How to become an au pair in Denmark?

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Denmark is one of the world's oldest monarchies with a history that stretches back to the Viking Age around the year 1000. Danish society rests on the foundation of the Danish Constitution of 1849, and the political system has since been characterised by broad solutions across the political divide. Denmark is often cited as one of the world's best countries to live in. The strong welfare state ensures economic equality in society and the virtual non-existence of corruption, while polls repeatedly show that the Danes are among the happiest people in the world.

What characterizes the Danes as a people? Many non-Danes living in Denmark suggest that the Danes are open and welcoming. Others may call them reserved, especially during the long winter months. For many Danes, the word "hygge" is essential when describing something uniquely Danish. The word is best translated into English as ‘coziness’ or ‘conviviality’ and reflects the sense of community and sense of security which comes about when Danes spend quality time with people they care about.

The Danish weather can be frightful or fantastic – and usually everything in between. Be prepared for all seasons in one day. All before lunchtime. As the Danes say, there’s no such thing as bad weather…just the wrong clothing.  So embrace it, wear layers and invest in some waterproofs and wellie boots. Or discover your inner Viking, strip off completely and become a winter bather!

Once you have a Danish friend, you have a friend for life. If you have a problem, they will come to your rescue and will be there for you in thick and thin. They can be the warmest and kindest people you know….giving and helpful.

typical day in a family

Family is very important to Danes and therefore balancing work and domestic life is not too complex. 

  • A normal working week is from Monday to Friday and office hours are usually between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
  • Women work an average of 35 hours a week compared to 41 hours a week for men. 
  • As the family life of employees is generally respected by Danish employers, it is not uncommon for many Danish workplaces to give you the opportunity to adjust your working hours based on your family’s needs. 
  • It is quite usual for Danes to live relatively close to their place of work which means that less time is spent on commuting.

Most workers hurry home after finishing work on time and family members normally gather together for supper. This is why business negotiations tend to take place at lunch instead of dinner although long business lunches are uncommon. Danes value their spare time highly which means that when they work, they work intensively but leave quite early to go home. Business people should not routinely expect to meet with their Danish counterparts after 4 p.m. on weekdays. Do not plan meetings for Saturdays, Sundays, or on national holidays. Not all Danes appreciate breakfast meetings, which should only be scheduled with due consideration to the particular situation. People in higher positions often have the opportunity to work flexible hours and suit their working hours to their other needs. Danes also have the right to five weeks’ holiday a year, of which three weeks can always be taken consecutively during the school summer vacation period.

Children are prioritized in Danish society and they are given space. Danes raise their kids in a way that puts an emphasis on such things as participation in decision-making and dialogue. All small children aged 0-6 in Denmark are offered day care, either in a Kindergarden or in a private home.

cost of living

Purchasing power in the Danish capital of Copenhagen is similar to that of other large European cities, and prices are considerably lower than in, for example, New York when housing costs are included.

Salaries in Copenhagen are the third highest in the world – only surpassed by Zurich and Geneva. And many welfare services that strain household budgets in other countries are either free or state-subsidised in Denmark. Medical help, hospital treatment, schooling and elderly care are all free – and daycare for children is far cheaper than in many comparable countries.

This is why the average Dane pays approx. 50 per cent of his/her income in taxes.

The Danish currency is called kroner (DKK)

  • 1 krone is divided into 100 øre (cents)
  • 1 euro is approximately 7.5 kroner*

* The DKK is pegged to the EURO which keeps the exchange rate within the central rate of EUR 1 = DKK 7.3-7.6 (approximately)

The cost of living in Denmark will vary depending on your lifestyle and habits. Many services in Denmark such as medical treatment are paid for via taxes and the Danish welfare system.

Detailed Cost of Living (Numbeo,.com)


The Danes may be ultra liberal but they’re painfully traditional.  Every season, every feast, every holiday, every celebration from cradle to grave has a Danish tradition attached… Secret snowdrop letters, sangskjuler (song holders), walk around the Citadel, hit barrels, weave hearts, put candles in the window, wear Blue Monday clothes, guzzle goose, listen to bonfire speeches, win a marcipan pig, feast on fjord prawns.  The list goes on…  With the Danish flag – Dannebrog – flying majestically in the background.  And – selvfølgelig – your shoes left at the doorstep.

Denmark has approximately 11 legally recognized holidays per year

Mandatory vacation is five weeks and up to five more days per year plus local holidays. At least three weeks are taken during the summer. School summer vacation is from about June 20th to about August 8th, and generally, business is slow during that period as many executives are out of the office. Some companies close completely. It is not advisable to schedule business meetings or other business activities in Denmark from late June to early August, from December 20th – January 5th, or during Easter week.

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Hi, my name is Julien Baldini

and I’m responsible for this country information

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