Living abroad

Why I fell in love with Buenos Aires

It's official! I have moved to Buenos Aires for good! … Or at least with no current plan of leaving. And well, there you also have the reason why the blog has been abandoned for the last two months!

Apart from planning the final moving overseas (from Europe to the Americas, of course!), I have also been finishing my undergraduate thesis (writing about Argentina, of course!). The bottom line became a great thesis which I'm overly proud of, and me enrolling to a Master program in Buenos Aires… but no blog posts in a long time 🙁

Why does Buenos Aires fascinates me so much? Keep on reading, and I will try to explain you why I fell in love with the Argentine capital!

So, what is it that fascinates me so much about Buenos Aires that I want to keep on living here? Keep on reading, and I will try to explain you why I fell in love with the Argentine capital…

… And maybe this will make you want to visit as well?

Why does Buenos Aires fascinates me so much? Keep on reading, and I will try to explain you why I fell in love with the Argentine capital!
On the surface, it looks like something you know – underneath it isn't!

To the bare eye, Buenos Aires looks like bits and pieces taken out of different European cities. A mix of Germany, France, Italy, the UK, and Spain all in one; the architecture, the food, the way people dress and their customs.

However, the longer I stay, the more I realize that, even though, the customs and artifacts in Buenos Aires look like something I know. Underneath the surface of these visible things in the values and assumptions that the people carry around there are huge differences.

What have caused me the most surprises are how people are generally more distrusting towards one another. And especially, toward state institutions such as the police. One part is without doubt because of the great level of corruption in Argentina… but it also made me question my own culture; are Danes maybe just overly naïve compared to the rest of the world?

Nevertheless, I find this duality of being in a city where I think I understand, and then realizing that I don’t quite charming, puzzling and challenging – and challenges I like!

Why does Buenos Aires fascinates me so much? Keep on reading, and I will try to explain you why I fell in love with the Argentine capital!
The architecture reflects how mixed the nationalities of the city is

Buenos Aires is a city composed of many different – especially European – nationalities. Most arrived during the huge migration flows in the 1880s and 1950s. The heritage of these migrations still plays a significant role in the Argentine self-understanding, and it is very common to hear people ask each other where their families originates from.

And when walking around residential neighborhoods like Belgrano, you can clearly see how houses are built in a Germanic, English or Spanish style. How I love to wander around looking at these different houses, and being puzzled about how a house looking like something taken out of a German village has ended up right next to a huge building block.

Puzzling and fascinating! I’m in love!

Why does Buenos Aires fascinates me so much? Keep on reading, and I will try to explain you why I fell in love with the Argentine capital!
A relaxed approach to the concept of time

I never thought that I would end up saying this but… Actually, I quite like a relaxed approach to the concept of time, and whether being on time or not.

It is not quite how life works in Denmark. But, I have finally (to some extent) learned to take some things a little bit more easy. Some things, not all.

Porteños (the slang for the citizens of Buenos Aires) can be late – like REALLY late – while others are quite punctual. Maybe it is the mixed European heritage but this mix sort of weights up for each other. Where the Cuban way of time management drove me crazy. It is kind of a middle way. 

However, I hardly ever experience anybody stressing about being late, the way that people do in Denmark. Which is good for a person like me who are so easy to stress.

Why does Buenos Aires fascinates me so much? Keep on reading, and I will try to explain you why I fell in love with the Argentine capital!
Chatty café culture

I adore how the porteños use the cafés for all kind of things; elderly people meet up at the local café for a chat or for reading the newspaper, fancy-dressed business men to do their important meetings, and then there are all of us in between just stopping by for a cup of coffee.

People meet to chat, and it doesn’t matter if the chat takes a little bit longer than planned. You are there, and that is the important in that moment. Maybe you meet an acquaintance, and stop for an extra chat. People meet, and take their time to chat.

Why does Buenos Aires fascinates me so much? Keep on reading, and I will try to explain you why I fell in love with the Argentine capital!
Big green avenidas

Walking down wide avenues where the tree tops meet on the top… Seriously, what is not to like?

If you are visiting Buenos Aires, hit streets such as La Pampa or Juramiento after Avenida Cabildo, and you will see what I mean! (Actually, there are many more places, so just try to explore further the city centre).

