International Experiences – Patrick’s Story

 
This is the story told by Patrick van Kappel, who moved to Greater Aarhus in Denmark 14 years ago from the Netherlands. Patrick shares his story about why he came to Denmark and what made him stay. Furthermore, he tells about his love to the culture and nature present in the area, and shreds some light on the major similarities and differences he experience between Danes and Dutch people.

Great Career Opportunities and a Friendly Corporate Culture

Hi, my name is Patrick van Kappeland I’m a Principal Learning Specialist at Stibo Systems A/S. I’m from the Netherlands and this is the story about why I came to Denmark and chose to stay.

 

Long blond hair and long legs, she was beautiful, a real Viking woman. We met on a project in Greenland, we traveled the world, and finally, I moved to Denmark with her. Love didn’t last but I got “stuck” in Denmark since I at that time had an amazing job at Grundfos. Since then I have further developed my career with a great job at Stibo Systems A/S. Today, I have been here for 14 years and this is home.

 

I enjoy working in Denmark, where I find the corporate culture social and friendly. You can talk open and free with your manager and often it is ok to challenge them a bit. I would say it’s even welcomed. There are lots of company events organized in which people put quite some effort. Working times are often more flexible and family comes first which is totally acceptable.

Patrick van Kappel working
Patrick van Kappel at a cultural event

Vibrant Culture and Breathtaking Nature

Greater Aarhus in Denmark is s a place with great culture and nature, and thus it is the perfect place to live as a cultural and nature lover like me. This is yet another reason why I chose to continue living in Denmark.

 

What I like about Denmark and the Greater Aarhus area as a Dutch person is that it’s less crowded than in the Netherlands. I’m living close to Aarhus, which is the second biggest town in Denmark, but it still feels like a smaller provincial town to me. This suits me perfect. Furthermore, as a water lover, I’m living close by the bay where I can go bathing all year round and I’m doing that almost every day. Nature is always just around the corner and silence can be found within a short distance.

 

Aarhus is changing and there is lots of focus on development of the larger attractions and places. However, there are still a lot of small cultural pearls around like small music scenes and theaters. In short, I think there is something for everyone here.

Great Humor, Family Orientation, and Social Life

Since I have lived and worked in Denmark for 14 years, I experience both differences and similarities between Danes and Dutch people.

 

The major difference between our countries is the people. A foreigner, and actually even Danes, say that we are pretty alike. Maybe we are if you look at the surface, but I think we are far from.

 

When it comes to being direct and ironic humor Danes and Dutch people are alike. However, I also find that our nationalities differ in many ways. Danes are even more family oriented than the Dutch and are very good organizing dinner together. Additionally, Danes are stronger on traditions than the Dutch. Danes are also more consensus oriented than the Dutch. Noteworthy is also the Jante Law which is an old code of conduct which can be difficult to adapt to, but I have learned to ignore it along the way.

Patrick van Kappel at the beach