your neighbours, work colleagues or local newsagent in their native language can be fun and bring a sense of purpose to your new life. You’ll also be surprised at how much you pick once you have no choice but to try and understand what someone is saying to you.

A new language may not be a necessity if you’re surrounded by those who speak exactly the same dialect as you. But with all the latest scientific thinking highlighting the fact that learning a foreign language can boost your brain power it could be just the ticket for making friends and influencing people. What’s not to like about that?

For more information about how PSS International can help you make your move abroad visit https://www.pssremovals.com

PSS International Removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 33 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.