Why does Buenos Aires fascinates me so much? Keep on reading, and I will try to explain you why I fell in love with the Argentine capital!
It is a highly-politicalized society

Since I was teenager I have always loved to discuss politics – and later economics – but few people in Denmark seem that interested in discussing such sort of things. It is almost seen as a code of conduct that you should not raise any political sensitive issues at a dinner party – and less with people you don't know that well!

Porteños are the complete opposite. Almost everybody has an opinion about everything, and are happy to discuss whatever issue. Most also seem quite well-informed about the current state of affairs. For example, once I used the drive to the airport (40 minutes drive!) discussing Argentine politics and history with a taxi driver.

Even though, there are still so many things that I don't understand about Argentina, I'm feeling in my element in a city where political discussions are more the norm than the exception.

My Argentine friends and acquaintances tend to say: “mix all of Europe in one country, and you have Argentina”, maybe that’s why I ended up liking it so much here?

Have you ever visit Buenos Aires? What did you like about the city? Or maybe dislike? Is it a place would like to visit one day? Share your thoughts and experiences below! I would love to hear what you think!
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Why does Buenos Aires fascinates me so much? Keep on reading, and I will try to explain you why I fell in love with the Argentine capital!

Things I wish I had known before studying abroad in Argentina

A semester has ended, the final transcript has been received, all my courses have been passed with a decent mark, and a little winter break is more than needed. Because this has not been an usually semester. This has been my exchange semester on Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

 

Things went pretty well. The classes have generally been of high quality and with interesting content. My head has been filled up with lots of information about politics in Latin America, and Argentina in particular.

 

However, looking back here a semester later, there has been some curious things about studying in Argentina. So, in case you are considering the same move as me, here are a few things to take into account that I wish I had known before studying abroad in Argentina:

 

Please mind that this is based on personal experiences at Universidad Torcuato di Tella. Things might change from university to university in Argentina - feel free to share your own experiences as an exchange student in any Argentine university in the comments below or ask if you have any questions.

Planning your semester studying abroad, and thinking about Argentina? Check out my insider tips on been an exchange student in Argentina
Your hands will burn during exam times

The exams are old fashion written by hand… ALL of them! This mean that "computerized" people as myself will have a hard time with their hands and hand writing during exam periods.

I don't think I have ever written a whole exam essay by hand… I mean in like EVER. The last time I wrote an exam by hand was my math exam in high school which… well, are quiet a couple of years ago.

Ever since I started university in Denmark all my exams have been written on computer, and close to all my notes are taken on computer as well… Soo, ah! My hands were burning by the end of the final exams. The good thing is though that exams are only of two hours duration. Apart from that…

… Exams were super informal done inside the class room

For me exams are normally a whole little official ritual of going to the big exam hall far away from the rest of the campus, getting your student ID inspected, having a whole group of elderly people guard you for the 4 hours’ duration of your exam to be sure you don't do anything you are not supposed to… And they are hard on you; show me the inside of your pencil case, don't leave your jacket on your chair, and (for God stake) DO NOT have your bag close to you at all. And then of course, we start EXACTLY on time! Not one minute before, not one minute after. 9 o'clock means 9 o'clock, end of story!

The atmosphere around exams at Universidad Torcuato di Tella was quiet different. You could enter the assigned class room for the exam without anybody checking you. There would be two or three guards, and some time before the exam start you would causally hand them  your student ID, no big check or anything.  And maybe-maybe not your teacher would be there. Maybe-maybe not he or she would arrive a bit late, and you would therefore start the exam late. Maybe-maybe not they would give you a couple of advises on the answers or help you understand the questions…  It is a lot more relaxed than what I'm used to.

Planning your semester studying abroad, and thinking about Argentina? Check out my insider tips on been an exchange student in Argentina
Classes are small and the teacher quickly learns your name – or at least knows who you are...

Normally, I study at what is considered a smaller program at Copenhagen Business School with around 100 students per year. Sometimes the teacher remembers who you are but mostly you will pass by as one in the mass of students going to class.

In Universidad Torcuato di Tella the classes were smaller with approximately 30 students per class, and most teachers made an effort on getting to know you are little bit more, remember your name or at least have an idea about who you are. Even a teacher I was sure had no idea about who I was started greetting me in the hallways.

The students are generally more active in class discussions than back home

 I don't know if it is something with my program back home but generally most students are not that keen on saying things or are starting debates in class. Some teachers have been better than others in kick-starting class debates but it has not been that impressive.

