The Welcome Reception: Being welcomed to Greater Copenhagen and Southern Sweden

Perhaps one of the most visited places in Copenhagen, the central square is home to the imposing City Hall, hundreds of tourists, and of course pigeons. The day is August 31st and the back-to-school bustle breathes energy in to the city, a perfect day to welcome our newest international residents to Greater Copenhagen and southern Sweden.

International House Copenhagen is arranging its first Welcome Reception at City Hall, offering expats a smorgasbord of information regarding diverse culture, leisure and work-life offerings from organisations based in the Greater Copenhagen Area and southern Sweden.

Our Swedish delegation has driven across the 10 km bridge connecting Malmö in Southern Sweden to Copenhagen in Denmark to exhibit at the Welcome Reception and chat to newcomers to the area.

As attendees line up for the traditional Danish pancakes being served, the Swedish delegation gets the opportunity to chat with the many expats who have decided to relocate to Sweden and Denmark. The reasons are many, but all seem to be delighted with the opportunities to visit, enjoy and work in both countries, the proximity of the two allowing for an integrated job market and plenty of free-time activities.

A fashion designer from Italy is looking to establish herself in the Copenhagen, Scandinavia’s design and fashion capital, and is pleased to learn about how inspiration from Sweden is only a 30-minute train ride away.  Greater Copenhagen and southern Sweden make up Scandinavia’s most densely populated area, with 3,9 million inhabitants. The area is one of the most dynamic in Europe for ground-breaking science and technological innovations, such as MAX IV and ESS, two world leading centres for materials research.

Residents here can also let their heart beat a little slower, when it is time to relax. The open spaces, the rolling countryside, forests, lakes and long sandy beaches are never more than 30 minutes away from wherever you work. This unique combination of stimulating business environment and a high quality of life means one really can enjoy the best of both worlds.

The afternoon finished with a workshop delving into the cultural differences in working life in Sweden and Denmark. Dane’s and Swede’s tendency to wear black, play in cemeteries and leaving babies outside in the cold were hot topics in which newcomers discussed. Also mentioned were other working life quirks, such as Dane’s and Swede’s tendency to arrive early rather than late (or on-time for that case).

The delegation from Sweden was made up of: Invest in SkåneOresundDirekt; The Municipalities of Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö; Lund International Citizen Hub; and Helsingborg International Connections. The Swedish delegation’s participation in the Welcome Reception and seminar on working life was conducted in the framework of the work package called ”Welcoming International Talents” which is part of the ESS & Max IV: Cross Border Science and Society Interreg Project. The project is funded by the European Regional Development fund and has 27 project partners with the goal of seizing the opportunities of the unique research facilities ESS and MAX IV in Lund.