UCplus helped Valentina on her way – learning Danish and becoming a bus driver

UCplus helped Valentina on her way – learning Danish and becoming a bus driver

UCplus helped Valentina on her way – learning Danish and becoming a bus driver

Valentina came to Denmark from Romania hoping to make a better life for herself and her family. She started working as a cleaning assistant, and when she got a job cleaning for the bus company Anchersen, she decided that she wanted to become a bus driver herself. She told the company Anchersen that she wanted to learn Danish properly and drive their buses. Anchersen was thrilled and rewarded her determination with a job.

Anna kursist

Valentina was determined to learn Danish properly. She worked her way through Danish courses at UCplus, and has resulted in her having both passed the Danish test PD2, that she has obtained a bus driver’s license and a job with the bus company Anchersen.

From Danish courses to bus driving licenses at UCplus

“When I came to Denmark, I was completely alone. I missed my family, but I cleaned so much that I barely had time to miss them. But I wanted to learn Danish.”  In 2020, Valentina saw one of UCplus’ posts on Facebook about learning Danish online. She did not want to learn Danish that way, so she wrote to UCplus’ Language Center in Greve and asked if there were other options.  “There was an evening shift I could start on, and it suited me well because I had to clean in the morning. I took module 1 and 2 in the evening. But I wanted more hours so I could learn faster. Then I had the opportunity to come to classes during the day, and it was really good.”  In June 2022, Valentina passed the Danish test PD2. And barely two months later, she switched from UCplus in Greve to UCplus in Skovlunde, where she started the bus driver training.

Passed the driving test with ice in the stomach

In Valentina’s eyes, it was one thing to learn Danish, quite another to learn how to maneuver a 15 meter long bus.  “Before I had to go up for the driving test, my heart was beating so hard I was sure you could hear it. But I had learned a lot from the teachers. Among other things, all the mechanical expressions, but also something else. They also helped me to be calm and one of them always said to me; ‘ice in the stomach – ice in the stomach’. ”  Valentina used everything she had learned. She kept a cool head, got over her pounding heart and passed her driving test first time. She then proudly drove on to her boss at Anchersen and showed the driver’s license. And as promised, there was a job ready for her as a route bus driver.

The job as a bus driver gives a good mood

Valentina is very happy with her job as a bus driver at Anchersen. For many reasons. But at the top of the list are the nice colleagues and friendly passengers.  “I love talking to people, and at Anchersen I have so many good colleagues that I talk to when I’m at work.  It’s fun to drive a route bus, because many passengers ride the bus every day, and some of them say to me ‘Aaah, you’re new to the route’, and then they help if I’m in doubt about the route.”  Although Valentina now has a permanent job, she would like to continue with more courses at UCplus, because her dream is to obtain Danish citizenship.  “I live here. I work and pay taxes. And then I would also like to be able to vote for the Folketing.”

Danish and transport courses open new doors

If you are new to Denmark and want new job opportunities, you can do like Valentina and take Danish courses at UCplus. You can read more about both the Danish education and FVU courses here

UCplus also offers Danish and Driver training, which is for you who would like to be a bus, taxi or truck driver, but need to learn more Danish. Read more here.

Cooperation between Ringkøbing-Skjern municipality, local businesses and UCplus ensures Ukrainian refugees a good start in Denmark

Cooperation between Ringkøbing-Skjern municipality, local businesses and UCplus ensures Ukrainian refugees a good start in Denmark

Cooperation between Ringkøbing-Skjern municipality, local businesses and UCplus ensures Ukrainian refugees a good start in Denmark

Together with Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality, the UCplus Language School has created a special offer for newly relocated Ukrainian citizens, where Danish lessons are spiced up with visits to local businesses. It is a win-win situation for all parties. The Ukrainian citizens want jobs, the local companies need labour, and UCplus helps the Ukrainians learn Danish so that they can get to work quickly.

Anna kursist

The Ukrainian citizens who learn Danish at UCplus would very much like to have a job. So there were happy faces when UCplus took them on a visit to a local fishery company and a holiday home rental company.

UCplus offers job-related Danish lessons

The collaboration between UCplus and Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality has come about because the municipality wanted an educational offer targeted at the labour market in and around Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality.

“It is important to give the Ukrainian refugees a good start in Denmark, and when we collaborate with both the municipality and the local businesses, we create the best conditions for them to be integrated quickly,” says Language Center Manager Karen Poulsen.

Another important prerequisite is that the Ukrainian citizens receive job-related Danish lessons. And UCplus’ language consultants make sure of that.

“We make a great effort to ensure that the Danish that we teach is job-related. This means that we put focus on the vocabulary and grammar the Ukrainians will need to get by in a Danish workplace. We also explain how the Danish labour market works, for example why we pay tax, and how to understand a pay slip,” says language consultant Annemette Knudsen.

Holiday home rental company and fishing businesses open their doors

In addition to the Danish lessons, the Ukrainians have also visited a few of the local companies that need extra hands, e.g. Esmark Feriehusudlejning and the fishing company Insula.