However, in Argentina, the students in general seem to be more active and eager to discuss in class, and the teachers also try to push toward discussions. Surely, it also has something to do with the class size. In the classes with more students, the lesser people seemed to get involved in discussions.

Planning your semester studying abroad, and thinking about Argentina? Check out my insider tips on been an exchange student in Argentina
There are no breaks during the classes... So if you wants to go to the bathroom you just stand up and walk out

This sounds very strange, and it sort of is. Thus, it took me a very long time to get used to the fact that you can just stand up in the middle of a class and walk out if you need to go to the toilet. I'm used to teachers who get pretty annoyed if you do so during classes but in Argentina they didn't seem to mind at all.

You will need your student ID every time you enter or leave the university

It might just be that this control of everybody entering and leaving the university hasn't arrived to little trusting Denmark. So, for me it was something have had to get used to at first. Everytime I entered or exited the university I had to scan my student ID, and if I forgot it at home I had to ask the reception permission to enter, and they would check my name in the student database. At Copenhagen Business School you just enter, and only use your student ID for exams, printing stuff or the library.

You will be confused about their grading scale

Basically, the grading scale is pretty easy, and goes from 1 to 10 where 10 is the best. At least that was what we were told on the introduction day.

Then suddenly some teachers start giving your grades according to the percentage of correct answers (okay, that's easy to convert to the 1-to-10 scale). Until you receive the grade from another teacher in another course, and he is using a A-B-C etc. grading scale... And then finally, on the final transcript the grades are according to the latter. A bit confused? Maybe it is just me who a used to the fact that only one system is applied for all.

Now you are a little bit better prepared for what to expect of studying abroad in Argentina. All in all it has been an enjoyable experience to study in Argentina, and highly recommendable if you would like to improve your Spanish and want a high academic level. 

 
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Planning your semester studying abroad, and thinking about Argentina? Check out my insider tips on been an exchange student in Argentina
10 useful phrases you should know before visiting Argentina

10 useful phrases you could know before visiting Argentina

Are you as worried as I were about not being able to understand a word of Argentine Spanish? Don't worry this quick guide to 10 usefull phrases you should know before visiting Argentina will help you on track.

The truth is that especially the Argentine pronounciation can be difficult for outsiders. On top of that Argentines have a whole catalog of different words that you don't hear in other Hispanic countries. Hopefully this post will help you get some of the most essential words right from the beginning.

Feel free to share your own experience about Argentine Spanish in the comments below. I would love to hear what you think!

 
Are you as worried as I were about not being able to understand a word of Argentine Spanish? Don't worry this quick guide to 10 usefull phrases you should know before visiting Argentina will help you on track.
1. You speak Castellano - not español

The Argentines don't refer to their language as español as most other Hispanics. No, they speak castellano! Most people will bear over with you if you say that they speak español... And then they will kindly correct you.

Castellano refers to the Spanish from the Spanish region Castile, and it is assumed that Castile is the origin of the Spanish language. Why Argentines insist on using castellano as the term for their language, I still haven't figured out.

 
Are you worried about not being able to understand a word of Argentine Spanish? This quick guide to Spanish in Argentina will get you on track.
2. Vos is you

One of the most common differences in Argentine Spanish is the use of vos as second person pronoun (e.g. you) instead of . Honestly, for me it has been the most confusing thing in Argentine Spanish.

Firstly, sometimes the verb for the second person changes when you use vos compared to ! According to omniglot.com the verb conjugations with vos is always regular (whereas, with you have many irregular verb conjugations).

For example, the conjugation of the verb pensar (to think) when you use it is tú piensas, but with vos it is conjugated vos pensás. Or the verb dormir (to sleep) becomes vos dormís instead of tú duermes. Easier? Maybe. But for sure not when you are used to the -way

Secondly, some pronouns change according to the use of vos and some don’t! For example, instead of saying contigo when referring to “with you”, Argentines use con vos.

However, they do say tuyo (e.g. yours) as all other Hispanic none-vos-speakers do. Maybe because it would sound too weird to say “vosyo"...?

Confused? Well, I was as well! Thus, I have good news for you; the Argentines do understand you perfectly if you speak with ! So don't you worry; your school Spanish will work perfectly fine.

To make a bit fun of the situation and the obvious fact that I’m foreigner, I started saying to waiters and shop owner; "sorry, I still haven't learned to speak with vos" (Disculpe, todavia no he aprendido hablar con "vos"). Generally, it creates a big smile on their lips – at least I’m trying!

