Life as an international mum in a new country



Photographs: Nicola Zulu

Text: Nikolaos Papadopoulos


Meet Nicola Zulu, expat, mother of 2, global citizen, and Head of Secondary in Esbjerg's International School. Her family has been around the world. She personally started in the UK and then moved to Zambia as a volunteer. This is where she met her husband, Michael, and had her two children. While Zambia was generally a great place to live, they decided to move to Singapore once the children were in their teens. Zambia presented minimal choices for children their age, while Singapore had abundant!


However, Singapore proved to be a nightmare where work-life balance was concerned. They could hardly spend time together as a family or pursue their interests. So, after six years, in 2019, the family decided to move again to Denmark. What mainly appealed to them were the rumours of the country's excellent work-life balance, safety, cleanliness, and lack of overpopulation. But, of course, it is one of the happiest countries in the world!


The main challenges were adapting to a non-English speaking environment, the long and cold winter nights, and finding a new social circle.

Not everything was easy when they moved here, of course. The main challenges were adapting to a non-English speaking environment, the long and cold winter nights, and finding a new social circle. But, while it was hard, to begin with, Nicki, as she likes to be called, has managed to find a job, learn Danish, become a distinguished member of the local Toastmaster's club (a venue for public speaking), and survive the weather! "There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing," she says, laughing, referring to a common Danish saying.


With her children now in the UK pursuing further studies, as they are now 18 and 21, Nicki enjoys spending time with her husband, Michael, a professional massage therapist and personal trainer, and pursuing her own personal interests. Her children even often visit Esbjerg and love the city! The family is delighted with the quality of life Denmark offers and plans on staying here for the foreseeable future. We can only hope that they have finally found their forever home here.

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