At Esmark Feriehusudlejning, HR assistant, Stephanie Dittrich, is happy to be able to open the doors to the Ukrainian immigrants.

“Esmark has 3.800 holiday homes, and we have a great need for cleaning assistants. So it was obvious for us to invite the Ukranians to our new office buildings here in Hvide Sande. We can give an impression of which tasks a cleaning assistant has and we can show them how things work here, eg. that they get good work clothes. Some of our holiday homes are located directly opposite the office. You can easily walk or cycle to the holiday homes, and we can therefore show them that transport is not a problem if they are hired by us.”

It is not the first time that Esmark Ferieudlejning employs Ukrainians.
“We already have a number of employees who are from Ukraine. They arrived 4-5 years ago, i.e. before the war in Ukraine, and they are well established here in the area. They are therefore a great help, and make it much easier for us to help the new Ukrainians get going with us.”

After the company visits, the Ukrainians were taught how to write job applications, and Annemette Knudsen then went out with the Ukrainians to hand in the applications.

Cooperation between UCplus and the Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality will continue until July 2023

The collaboration between UCplus and Ringkøbing-Skjern municipality regarding the education of the Ukrainian newcomers was originally planned to end mid-December 2022. But the municipality is extremely satisfied with the course and activities provided by UCplus, and the municipality has therefore chosen to extend the collaboration until June 2023.

Want to know more?

If you want to know more about the collaboration between UCplus and Ringkøbing-Skjern municipality and the possibility of getting a specially tailored Danish course, contact Language Center Manager Karen Poulsen at kp@ucplus.dk or call 31 12 03 67.

And you can read more about UCplus many Danish courses here

From Duolingo to The Official Danish Education in two years

From Duolingo to The Official Danish Education in two years

From Duolingo to The Official Danish Education in two years

It was love that brought Anna Fischer from her home in Southern Germany to Denmark in August 2020. But apart from her steady relationship, nothing was in place. She had to learn Danish, settle in Copenhagen and find a job.Two years later, Anna Fischer wrote a post in Danish on LinkedIn, where she could proudly tell friends and colleagues that she had passed the Official Danish Education.

Find out, why Anna chose to enroll for the Official Danish Education at UCplus, and get her good advice on how to learn Danish quickly.

Anna kursist

Caption: Anna Fischer works at the Danish company Planday, and she asks the colleagues to speak and write to her in Danish.

Duolingo can’t do it all 

Like many others, Anna Fischer thought that she could use Duolingo to help her start learning Danish.

“I thought, ‘It can’t be that difficult!’ But I soon became wiser. You need help when you need to learn Danish pronunciation correctly. And I realized that I needed a real language course. Especially because Danes are very quick to speak English with you, if they can hear that your’e not that good at Danish. So I knew that I had to find a place, where I could get a teacher who could teach me about the language, and where I could practice.”

Structured language lessons save time and provide important knowledge

Anna Fischer completed all the Official Danish Education modules at UCplus Dansk, and for her, this has meant that she learned to speak Danish quickly; she has learned which words to use in which contexts, and how to pronounce them correctly. And attending the Danish course had other benefits:

“I also learned about Danish history and culture. And it’s good to get a general knowledge of Denmark. It gives an understanding of why Danes say, what they say – and why they do, what they do.”

In addition, Anna experienced that it means a lot, merely being together with others who are also learning Danish.

“It helped to know that we were all in the same situation. And it was interesting to see how others tackled the challenge of learning Danish. And we could share our experiences with each other.

Anna’s five good tips

We asked Anna about the things that she did to learn Danish. And you can get her tips and recommendations here:

  1. Try to speak as much Danish as possible
    It can be difficult – especially when Danes start speaking English to you. But tell your friends and work colleagues that you really want to talk to them in Danish. And keep going in Danish 😊
  2. Don’t think about your mistakes
    Remember that others can understand you, even if your pronunciation is not perfect or you use a word that is not quite correct. The most important thing is that you keep trying!
  3. Remember to read in Danish
    You can read at your own pace. And you can choose exactly what you want to read. I started with children’s books because they were easier. 
  4. Watch TV and listen to podcasts
    When you watch television, you get help understanding what is going on from people’s actions and facial expressions. It’s a little more difficult to follow a podcast, but it’s good practice. And you don’t have to understand everything.
  5. Keep practicing – even after you’ve passed PD3
    Remember to continue with all the language training you did in preparation for the test. Try watching the news every day, so you keep up to date with what is happening.

Anna’s recommendations

Book: Ronja Røverdatter by Astrid Lindgren – because I had read the book as a child in German, so it was a good experience to read it again in Danish.

TV: Forsvundne Arvinger – because there isn’t much action, and I can understand what is going on 😉

Podcast: Sarah og Monopolet – because it’s fun to listen to, it’s everyday language and you hear slightly different Danish accents.

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