Are you worried about not being able to understand a word of Argentine Spanish? This quick guide to Spanish in Argentina will get you on track.
3. Che is like mate

You properly know the word che from the famous Che Guevara. And if you studied Spanish somewhere else I'm sure your Spanish teacher would have mentioned che as one of words that marks the variety of the Spanish language. At least it was one of the favourite examples of my Spanish teachers.

Thus, che is a very common word to hear in the streets of Buenos Aires. Well, I assume all over Argentina. It is the Argentine way of saying mate, bro, dude etc., and it is used for everybody. Yes, seriously, EVERYBODY! I don't know that person to whom my friends don't use che. However, it should be noted that it is a very informal way of speaking. So, don't throw a "che, qué te pasa?" if you are at a job interview... Just a tip 😉

 

4. The prefix re- means very

Argentines place the prefix re- infront of almost any word when they want to express that is very something. 

"Está re loco" my friend will say when he wants to express that something is very crazy, or "está re buena la comida" when the food is very good. So this is "re bueno saber" (e.g. very good to know).

5. Coger is to f***

If you like me learned Spanish in Spain, then you are properly used to the fact that the word coger can be used for almost anything to do with "taking"or "catching": to catch the bus (coger el bús), pick up the keys (recoger las llaves), etc.

However, watch carefully out to use coger in Argentina. The meaning is quite different as it refers to having sex! It is harder than one think to change the habit of each words you use in a foreign language. Little by little, and with a good amount of bullying from my friends, I have so far succeed in eliminating coger from my vocabulary.

Are you worried about not being able to understand a word of Argentine Spanish? This quick guide to Spanish in Argentina will get you on track.
6. Tirar onda is to flirt

A common way to express that somebody is flirting with you is to say that they está tirando onda. Onda can best be translated as vibe, so this somebody is actually throwing (tirando) vibes at you. Well, something to think about the next time you go out - and for sure, if you are going out in Argentina!

BONUS: to express good and bad things the Argentines as well use the word onda. Buena onda and mala onda, respectively for good and bad thing. Thus, this doesn't necessarily have anything to do with flirting.

Are you worried about not being able to understand a word of Argentine Spanish? This quick guide to Spanish in Argentina will get you on track.
7. El subte is the subway

I had no clue what my friend meant when he asked me whether the hostel where I was saying was close to el subte. What the h*** is el subte, I thought.

Though, I quickly found out that el subte is the porteños' (citizens of Buenos Aires) name for the subway system. It made even more sense when I remembered that the Spanish translation of underground is Subterráneo.

Are you worried about not being able to understand a word of Argentine Spanish? This quick guide to Spanish in Argentina will get you on track.
 8. Colectivo is bus

The bus in Argentina is another important transportation word to know. The Argentines call the buses in the cities for colectivo. Basically, it means that you are taking the shared or the collective transportation.

In Buenos Aires there are 180 different bus lines which can be differentiated by their number and the colour on the bus. All public transportation in Buenos Aires can only be used with a magnetic travel card, called SUBE (Sistema Único Boleto Electrónico, e.g. Single Electronic Ticketing System). However, the great thing is that this card works for all the different types of public transportation (buses, subway, trains) in the city.

When entering a bus you can either tell the bus driver the direction you are going to or the price. There are three different prices for the bus; $6.25, $6.50 or $6.75, which depends on how far you are going. The most common charge is $6.50 (seis con cincuenta) so if you request a ticket of that, you are more or less sure that you are covered. At least that’s what I have been doing so far.

The colectivos in Buenos Aires runs pretty often, however, forget about figuring out their schedule. They seem to arrive more or less when they feel like it, and it is common to see two of the same bus running one after the other. On the other side, maybe it is for the best that they don’t have any official schedule because that way they are never late and always on time...Right?

Finally you might as well hear the word bondi used among Argentines, bondi is the slang for colectivo. In my head it still doesn’t make any sense… But whatever, not everything has to, does it?

Are you worried about not being able to understand a word of Argentine Spanish? This quick guide to Spanish in Argentina will get you on track.
9. Anteojos is glasses

It is just strange how certain things change name between Hispanic countries. One of them is: glasses. In Spain they are called gafas which in Cuba means sun glasses, and instead they use espesjuelos. And then I thought that I was settled to be understood... Well, no! In Argentina they call glasses for anteojos! Thus, properly this is the most logic word as it means "before the eyes".

