Navigating New Horizons with Danish: Vindya’s Path from CBS Student to Corporate Success in Copenhagen.
It’s been three years since Vindya from Sri Lanka arrived in Copenhagen. At that time, she was one of the many international students who come to Denmark every year to pursue higher education. She began her master’s programme in ‘Economics and Finance’ at CBS – Copenhagen Business School, found a part-time job, and immediately after graduating, she secured a position in a major auditing firm. To thrive in her professional life in Denmark, Vindya has worked diligently to learn Danish. There have been challenges along the way, but she persisted. Read about her experiences and the advice she offers.
“Learning Danish has helped my integration, as it has provided me with relevant knowledge about Danish culture and how Danish society works,” Vindya explains.
Start learning Danish as soon as possible
When Vindya talks about her experiences of living and studying in Denmark, she pauses just to reflect on how long she’s been here. It’s been three years now. And she can hardly believe it herself, feeling that time has flown by.
In the beginning, there was a lot to organise and get used to: a new course, a new place to live, and meeting new people. And Vindya didn’t start learning Danish right away.
“When I began my studies in Copenhagen, I didn’t see the immediate need to learn Danish. Everything was conducted in English at the university, and you can manage with English in the shops as well. However, suddenly it became important for me to speak proper Danish. Today, I realise the importance of starting straight away and learning Danish right from the beginning.”
Once Vindya started, she made rapid progress, completing the first three modules of her Danish course in one go. Afterwards, she took a break from her Danish lessons, finding it challenging to work on her thesis and continue with her Danish studies simultaneously.
This resulted in an 8-month pause from her Danish course. Looking back, she admits that had she been given a second chance, she would have continued with the Danish course, because it took some effort to pick up Danish again after the break.
Language School Offers Networking and Job Opportunities
Although it can be tough to juggle everything: studies, part-time work, and Danish lessons, Vindya is truly pleased that she chose the Danish course at UCplus.
“Learning Danish has helped my integration, as it has provided me with relevant knowledge about Danish culture and how Danish society works. I’ve mastered the language, and the network I’ve built at UCplus is also valuable to me.”
Today, Vindya works for Deloitte. Even though it’s a global firm, there are many Danish employees, something Vindya appreciates.
“It’s beneficial because it means I use my Danish every day. It’s crucial for my job that I can read, speak, and write in Danish. I must read and respond to emails, go through reports, and participate in discussions.”
Vindya’s top three language learning tips
Vindya’s native language is Sinhalese. Besides that, she speaks English, and Danish is her third language.
“If you come from another European country, like Germany for example, there are some similarities in the languages which can be advantageous when learning Danish. But coming from an entirely different country like Sri Lanka, it’s more challenging. Both in terms of grammar and pronunciation.”
But Vindya hasn’t been deterred by the linguistic hurdles, and she has found the following ways of practising Danish helpful:
– Listen to the podcast ‘Dansk i ørene’ – it offers valuable insights about Denmark and Danish culture while simultaneously helping improve Danish listening skills.
– Read the news from TV2, which provides daily updates about happenings in Denmark. TV2 news articles are somewhat easier to comprehend compared to those from Denmark’s Radio.
– Watch Danish series, for example, Rita – they offer plenty of colloquial language, useful for everyday conversations: in shops, by the coffee machine, at social gatherings.
Learn Danish at UCplus
UCplus offers the three official Danish courses, which give you access to official tests and a good start in Denmark. The education is offered at 3 levels, each of which consists of 6 modules. You will be offered to start at exactly the level that suits the number of years of schooling you have and your qualifications.