The Positive List – updated but eerily similar to that of years past

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Two years ago I posted a two-part story on immigrating to Denmark (see here and here), complete with tips, advice, and links to the main websites that can be of help to someone considering a move to this country. One government scheme I mentioned – The Positive List, as it is called – has just been updated. The professions included in this list are those in which Denmark lacks a sufficient number of qualified workers. While the list has changed over the years I have been here (there were a lot more job titles on it in 2012, including some social science degree-related ones, which gave me false hope at the beginning of my job search in Denmark), some of the job titles have remained the same. Steady favourites are various types of engineers, IT specialists, teachers, and medical workers.

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The Danish efterskole experience: a powerful, independence-building alternative

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[Blogger’s note: this post was written by a guest blogger, Eliane Pohl, whom you can read more about at the end of the story. Photos are courtesy of Bjergen Efterskole, which the author’s son attended from 2014-15.]

In Denmark, children start school when they are six years old. There is actually no law requiring that children attend school in Denmark, but there is a law requiring them to be taught. In principle, this means that children can be taught at home, though home schooling is quite rare. Grade school in Denmark runs from kindergarten through ninth grade, when kids are typically 15 years old, and the majority of children go to school at a Folkeskole, or public school. Denmark also has a long tradition of Friskoler, which are similar to charter schools in the United States, and there are also some private schools. While most of these concepts probably seem relatively familiar, Denmark does have one unusual type of school, which is called an Efterskole.In essence, an Efterskole is a boarding school, where teenagers both live and attend classes. Efterskole is available to anyone  the ages of fourteen and eighteen, and their curriculum covers grades 8-10. Read the rest of this entry »

Denmark gears up for the 18 June national election: a guest blogger’s primer on Danish parties, their alliances, and the hot topics under debate

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The next general election in Denmark has been announced and will take place on Thursday, 18th June 2015. So far 10 parties have thrown in their hat for the 179 seats in the Danish Parliament and it looks like it will be a close call between the “blue” and “red” blocs. Read on to learn more from guest blogger Anna Klitgaard about the different parties, their alliances, and the topics on which this election centers…

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Taking the driver’s license exams in Aalborg to exchange your license (or the hoops you have to jump through if you come from a Group 2 country)

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UPDATE (16 March 2016): As of 1 April 2016, people with a driver’s license from Australia, Canada, or the United States will be able to exchange their driver’s license without taking exams. In other words, they join the ‘Group 1’ countries. Read my previous post here and find other information here. The rest of this post, however, still applies to ‘Group 2’ countries (again, see my previous post on this subject) – so this is valid for anyone not from the EU, EEA, Nordic, or Group 1 countries…

Hey everyone! Sarah, aka the Life in Aalborg blogger, was asking me some questions about my recent saga of changing my driver’s license from a United States one to a Danish one. Most people who come from outside the EU (see her previous post on the subject of Danish driving licenses here for more specifics on who) have to take both the theory and practical exams in order to get a Danish license, and, although the process looks fairly straightforward on paper, that isn’t always the case. So here’s a first person account of the process.

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Update on dual citizenship in Denmark

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aabf91441e8c4c79a9e696e4c6ac98e0I have been monitoring the situation with dual citizenship in Denmark. A friend pointed me to a discussion on the Americans in Denmark Part 2 group page that appeared on 16 November, 2014. ‘Larry Jf’ posted the following:

This past week the law allowing dual citizenship for those who become a Danish citizen was mentioned from the podium in the folketing (Parliament). That was treatment No.1 of the law. Treatment No.2 will be a debate of the law, which will take place soon and the final vote to pass the law will take place before the end of the year. I have this info from my contact in the folketing and since he is a folketing politician who has pushed for and will vote for the law I trust the info.

Indeed, I looked for the discussion in the Folketing’s Dagsorden and found it on their 13 November 2014 agenda. Here is a link (in Danish): So the law is on the agenda – they are recommending that it come into force in September 2015. Let’s keep fingers crossed and see how things go!

Charges on packages sent to Denmark from outside the EU – beware!

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collage-2014-09-22Imagine this: your mother has announced that your birthday package is on its way and while you wait for its arrival from India (or the United States or Korea or…), you anticipate the taste of the food items you’ve been craving, picture how a pair of jeans she ordered for you is going to look, and eagerly await the few products you haven’t been able to find in Denmark. But then, instead of a box, you receive a letter from the Danish Post informing you that your box is being held at the post office and that you must pay more than 300kr. to retrieve it. Say what? Read the rest of this entry »

Recent & upcoming: street festival, teddy bears and music, Utzon Archive exhibit, AaMAZE, Platform4-ASO concert, Aalborg i Rødt, ‘Give a hint’, and more

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With school back in session and people back from holiday, lots of events and activities are popping up in Aalborg and the surrounding areas. Per my usual manner of dealing with these, I mention them in chronological order and will repeat in future posts those events that are not taking place within the next week.


