Denmark has stolen children from their foreigner parents

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A foreign student in Denmark

Here is a comment by Ales from Slovenia, a foreign student in Denmark, at DTU.

My name is Ales. I am a MSc. student in Denmark. I am a Slovene citizen, but have lived in Munich, Germany, most of my life. Now that I have been living for more than one year in Denmark, I believe that I can offer the following observations.

The word "integration" implies that the foreign-originating population should strive to become increasingly a part of the host population. This means sharing language, employment and study opportunities, as well as having immigrants (and their descendants) represented in academia, public sector jobs and culture.

The other side of the coin is the willingness of the host population to accept the immigrants.

In this context, I believe that my stay in Denmark as an exchange student (at the Technical University of Denmark, known as the DTU) enables me to make the following observations -

It is virtually impossible for a foreigner (even if possessing the permit to work in Demark) to find a job here. Foreigners are seen in very few occupations outside cleaning, catering or newspaper distribution. This applies even to highly-qualified foreigners (engineers, for example). People who possess the permission to live in Denmark (EU nationals or foreigners married to Danes) who are qualified as engineers even from the DTU, the leading technical university in the country, have not even been called for interviews! This situation exists despite the fact that there is a shortage of skilled professionals in Denmark. Despite the fact that I have had a high average of grades, and relevant work experience from my home country, and possessing the right to work in Denmark (now that Slovenia, my country, is in the EU) , I have not been called for a single interview. Danish students who attended the same classes as me, at the DTU, had no problems finding a job within one month after graduating.

In a country that has acute shortage of doctors, there are medical graduates from countries like Pakistan or Lebanon driving taxis here!

In certain clubs and discos in Copenhagen (ie. the well-knwon Rosy MacGees), foreigners who don't have a Nordic appearance are routine excluded. Sometimes the bouncers do not conceal the reason for that! My appearance could be mistaken for Nordic because I have light hair, but on at least 3 occasions where I had been accompanied by friends from Pakistan, Israel or Greece (studying with me), we have all been denied entry.

Anti-foreigner sentiments are wide-spread in Denmark. Foreigners are blamed for usurpation of the social security system, for the increase in crime, and for simply being alien to the country. Even educated Danes do not attempt to disguise their opinions that foreigners should be made to leave the country. On a number of occasions, I have heard remarks such as "Hey, you Yugoslav! Don't bring your Balkan to our country".

Having dated a Danish girl for a short period, we have been subjected to insults when it appeared that I was not Danish. For example, if we were speaking English on a bus or train, we would be the focus of hostile stares and occasionally an insult.

Rules here make it virtually impossible for foreigners married to Danish people to come to Denmark. Such couples are encouraged to settle in the foreign partner's land. Often on senseless grounds that "their collective connection to the foreign land is greater than to Denmark". The authorities claim this on the strength of the Danish partner's foreign origin and sometimes even extended visits to the foreign land, is used by the Danish authorities as a ground to deny permission for family re-unification.

There is usually zero interaction, in the university where I study (Technical University of Demark) between Danes and foreigners. This is so despite the fact that most foreign exchange students s are quite eager, during their stay here, to meet local people and many make the effort to learn a bit of Danish. There are certain gatherings of foreigners. The Danes make it clear that to those who attempt to show up at "their" parties that their presence is undesired.

These have been my observations about Denmark. I have been living here. I am not even an immigrant! I have to say that I was not expecting this.

Links to this post Forum, Forum (in bulgarian language)


lina said...

Thank you Ales for making the above comments.

I had simmiliar situations as you had in publics, even worse that I would have to live with those because I married a Dane, and have a family here.

I worked for around 7 years in very well-known international companies in China where I met my husband at the same company. We married then decided to move to Denmark, I would never imagin that decision would costs me so much in terms of the self-esteem and dignity, value as a hunman being, and as me - Lina, the one person who always trys to be the best in whatever she does, and almost the best in whatever she does.

Despite the education and work experinece from China, it was impossible for me to get a job. Then I think maybe I need a Danish education, then they would recogonize me, maybe I need to learn Danish.

There I did, I finish my Danish language within 2 years and took the exam. I took a Bachelor's degeree in Marketing, followed by finishing a Master's degree in International Management from University of Southern Denmark and Copenhagen Business School.

Still, there has been only one word to describe the Danish society's reconition: "rejection, rejection, then more rejections".

Applying for doing thesis (free) for the company "rejection"; trying to make friends with Danish students "rejection"; part-time jobs for gaing more knowlege "rejection", applying for jobs after graduation "rejection". Well, I'm even getting tired of repeating this word.

During those years, I also experienced those public insults you had: people firstly would like to put into the prostitute category because the only country they know in Asia is Thailand. When when found out I was acutally a Chinese, they started to try to feel pity for me because the communism there. When I show that I was actually feeling proude of the great GDP figures going on with China, they started to attact me as a foreigner, who gets their good jobs (which I never got to see), share their welfare (the only one I got was SU, and my husband paid around 60% of salary for the tax for this society, which I don't think it was too much for me to receive the SU) and so on so forth.

