Learning Danish is a great way to meet new people, build friendships and establish a network outside of the MBA, explains Kevin Krieger.
In a city where English is nearly universally spoken as a second language, it’s natural to question whether it’s worth it to add Danish classes on top of an already packed MBA schedule. Throw in the Danish language’s notoriously difficult pronunciation and it’s tempting to conclude that steering clear of Danish is your best bet. However, as I wrap up my third Danish class, I would argue that learning Danish is one of the best possible uses of your time and can lead to a substantially more fulfilling experience in Denmark.
For starters, Danish classes are a great place to meet new people, build friendships, and establish a network outside of the MBA program. The class I’m currently taking is full of other CBS students (pictured above) and, through them, I’ve learned about events happening at CBS and other Masters programs offered by CBS, leaving me feeling more connected to the university as a whole.
From a professional perspective, studying Danish is a great way to convey to potential employers that you are committed to staying in Denmark. It shows that you are working to integrate and are interested in learning more about the country, which can help open doors for you professionally. It can also help you literally open doors since – in Danish – ‘træk’ (pull) and ‘tryk’ (push) look quite similar.
Finally and perhaps most importantly, learning Danish alters the way that you can connect with the world around you. Whether it’s signs on the street, local news or menus, being able to read Danish makes so much additional information available to you that enriches your understanding of your surroundings in small but meaningful ways. Even when conversing in English, your Danish studies can be a great conversation starter when meeting Danes. In addition, I’ve found it to be a fun personal challenge to speak Danish in day-to-day situations like ordering at a café since, while it can be difficult, it’s very gratifying when you’re successfully understood.
For these reasons, I strongly, strongly encourage you to get out there and register for Danish classes. You won’t regret it.
Having worked in financial services in New York City for several years, Kevin had always wanted to work abroad and chose the CBS MBA to launch his international career.