When internationals move to Lolland, they will find both peaceful silence and quick access to pulsing metropoles - but most of all, a warm and welcoming community. Michaela Medvedova talks to Mayor Holger Schou Rasmussen.
Picture: Lolland Kommune
Starting a new life - especially abroad - begins with exploring. When internationals move to Lolland, one of the most beautiful things they can first see is the island’s coastline that spans more than 300 km. And who knows, maybe they will meet the mayor, Holger Schou Rasmussen, as the coastline is what he loves most about his island.
With Lolland International School opening its doors in August and the Fehmarn Belt Link, an immersed tunnel scheduled to connect Lolland with Germany by 2029, the municipality is about to become the home of many new internationals.
And Holger will make sure they receive a proper welcome. “Every year, I meet new citizens in the municipality by holding a party for them. With many foreigners arriving, we are making sure the information is available in English to help them navigate their life in Denmark and the municipality of Lolland. We have welcomed foreign workforces for many decades now. We have always had an open mind to welcoming people from other countries,” explains Holger.
“Every year, I meet new citizens in the municipality by holding a party for them.”
Volunteers are also at the meetings to present the associations and clubs in the region. With its bilingual teaching, the newly opened Lolland International School can also help global students and their families become a part of the community. And if Danish is a barrier, Lolland Sprogskole offers free language classes to those living in Lolland.
Also ready to help the internationals settle are international consultants and three local ambassadors, offering a helping hand with all practical matters and inviting them to join local groups in the area.
All systems are in place to integrate internationals into the way of life in Lolland - but the connection goes both ways. “Maybe we can get new input and ideas from the outside. It is good to learn something new, to build a new municipality. The internationals will be a part of the new history of Lolland,” says Holger.
The region offers them both quiet nature and infrastructure that allows people to go to exciting metropoles for a day’s trip. But it provides something else, as well - assurance of home. “When the refugees came from Syria to Lolland in 2015, I saw how empathetic Lolland citizens were. So too will we see the same welcoming for internationals; they will be welcomed with open arms,” concludes the mayor as he extends his invitation.