"Copenhagen was the best choice for both of us"
Colombian Luisa Fernanda Vargas Hormiga, 33, had a wonderful life in Barcelona, Spain when she and her American boyfriend at that time, Timothy (Tim) White, decided to move to Copenhagen in March 2013. They are now married and enjoying their positively Scandinavian lifestyle.
“At the time, we had options through Tim’s work, to move to Miami, Paris, Basel Switzerland or Ireland – and while these were all very interesting offers, Copenhagen was the best choice for both of us.” Luisa says and elaborates: “Tim received an offer as a Global director for a Danish Pharmaceutical company and during the recruitment the company really took me into consideration and involved me in every step of the process. They were clearly aware of the importance of the accompanying spouse and family in an international relocation. In the end, that gave us the final motivation to move here in addition to the consideration that it would be much easier for me to find relevant work in Denmark given the economic stability and the impressive roster of Danish headquartered companies.”
Networking and job searching courses paid off
Continuous professional growth was one of the main reasons for Luisa and Tim to relocate, and Luisa began the job search process shortly after arriving in Copenhagen. “There are a lot of free courses that will help you to understand the Danish culture and job market, and that was really helpful for me. International House Copenhagen, for instance, provide amazing programs and support to accompanying spouses."
After three months of intensive job searching and networking, Luisa was hired for a position at a Digital Marketing & IT Agency working as an Account Manager for healthcare clients.
“My husband and I truly like working here and we like the horizontal workplace culture – you are expected to express your opinion. Also, I appreciate getting home at 5 pm. In Spain, there were a lot of social interruptions throughout the day so while you would often leave the office at 8 or 9 pm you didn’t always feel like you had a productive day. Here I try to work in the standard (more limited) Danish working hours –I just work in a more efficient way.”
The green and blue city
Luisa and Tim also quickly became fond of the Scandinavian lifestyle – especially, the active outdoor life during the summer and the candlelights and coziness at home in the darker months.
However, Luisa thinks that the Danes do tend to be a bit too respectful of the rules at times. “One time someone told me off because I crossed the road in a very quiet area while the lights were red – but there were no cars! I was so confused.”
“Other than that it’s an amazingly beautiful country with delightful food, an innovative culture, and an impressive work life balance. Copenhagen has lots of activities every week that we both try to take advantage of. The city really knows how to entertain with many of the activities having free access. We live on Amager Strand and my husband loves the beach park, which is perfect for our two beautiful rescued greyhound dogs, and we’re only a few quick metro stops away from the center and Tivoli, which I love!”
French lessons and Danish design
“During the weekends we go to shops and galleries to appreciate Danish design or we go to play golf at our local course in Dragør. During the week I’m taking French lessons as one of my personal passions.” At the moment, Luisa and Tim have chosen not to take Danish classes since they currently consider that Denmark may not be their forever home. “We’re very happy here in Denmark at the moment and haven’t made any concrete plans regarding how long we’ll stay or where we will go after this experience; but at times we do consider that it would be nice to be a bit closer to Colombia or the United States to be with our families.”
Even though the couple may move on in some years, Luisa considers Copenhagen to be an eye-opener: “After we have moved to Copenhagen I see life through a new lens. I discovered what a very high standard of living means, and the benefits of a country where public and private sectors, as well as the general population, work together in a very trustworthy and synergic environment, it’s truly impressive.”
Luisa Fernanda Vargas Hormiga, 33 years old.
From Colombia, used to live and work in Barcelona before she came to Copenhagen as an
accompanying spouse in March 2013.
Bachelor’s degree in International Business, Master’s degree in Marketing and International business.
Works as Account Manager in a Digital Marketing & IT Agency.