 

10. Morron is bell pepper

I keep on running into words for fruits and vegetables which are different in Argentina compared to other Spanish speaking countries. For example, a bell pepper is in Argentina called “morron” whereas other places call it "pimiento". A bit nerdy, I admit it. But isn’t it strange that the same vegetables are called differently?

Have you been to Argentina and ran into other examples of different Spanish words? Let me know which ones by leaving a comment below!

 

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Are you worried about not being able to understand a word of Argentine Spanish? This quick guide to Spanish in Argentina will get you on track.

Preparation step 2: How to find a good travel insurance

I know it travel insurance is a big expense on your travel budget. But an insurance is a must! No doubt!

The expense will properly be much bigger if something happens to you on the go. So, do yourself the favor and purchase one before taking off!

4 tips for finding a good travel insurance:

1. Find out what kind of coverage you will need for your travel
First things first: what type of coverage do you need? What will you be doing abroad? Just travelling? Or maybe you want to do some work exchange along the way. It might not seem as that big a deal for you but for insurance companies it is. You don’t what to stand in the middel of some accident at a work abroad, and find out that your insurance suddently does not cover because it is work-related. For this trip my travel insurance needed to have a very good coverage since I will need it to cover both working and studying. Apart from that, my exchange university in Argentina had a whole list of requires for our insurance while studying with them. So remember to check up on whether the places you visit require something specific.

Travel Insurance
Unlimited, unlimited, unlimited… I think I must be covered up now!

Apart from that be aware that some travel insurances do not cover extreme sport. So if your are planning on any kind of that during your travels, get it included in the insurance from the beginning.

2. Check how much your house contents insurance covers of your trip
You could remember to check up with your house contents insurance company whether or how much of the trip they might cover. Usually you can deduct this from the time you would need an additional travel insurance. I ended up getting two different answers from my Swedish insurance company: First, they would cover the first 60 days abroad apart from the 3 weeks where I would be voluenteering in Colombia. Then, they suddenly would not cover any days of me travels because the purpose of my travels was to study. So watch out and ask them directly if you are in doubt about something.

3. Do your research!
I did quiet some research in the travel insurance market before picking my travel insurance, and I recommend you to do the same. Use a good amount of time in obtaining different offers from different companies compare their price and coverage. To find the best deal I have simply been visiting many different insurance companies’ website. If they did not have an automatic calculator, they can usually be contracted by email. I find it easier to write them rather then call them on the phone. But it is up to you what you find easiest.
Through another travel blog which I ran into the other day, I found this great travel insurance calculator on World Normads. It is a calculator for a travel insurance with World Normads. However, what I really liked was the fact that you can enter your country of resident and hence, get a feeling of how much the local insurance companies should charge you (or if they might be charging you too much!).

4. Check if any of your memberships of different organizations (e.g. banks, trade unions, student organizations etc.) offer discount on travel insurances
When did you last time check up on your membership discounts? Well, maybe it is worth spending the last amount of time, checking up on it. I ended up choosing a Danish insurance company by whom I get 25% discount by my trade union membership. A 25% discount will usually knock out all other plays and on the amount one have to play for travel insurance it is quiet a significant deduction! So thank you, trade union Djøf! 🙂

Safe travels, and good luck with the travel insurance hurt!

Preparation step 1: Upgrading my camera

My new “baby” arrived today: one piece of beautiful Nikon D3200 reflex camera with a 18-105mm lens 🙂 Well, for big travels, you need big camera… orrr 😉 At least I wanted to make sure that I can take a lot of amazing pictures of Latin America to share with you.

Nikon D3200

For many many years I have had an old Nikon D40 which has been many places with me and perpetuated many great moment. However, it is getting old and slow, so with these upcoming travels of Latin America, I wanted an upgrade. Therefore, I decided to use some of the money from the travel saving account on this new wonder.

