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30-year-old who left the U.S. for Denmark says she’s ‘much happier’ now: ‘My salary goes way further’

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Buhl, I.
Publication Date: 
7 Jul 2023


It doesn’t surprise me that Denmark is the second happiest country in the world. When I studied abroad in Copenhagen in 2013, I instantly fell in love with the charming architecture, delicious pastries and relaxed way of life.

Three years later, I finished my first year working as an elementary school teacher in Dallas, Texas. To celebrate, my friend and I booked a summer vacation in Europe, and we of course included Denmark in our itinerary.

That’s where I met my Danish husband on a dating app. We dated long-distance, and after we got engaged, I packed my suitcases and booked a one-way ticket to Copenhagen.

Once we got married, I applied for a family reunification visa in Denmark, which was approved within six months. I landed a teaching job at an international school, where I still work today.

Now, at 30, I spend a lot of time sharing my experience here on social media. I feel lucky to live in Denmark as a teacher and a mother. Here’s why it’s a much happier place to live and work:

  • I work a normal schedule
  • Many Danish people get five weeks of paid vacation
  • Public transportation is actually efficient
  • My salary goes way further
  • A robust public health care system
  • My maternity leave was 16 months
  • Daycare is well-regulated

It would be difficult for me to go back to the U.S. and deal with private health care, teaching without a union (in some states) and high child care costs. So I’m grateful for my life here and have no plans to leave.