The welcoming arms of Aarhus



Aarhus and Eastern Jutland is home to many internationally-minded companies and organisations contributing to this area's internationalisation. This month International Community features its very own CEO, Marc Perera Christensen, to talk about the importance and value of internationals.


Photograph: International Community

Text: International Community


Since its founding in 1862, the business organisation Erhverv Aarhus has worked continually to improve conditions of establishing and running businesses in and around Aarhus. Today, the organisation has several areas of focus which it deems to be especially important for the future development of the Aarhus area, one of them being the internationalisation of the city. Thus, in 2008 Erhverv Aarhus established International Community, an organisation focused on promoting the area's international profile by improving the conditions for internationals and their accompanying families who choose to move to Denmark. As an internationally-minded person myself, continuing this internationalisation focus came naturally when I first started as CEO at Erhverv Aarhus and International Community in December 2018.


Why internationalisation is important

Being able to attract and maintain international employees is of great value for the city's future development. One of the main messages that I hear, both from the many businesses that are members of our organisation but also in my time as Chairman of the Internationalisation Committee in the City of Aarhus, is that the ability to recruit and retain highly specialised international employees is a prerequisite today if businesses are to compete in markets that become more and more globalised. Because of this, creating the right conditions for establishing a new life and offering a network of opportunities for internationals is of great importance if Aarhus is to compete with the rest of the world for the best and most qualified employees.


"Entrepreneurs are of enormous value to both the city and the entire country." - Marc Perera Christensen


Starting over in a new place

At International Community, we recognise that uprooting your home life to relocate to a new country or city can be incredibly exciting and daunting all at once. For some, stepping into the unknown is an adventure, while for others, challenges such as language barriers and being away from their social and support networks can be overwhelming. Furthermore, the attempt to recreate a daily routine can be frustrating, with many finding it difficult to obtain work in their relevant field, even when highly skilled and experienced. For myself, I have lived the entirety of my life in Aarhus. As a result, I have my family here and experienced first-hand how having a network can be essential for your professional and personal relations. Because of this International Community is focused on improving the ability of local companies to recruit highly specialised international employees and ensuring that all the right living conditions are in place for both international employees and their accompanying family members. This involves a range of initiatives focused on helping both internationals and their families get settled in Aarhus. From news and events regarding everyday life in Denmark to the network opportunities aimed at expanding your professional network or connecting spouses and accompanying partners from across the globe who have made Aarhus their new home.


The value of international entrepreneurs

Since finding a job in your primary field after moving to a new country can often be challenging, we often see that internationals or accompanying partners decide to become entrepreneurs and start their own business. This is of enormous value to both the city and the entire country, and I think it just goes to show how most people will want to establish something for themselves to put their energy into. This creative will and entrepreneurial spirit are essential for the well-being of the many internationals and accompanying partners who are struggling to establish a foothold on the Danish job market and because establishing new businesses is essential for the Danish economy and creating new jobs.

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