Indian Danfoss employees learn Danish and become part of Sønderborg’s social life
Danfoss employees Suriya and his wife Abi from Chennai, India have embraced Sønderborg as their new hometown. They are both fully engaged in learning Danish, as they want to be able communicate freely with their colleagues, and they also want to take part in social life in Sønderborg.
Abi and Suriya are diligent online Danish students at UCplus, and they practice their Danish in many ways, both on walks in and around Sønderborg and at handball matches.
Online Danish lessons provide flexibility to learn Danish alongside demanding jobs
When Suriya came to Denmark in 2018 to work for Danfoss, he was initially at the factory in Nordborg. Here he met colleagues who had been employed by the company for many years, but who were not so fluent in English. Suriya wanted to talk to them, so he was very keen to get started learning Danish. But because his position involved a lot of travel, it was often difficult for him to attend the weekly Danish lessons. A colleague recommended that he contact UCplus, which offers online Danish lessons, and it turned out to be the perfect solution for him and his wife Abi. In fact, UCplus, at the request of a group of Indian employees at Danfoss, has created a class exclusively for Indian employees.
“The advantage of UCplus’ online Danish is that I can participate even when I’m traveling. And our teacher, Pernille, has been so supportive the past 2 years by helping me understand the Danish language with a cultural perspective, ” says Suriya.
Abi, Suriya’s wife, did not have a job when she moved to Denmark in 2022. Like Suriya, she thinks it is important to learn Danish, so she started taking online Danish classes soon after she arrived in Sønderborg.
“I have learned about written and unwritten rules in Danish society, and it is helpful that we learn about Danish traditions. We did not know all the holidays in India, but when we learn about them, we understand what they mean to our Danish colleagues, and then we can say happy Easter, for example.”
All in with the social scene in Sønderborg
Suriya and Abi are going “all in” to integrate themselves into Sønderborg:
“We don’t just want to read up on Danish language and culture, but also experience life in Sønderborg,” says Suriya.
They use every opportunity to get out into the nature around Sønderborg, going for walks in the forest or going to the beach. At the beach, Abi saw how even very young children jump into the water. She couldn’t swim herself, but was inspired to learn, and last season she started on a swimming team for adult beginners.
Suriya plays volleyball three times a week at the Sønderborg Volleyball club and has also participated in tournaments in Løgumkloster and Kolding.
“I really enjoy playing volleyball, and Denmark has good and strong sport clubs.”
Suriya and Abi have also embraced the archetypal Danish sport of handball. They do not play themselves, but they follow the games from the sidelines when Sønderjyske plays.
Before coming to Sønderborg, they were not familiar with handball because it is not a sport that is common in India, but now they have learned the rules, and Suriya can mention several player names from Sønderjyske’s men’s team.
Learn Danish with UCplus
UCplus offers the three official Danish Language Courses that provide access to official exams and a good start in Denmark. The courses are offered at three levels, each consisting of six modules. You will be offered the level that fits your years of schooling and qualifications.