MEET A LEISURE GUIDE: RAHUL

Rahul from India has been a leisure guide since 2016. Here’s his story and his best tips to being new to Copenhagen.

In India, we had our family, friends and a well settled, stable life. Both I and my wife had great jobs. Then one fine day she received a fantastic job in Copenhagen. On one hand, it was difficult to turn down such an amazing offer but on the other hand it was also very difficult for us decide to leave our family and friends behind and move to a new country. We pondered over it and then mutually decided to take the plunge.

 

Why did you become a leisure guide?

Few months after moving to Denmark while still looking for a relevant job, I started feeling lonely and depressed sitting idle at home. This made me explore possible opportunities of engagement and networking. As a starting point I visited International house and became aware about the Leisure guidance session among various other programs that they conduct. I attended my first leisure guidance session and it was awesome. I think it is an excellent initiative by International House to share important information with foreigners and to help them settle well in Copenhagen. In leisure guidance, one gets to meet different people from all around the world while learning many new things about the city. I was really impressed and inquired about volunteering opportunities. As a volunteer I note that most newcomers have same basic questions and concerns such as information about taxation, job market, Danish schools, museums, sports clubs, swimming pools etc. As a foreigner, I can relate to the daily problems, struggles and challenges of internationals when they move to Copenhagen, because it is not long ago that I was in their situation. While conducting leisure guidance for newcomers, I provide all the relevant information and try to comfort them by sharing my positive opinion about Denmark and its people. It is such a great feeling, when I am able to help people and share my experiences to motivate them. In Leisure Guidance, we try to create informal and friendly environment, where participants can talk to other people and find their common interests. Often, when the guidance session is over, people go out for drinks and socialize. It is a pleasure to make this little contribution towards connecting people in a new country.

When I was new to Denmark, I met wonderful people who provided guidance about job search and lent a helping hand for us to settle down well. I try to do the same by giving back what I have received, by helping others and rendering support.

Do you have time to explore Copenhagen when you have time off?

The best thing about Denmark is the work-life balance. People are encouraged to spend time with their families. After a busy workday, one has enough time to spend time with family, pursue their passion and to relax.

Both me and my wife love biking. We always look forward to go for a leisure bike tour around the city. Copenhagen has dedicated bike lanes and I think biking is the best mode of exploring this beautiful city. While biking, people can enjoy green and clean Copenhagen at their own pace.

How come you moved to Denmark in the first place?

My wife received a job offer in Copenhagen and I decided to support her decision and accompany her. It took me about nine months to find a suitable job. Before I got my present job, I sent many applications, attended several job and career seminars and networking workshops. I had few wonderful people who helped me with my job search within their network. Once I understood how things work in Danish Job market, I drafted my CV and cover letter accordingly and started receiving invitation for interviews. Finally I got my dream job in a large Danish bank – I am very happy to have friendly and supportive colleagues and great work environment.

I’ve been learning Danish for almost 2 years now and working in a Danish division definitely helps me in improving my language skills. I think it’s very important for foreigners to learn the language in order to better integrate in the Danish society and for better job opportunities

Fortunately our decision worked well for us and today both of us have good jobs and most importantly a well-balanced life that we are happy about.

Today, when we look back at our journey, beautiful lines from Mark Twain make complete sense: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Do you have a tip for newcomers?

Take initiatives! Walk an extra mile.  Danish people really respect privacy and they might not approach you, but if you will approach them asking for help, they will definitely help you.

Learn Danish as it will help you personally as well as professionally and lastly get yourself a bike and start exploring and enjoying this beautiful country.

FACTS ABOUT RAHUL

  • Has been a leisure guide since early 2016
  • Born in Jaipur, India
  • Moved to Denmark in end 2015
  • Lives in Frederiksberg with his wife
  • Works in a large Danish Bank