I met Dasol Hwang in a cafe in Copenhagen, where she told me an amazing story about her life.
Dasol is originally from Bun-dang in South Korea and she stayed the last 5 years in Denmark. She was on exchange
at the University College Nordjylland during her bachelor studies and decided to come back to Denmark to pursue
a master degree in chemistry and continue to work as a chemist.
The portrait is organized according to 3 main questions concerning living and working in Denmark as an expat, and Dasols advises for other expats:
Morten: “What has been the most important reasons for choosing Denmark as a place to live?”
Dasol: After a few years in Denmark, I started to understand how Danes think. How the education system was helpful, stimulating creativity and openness for constructive critical thinking and the ability to solve problems were very important to me. I just feel good here, people are not overly stressed out, and even though there are some political struggle with integration polices, the local people I meet are nice and welcoming.
Morten: “What has been the most important reasons for choosing Denmark as a place to work?”
Dasol: Well to begin with I chose Denmark as a place to study, and while studying my bachelors in Denmark, I started to like the Danish culture. It is possible to ask questions and challenge standard ideas. Learning is not based on repetition but rather on interaction between students and the teacher. The same happens at work, where we constantly learn and critically think of new ways to solve the problem, which requires a lot of professional discussions and experiments. Another amazing thing in Denmark is the gender equality, it is really nice to experience a society where the woman has respect and the same rights as the man. Everything fits together here. I work around 37 hours pr. week which gives me time to learn new things, For instance studying Danish, which is important here. People really like if you talk their language, and it is also beneficial while talking to Danish colleagues.
Morten: “What do you like about your current workplace?”
Dasol: My current workplace is like a dream job for me, I get to do so many interesting research tasks, and im basically responsible of the experiments and analysis, nobody is directly telling me what to do, but we many professional conversations across the laboratory, which are very giving. So the hierarchy is very low and my colleagues are amazing.
Another thing I enjoy is the work life balance. It is really important that I can get my private life and working life to fit together. What I mean is that my working hours are well adjusted, so I can actually go out, meet my friends, enjoy the local cafes etc. This is very important to be ready for the next working day - and also benefits the company.
Morten: “If you should give a advice to expats thinking to move to Denmark to live and work, what would it be?”
Dasol: Some expats claim that it is hard to meet the Danes, and even harder to understand them, so many expats meet each other, and not always interact that much with the local people. My thoughts is that it is actually not too difficult to meet Danish people, but you need to be open, reach out, be active, but it is not impossible. Networking is quite easy in Copenhagen, Just try, there are so many possibilities, go dancing, do sports, join the local board game cafe or food clubs.Basically be open to new ideas and explore the place.