There were serveral times people just insulted me by call me names such as "Thailand pillow" when I was reading quitely in the train; or called me "only wants the money" when they saw me and my husband were together.

It is amazing that with such great library resources, information channels and plus in common sense - if a country is small, it would have to be depending to the outside world - the market; the supply; the knowledge; the resources in general. I can't really understand how most people could be so ignorant and so narrow minded.

I consulted a head hunter about my job sitation, trying to figure out what is wrong with me, sadly she couldn't tell anything I should do to improve myself, because the problem is not me: "it is us", she said, "we have fear with foreigns, we are scared, so that's easy we just closed ourselves to the outsiders".

Is it true, or it is just a easy way out? then how about those angers? Is it because you can't blame your own government taking the not very smart immigrants policy (taking whoever and whatever people in, then blame them for not being good enough for your country), so you will have to show it to someone whom are easy to blame on?

The weather here is cold, but that is not a good enough excuse to explain that the Danish people's hears are cold too.

It is so funny to see that Danish people are collecting money for hungries in Africa and so on for whatever countries outside Denmark, but they are treating African and other "foreign faces" people in Denmark like they are "inferior" no matter if they are holding a PH.D. or MSC..

Maybe Danish people are just very good in studying Maslow's pyramid - all those people with "foreign faces", they don't would never need to have "social needs", "self-esteem needs", not even mention the "self-actualisation", because they are not good enough for those levels' needs, there we donate the money to them, so they could have the basic needs of "physiological and safety needs". They maybe they would feel good enough, then we could feel good, because we also realized our "needs of self-actulisation".

Well, just in case if a Danish reads this and gets angry by my bitterness, and aksed why I am still staying here? The answer is that I am acutally trying to get a way out, which shouldn't harm my family too much, hopefully soon.

You know what is the most crucial thing that a humanbeing could do to another? - to let him/her fell worthless, to take away the self-esteem and the value he/she belived that he/she could contribute to the society. This is much worse then being poor and living in a country with a particular political party.

ralu said...

I´m very touched about Ales experiences here and,to confece, being also a foreign here, with danish husband I must say Lina´s lines impressed me much...I must say I liked very much her straight style to relate the sad things she lived here,in an elegant way without to much hard feelings...I did´nt had this bad experiences(yet??)at all,actually the other way around,but than,well,I just start danish school for language, so I´m at the begigning of chalenges.Yours sad experiences here(you are not the single ones I know other foreigners with similar experiences)put a BIG question mark above the whole danish social- economic mecanism...Is sad because is clear they need foreigners resources in order to keep up their economy covering the big hole let by most of highly educated danes which prefers to work outside Denmark,in a more competitive enviroment,better paid with lower taxes to pay...Denmark is not a heaven:Ales who lived in Munich, can make a more apropriate comparising.Everybody who is more or less familiar (let´s say) with vestern EU(just to mention,Germany ,France ,Holland..even Italy)can see just crossing the country from north Sjeland to german border of Julland and looking around,what is actualy the real live-level here...I came here because I love my husband,not because ''the heaven on earth'' just pumped the flash in my eyes!I´m grateful for other things:like this ''free''(in a way)language school,for example:but if, like Lina,none will want to accept me as a qualified employer after I graduate it:where is the meaning of all the efforts for sistem and the students as well?I hope Lina will find a way to solve her problems,the same for Ales...Keep up your positive attitude...if you can:I´m beside both of you,with all my heart!

dukezy8 said...

is that ture for the life at Denmark as a foreigner? I am a chinese student from USA, I have been offered an opportunity to join Novo Nordisk, if the real-life is so hostile, I will never try to leave US

Rajesh said...

Hello Ales,
I would completely agree with you on most points you have stated. I would just say, that I have recently been experiencing such things, and I wanted to find other people who had similar experiences as mine. I found your blog, and it makes me feel better.
I am also a student at DTU, and I am doing my thesis currently. I had known from my past experience with Danes, that they are shy and they really don't share much of themselves with you. That was during the courses, and the groups I had with Danes in it. But since half a year, I have been staying in a Kollegium, and also started my thesis at the same time, so you can imagine, I have been around Danes most of the time in these six months. And now I realize the truth and the mindset of these people.
It so happens, that in the department, some people just do not respond to me when I say a HI to them. Educated people, studying in DTU, are not expected to do this. It is fine if they don't want to speak, share cultures etc, but when someone says a HI, one is ought to respond. They just don't care. Then, the other day, one of the Danes, who was alone with me in the room, was leaving, and she just slammed the windows and doors, as if there is no-one sitting in the room. For a courtesy, there would be a comment exchanged, if I want the windows to be open or something. But, the fact of the matter is that, they don't even want to talk with you, greet being far away. And all these people belong to the so called educated class.
It is the same story in my kollegium. And it makes my belief even more stronger, every single day.
The other point you mentioned about jobs in Denmark, well, I have really not realized this. But, you might be true. I work in software, and I find a lot of jobs for myself here. In other areas, jobs are less and so they might have prejudices.
I hope to hear something from you.