Connecting international employees with their local colleagues could be a good way to help them learn more about Denmark and the Danish workplace and to increase their social network.
“I enjoyed it very much. It was very interesting meeting her and hear about her country and culture”
Danish local host
What is the project about?
We would like to put you in touch with an international colleague1 for a period of six months, after which you are, of course, free to continue to contact. The aim is that you meet up with your international colleague every month, for example for lunch in the canteen, a drink in the bar at university, or outside of SDU. You can also include your partner and children in the contact, if you like. We aim to put you in touch with an international colleague with whom you do not already work closely, preferably even outside of your own department. This is also a great way to get to know other parts of the university better.
Each pair gets one ‘fun-voucher’ (e.g. discount on burgers in a café in the city) – with the opportunity of getting more if you let us know about your meetings.
Better welcoming international employees to Denmark
Previous research shows that such a local host can have many benefits2. This project follows up on this research which will allow us to learn more about how contact with a local host works best. The results of this research will be reported back to Udlændinge-, Integrations- og Boligministeriet who are funding this project to better welcome and retain international employees and their families in Denmark.
For this study, we would like to ask you to fill out two questionnaires; one before you are put in touch with an international colleague (5 minutes), and one after six months (5-10 minutes). We might also ask some of you for an interview to learn more about how the contact has been going. Also, we would very much appreciate it if you write us a few lines about every meeting you have together; you will get an extra ‘fun-voucher’ as a thank-you!
Are you interested in meeting an international colleague? Click on the link above to fill out the registration form. If you have some questions first, please do not hesitate to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be in touch with you soon!
1 Unfortunately we cannot guarantee that you will be put in touch with an international colleague; this also depends on how many international SDU-colleagues sign up for the project.
2 Previous research in the Netherlands has shown that a local host outside of work helps in various ways:
- Expats got used to interacting with the Dutch and learned more about the Netherlands;
- It was a way for expats to grow their social network and get social support (from practical tips to a listening ear). Many of the expats became friends with their host;
- A local host showed expats that Dutch people did want to meet up with them, preventing a disappointment that many expats experience when they have a hard time meeting the locals.
Van Bakel, M.S. (2012). In Touch with the Dutch. A longitudinal study of the impact of a local host on the success of the expatriate assignment. Ph.D. thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen. Nijmegen, the Netherlands: Ipskamp Drukkers. (Read more)