Living the Danish Way: Moving from India to Denmark

Cloudy skies, long nights, rainy & windy days, and most importantly, “hygge” – these are the first things I heard when I moved to Aarhus. To be honest, I did not know anything about the city until I moved in, except for the fact that it is the second largest city in Denmark (largest in Danish terms). Moving to another country is challenging, let alone a new job, language, house, people, and way of life!

I was excited and overwhelmed at the same time. But Arla made my relocation as smooth as possible. I was able to obtain my permit and visa while sitting at Spain, where I did my MBA. Arla also took care of my flights from India to Aarhus, getting my bank account opened, setting up my healthcare and with all the paperwork needed. Now, I am officially a tax-paying resident of Denmark!

But am I a Dane already? Well, yes and no. There are some parts of me that show certain traits, like I have already started living the “hygge” way! I have started embracing the chilly wind, started waking up early to be in office by 8 am, started eating potatoes almost every day and many different varieties of bread. I started greeting and smiling at strangers on the street, and started to enjoy life as it should be. Yet, the Indian in me still craves for curry, rice, Indian bread, and spices, wants to sleep in a bit longer, wants to see more people and chaos on the street, wants to work longer, and most importantly, wants sunlight!

The F15 program at Arla is everything that I have asked for – a structured learning and growth approach to my career. During my job hunt, I was looking for an opportunity that could help me grow professionally and personally. I was more inclined towards a company that took its values seriously, worked towards a mission, and impacted society. Right from the first training weeks to this day, every day has been a learning. I got to know the importance of understanding myself and my skills during the “Leading self” training week, revisiting Hogan profiles and knowing my strengths and areas of improvement while spending time with the other graduates. My everyday work involves meeting with stakeholders from different professional and personal backgrounds, planning workshops, analyzing market trends and products, and some slide-making and excel sheets!

Staying so far away from home, my colleagues at the Arla Innovation Centre (AIC) and my fellow F15 graduates have been my shoulders of support so far in my journey at Arla and in Aarhus. In these 3 months, I have met so many new, kind people both inside and outside work, visited many restaurants, relished delicious Danish pastries, got lost in random long walks, and admired the nature and architecture of the city.

Though Aarhus is unlike any other city I have ever lived in, it still holds a unique place in my heart for its charm! I am looking forward to the coming months and the Christmas celebrations in this small but warm city (not weather-wise though, haha).

Archana Ravi

F15 graduate

Period: 2022-2024

Archana Ravi