Street theater festival comes to Aalborgdiva_thumbs

Denmark’s International Street Theater Festival is taking place today and tomorrow (21-22 August) in various central Aalborg locations. Theater troupes from Sweden, Spain, Turkey, Austria, Belgium, France, and Denmark are taking to the streets to entertain audiences young and old – for free! Performances are primarily in the afternoon – check the program here to get more details.

Bear concertTake your teddy bear to a concert

Come and hear the musical fairytale of the three white bears! A combination of music and storytelling where the audience can expect a narrative experience beyond the ordinary. A musical tale composed by Michael Bøsdorf and performed by pianist Lili Olesen says Peter Søvad. For children (6 years and up) and adults. In the Obelske Auditorium at the Utzon Center on Sunday, 24 August at 15:00. Entry is free. More information available here (in Danish).

Sydney_Opera_HouseUtzon Archive: The Sydney Opera House

Did you know that the Utzon Center is named after Jørn Utzon, who designed the Sydney Opera House? New original material from the Utzon Archive, which consists of more than 10.000 drawings, sketchbooks, photographs, film material, letters, architectural models, books and other materials related to Utzon’s work dating from 1937, are on display at the Center until the end of this month. The focus of the exhibit is his masterpiece; in addition to the archive materials you can also view current photos of the opera house by Thomas Mølvig. The Utzon Center is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 17:00. Entrance to exhibits is 60kr/person (children under 18 free) while students pay 20kr. For more information, click here.

New cultural festival in Aalborg – get ready to be AaMAZEd!AaMAZE

AaMAZE is Aalborg’s new cultural festival that will take place the first time from 28 to 31 August. Over the four days budding talents from all over Norjylland will perform in different locations in downtown Aalborg. Many art, culture, and music genres will be represented – from hard rock to soft blues, from watercolor to spray paint, and from pole dancing to parkour you name it! See more here.

Aalborg Symphony Orchestra music manager to speak about orchestra’s upcoming season

Aalborg Symphony Orchestra’s Music Manager Jan Kvistborg will visit the Aalborg Main Library on Saturday, 30 August from 13:00 to 14:00 to talk about the orchestra’s exciting program for the new season at Musikkenshus. Come hear about the season’s highlights, the planning and the thought process behind the many, often very different concerts and socialize with other classical music lovers. The talk will take place on the main floor in the Glashjørnet. No registration required; admission is free. Information in Danish here.

“Aalborg i Rødt” (Aalborg in Red) begins 1 September

Stores in Aalborg will be rolling out the red carpet for the annual “Aalborg i Rødt” week at the beginning of September. For the seventh year in a row, shops and city planners have created a program to highlight Aalborg’s commercial and cultural strengths. This year’s program is broad and focuses on providing guests and locals with a fun assortment of events such as the Fjordmarathon, DM i Trial, Fashion Event, Company Sports Open, Children’s Culture Day, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra performances, Children’s Film Festival, International Market, and much more. The official events run over the four day period from 4-7 September (see program here). On Friday, 5 September, stores will participate in Day & Night, for which they stay open until 22:00. They will also be open on Sunday, 7 September, as it is the first Sunday of the month, so there will be ample opportunity to shop, says Aalborg City director Flemming Thingbak.

platform4Platform4 and ASO to play on Friday, 5 September – get your tickets now!

For Symfonien x Platform4 #7, Aalborg Symphony Orchestra and the electronic artists from Platform4 take on Stravinskij’s debut classic ‘The Firebird’. Based on Russian folklore the piece is a dramatic account of Prince Ivan and his catching of a strange magical bird revealing itself as both a blessing and a curse to its owner. Before the concert there will be a gathering in the foyer of Musikkenshus on level 0. After the concert the group moves to the foyer on level +3. The Platform4 dj collective will supply the ambience. Entrance is free but tickets must be collected at Platform4 or in Musikkens Hus and it is strongly suggested you order your ticket sooner than later; previous concerts have sold out before the day. About the event: From 2012 until Musikkenshus opened this past March, Platform4 and Aalborg Symphony Orchestra held concerts fusing symphonic music with electronic art in Symfonien in Kjellerupsgade and in Multisalen in Nordkraft. Their last collaboration was the first of its kind on the new stage in Koncertsalen in Musikkens Hus. The 1,200 tickets that were made available for the concert were all collected by concert-goers. For more information, click here.


‘Give a hint’ app encourages residents to tip off their municipality about problems on roads and cycle paths

If you see that asphalt is missing on a bike path, a tree has fallen over onto a sidewalk, or snow needs to be cleared from a road, it is now easier to let your municipality know about it. With a few clicks of the Give a hint” app you can send a message about the problem to your municipality directly, writes It is no harder than sending a picture message. With ‘Give a hint‘ you take a photo of the problem with your phone, provide the problem category and add any necessary comments. GPS coordinates are automatically downloaded, and the municipality knows exactly where to go and what they’ll need to do. The app is now nationwide and automatically selects the municipality to be tipped so you do not need to know municipal boundaries in order to send the hint to the appropriate municipality. However, not all municipalities are participating in the Giveahint” yet. (Aalborg IS participating.) The Giveahint” app is free and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. A Windows Phone version is under development. You can read more about the app at [Information reported in on Thursday, 21 August.]