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The Welcome Buddy Programme brings expats and locals together

Since October 2021, the Welcome Buddy Programme helps internationals to settle in Central Denmark. International newcomers are matched to long-term expats or Danes and share a cultural and social experience for three months.




Moving to Denmark is a big life change for many expats. Luckily, international newcomers can get a soft landing in Central Denmark thanks to The Welcome Buddy programme. Through this programme, international workers who recently moved to Central Denmark are matched with a buddy who will share insider tips about life in Denmark. 


Bridget left Australia in early 2022 and was matched with Anders, her Danish buddy, soon after she unpacked her suitcase in Aarhus. “I felt very welcomed, and also like someone had my back” she explains. “Once I started talking with Anders, it became clear that as I navigated the specifics of the logistics of moving here, he would have the answers. On multiple occasions, we have used services that Anders had recommended – we thought thank god we have a buddy!” 


A shortcut to integration

After graduating from AU, Mihai started working as a software engineer at Danske Bank. As a Welcome Buddy, he used his own experience as an expat to guide other internationals. “When I first arrived in Denmark, I also felt that it was hard to understand how things worked. I needed someone to ask where I could go shopping, what fun activities are there in the city, but also to meet someone who could show me around. I think it is cool that we can help other internationals with those questions that we all have in the beginning.”


Welcome buddies share practical advice, but they can also support expats by introducing them to new activities and social networks. As a researcher at AU, Bridget benefits from the services of a relocation consultant “but it’s also nice to just meet more people and discover other aspects about the particular culture”, she adds. Through Anders, Bridget met many Danes and gained a network that would have taken much longer to build by herself. “To me, the Welcome Buddy Programme was like a shortcut to integration”, says Bridget. 


Easy win

“I’ve always travelled a lot and I like meeting new people, mentions Anders – Bridget’s Welcome Buddy. I was also attracted by the cultural aspect of the programme. I thought becoming a buddy would be an easy way to get all of that because it takes so little from me. I just share what I am doing in my daily life. I felt that I could have a positive impact without putting in a lot of work.” Indeed, once matched, participants only need to meet three times in three months. “Even if people are busy, it’s not too much of a responsibility” adds Anders.



The Welcome Buddy Programme will continue to make expats feel at home in our region over the summer. Whether you are new to Denmark or feel like you could give a hand to expats, you can sign up for the Welcome Buddy Programme on Headstart Career’s webpage.

More information and sign up: 

The Welcome Buddy Programme was initiated by the Job in Aarhus network, which aims to make Central Jutland an attractive place to work and live for international employees and their accompanying families. The Job in Aarhus Network is a strong cooperation between The International Employment Unit Aarhus, Central Denmark Region, Aarhus University, HEADSTART, Business Region Aarhus, Destination Aarhus and International Community/Erhverv Aarhus.