Connecting with a local colleague could be a good way to learn more about Denmark and the Danish workplace and to increase your social network.
“I found it to be very helpful in settling in in DK both in terms of work and socially.”
- English expat
What is the project about?
We would like to put you in touch with a local 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 local 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 a local 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 of about 10-15 minutes; one before you get a local host, and one after six months. 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 with your host; you will get an extra ‘fun-voucher’ as a thank-you!
Are you interested in meeting a local 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!
Please note that participation in this project is at the moment limited to international employees of the BSS-faculty, since this is what we received funding for. If you are outside our faculty, but would still like to get in touch with a local colleague, e-mail us at email@example.com – and we’ll see what we can do / who we can convince.
1 Unfortunately we cannot guarantee that you will get a local host; we will do our utmost, but this also depends on how many local SDU-colleagues sign up for the project as local host.
2 For example: 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)