I bought the camera used from a  Danish second-hand website as you might reflex cameras can be quiet expensive. So far from this evenings quick inspection it seems almost completely new. It was delivered from the former owner in the orginal boxes and with all the possible papers and instructions you could possible ever ask for! Amazing somebody saved all that. Well, I’m pleased and SO ready to start using by new baby D3200 🙂

One year in Sweden: 5 considerations from a Dane living abroad

Today, the 1st of February, it is exactly one year ago that my husband and I moved to Malmö, Sweden. Moving to Sweden was for us a consequence of the harsh Danish migration law. A law usually referred to in Denmark as “the 24-year rule” does not let the foreign spouses obtain resident permit if one of the two parts is under 24-year old. This law has been stopping our dreams of a live together in Denmark from the beginning, because I will not turn 24 until September this year. We had no other options than to search for alternatives. And Sweden became the alternative.

At the beginning I did not think it would be much of a different from Denmark. The two countries are both two modern welfare societies. Now after one year in Sweden, I must admit that there are some differences:

1. Front runner in recycling

One of the first things that struck me when we moved here was the carefully outlined system of separating of trash for recycling.  In Malmö each block has a so-called “Miljöhus” (environment house) with huge trash bins for all kind of different trash: paper and newspapers, plastic, metal, electronics, cardboard packaging, and organic left overs (there is even special trash bags for organics which you can take for free).

For a recycling and environmental freak as me this has been heaven. Every time I go to Copenhagen to friends’ houses and have to throw out organic left overs, plastic or paper it almost hurts me. Sweden is really in front when it comes to recycling! Thumps up!

2. Paper loving health care system

In contrast the front position in recycling, Sweden is steps behind when it comes to digitalizing their health care system. There might still be many things which have to be done with the Danish health care system. But the process of digitalizing has started in many parts of the Danish system. However, in Sweden almost everything I have had to do within the health care system has been sent by ordinary mail: from receiving the answer on a blood sample to my appointment reserved at the doctor or the hospital. I am not saying that Denmark is a lot better in everything but at least I can reserve time by the normal doctor through internet. In Sweden I have only been able to request a time, and then they usually give me an appointment when I cannot come.

3. Humanitarian superpower

The migration crisis and our own example (among many other Danish-international couples’) have shown Sweden as a humanitarian superpower which opens its door for people in need. It seems to be a very strong part of the Swedish self-understanding. Some weeks ago I heard a Danish radio program about Sweden where an expert mentioned that the concept of “political correctness” (a highly discussed topic in Denmark) does not really exist in the Swedish debates. It is seen as a fact that Sweden should help. However, this general idea of a humanitarian superpower is today also resulting in a series of problems in the Swedish political life: on the one hand, right wing extremists are winning more and more support because not everyone agrees with the notion of what being a humanitarian superpower includes. On the other hand, areas of Swedish cities experiences difficulties with the integration process of migrants.

Recently, there has been taken steps away from this position. In November 2015, and again in January 2016 Sweden enforced border a strict border control, especially in our region of Skåne (southern Sweden) towards Denmark.

4. A labor market not in gear for the loads of migrants

This is in strong connection to the point above. While the Swedish politicians have been keen on opening the borders and providing protection for people from hot spots around the world, the Swedish labor market has not been adjusted at the same speed. We have experienced this ourselves through the flight of finding a job for my husband.

Sweden has developed different economic labor market offers for newly arrived immigrants. Therefore, we sought help at the employment office. After filling out forms after forms my husband finally got assigned a caseworker in charge of helping him. However, this person had no knowledge in working with a person which does not speak fluently Swedish. The pieces of advice he gave seemed like the ones he would give to a Swedish speaking person. The many the especial offers of immigrants, for example internships, appeared to only exist if you found them by yourself. There was nothing organized by the employment office. There was not even established a database with jobs possible for foreigners to apply for where, for example proficiency in Swedish was not a requirement.

In my opinion, this is an area which should be focused on improving before Sweden (and any other country facing issues with integration) can have a successful integration of the many immigrants of all kinds.  Denmark, I imagine, is not any better in the area. However, the more showing the immigration debate is for me.

5. (Mostly) enthusiastic when you try your poor Swedish

A thing that really pushes your limits when moving to another country is to communicate oneself in the foreign language. Swedish is almost a sister language to Danish, and we have many things in common. However, we do also have many different ways to express and pronounce words. Nevertheless, to make an effort in understanding and communicating in the language is one of the greatest forms of respect you can show when living abroad. Therefore I have been keen to try out my crazy Swedish-Danish mix when I from time to time interact with our local Swedish community. Mostly, I must say, the Swedes have been nice and patient about my poor Swedish. Parts of me believe that it is because they like that I at least try.