International Community - Your Network of Opportunities

Zane Hartmane

Hi, I’m Zane! In the beginning of 2016, I graduated with a half degree from my home country, Latvia. At that time, I was already working for a Danish company in Latvia, and wanted to continue my studies back home. My boss there told me about the great opportunities for education in Denmark, and it soon became clear that I wanted to go to Denmark!
Around that time, I met my boyfriend, and even told him on one of our first dates that I wanted to move to Denmark. We applied for our study programs in March 2016, got accepted, and everything turned real so fast. I sold my car and week after I had to take off to Aarhus. We arrived like many internationals with no furniture, and slept on one single mattress on our first night. Since our studies began in September, we were rejected for a CPR number and also had no extra money. We just sat around all month.
My studies were great, but my first year in Denmark was actually quite boring. I was afraid to go to events, and always found excuses not to attend. Not only did I not speak Danish, my English was still not that good, and I was afraid of talking to people. Finally, I mustered up my courage and joined Spouse Community, and I remembered showing up to a potluck lunch with my Latvian honey cake. I’m so happy to have met so many amazing people, and I’m now involved in a lot of things, such as Spouse Community, LinkedInLocal Aarhus, TEDxAarhus, and Aarhus Makers on top of my studies.
Being in Denmark has changed me quite a lot! Back in Latvia, I had my family and my circle of friends, and I always had somewhere to be. I didn’t have room for anybody else. Now, I’m more open to include new people in my life.
Back in Latvia, I was really into photography but stopped when I moved to Denmark. It was only half a year ago that I started to take my camera out more, and am helping many organizations as a volunteer photographer. Now, I’m thinking of lots of new ideas to help people with photography and can’t wait to get started!
Before I came to Denmark, I read a lot of different articles on how to adapt to living in Denmark and it gave me certain expectations. The truth is, everybody experiences a new country differently, and that’s why I found it so helpful to go out to meet people and talk about our own experiences. I would tell newcomers to just go to events - you don’t even have to talk that much, just observe, and do what you’re comfortable with. You’ll find people who can help you, even if that help is somebody who will listen.
Photo Credit: Zane Hartmane

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