Working in Greenland gave plenty of new responsibilities and great experiences

Stine Selmer Andersen, who has an MA in media studies, had been dreaming of living and working abroad for a long time. So when an opportunity arose, she jumped at it!

It wasn’t written in the stars that Stine and her partner were destined to move to Greenland. Her partner already had a job in Aarhus, and Stine was still writing her thesis. But when her partner was offered a job in Nuuk in May 2015, they felt it was too good an opportunity to miss.

They both agreed that Stine also needed to find a job in Nuuk if they moved to Greenland. So she applied for a couple of jobs, and after only a week and half she was offered a position at Sermersooq Business Council. She was asked to start in August – the same month that she had to hand in her thesis.

A great job with plenty of responsibility

After living in Nuuk for ten months, Stine now feels that she has settled in. But she remembers how difficult it was at first.

“Moving to another country was tough. There are so many new things you need to learn, and you have to get used to an entirely new culture,” she explains.

“Nobody told me that I would simply fall asleep at half past seven in the evening for the first four months because I’d be exhausted by all the new impressions. So yes, it’s hard. But it’s also great if you fancy a challenge.”

At first she felt that people in Greenland were rather reticent, keeping a close eye on her:

“It’s not easy to get close to the Greenlanders, because so many Danes come and go without ever learning to speak Greenlandic. So it takes a bit of time to settle down.”

She loves her job, and the best thing is that people believe in her and that she has been given so much responsibility:

“To get this kind of job in Denmark, I’d need to have ten years of experience first. I’m responsible for managing the social media, putting on events, and marketing our tourism initiatives. I’m also asked to attend conferences around the world, as well as going to trade fairs focusing on tourism. My job is simply fantastic.”

You don’t need a car in Nuuk

If you live in Nuuk and want to go anywhere, you have to take either a boat or a plane. So instead of buying a car, Stine and her partner have bought a boat so they can explore the enormous system of fjords in and around Nuuk.

In other respects, daily life in Nuuk is very similar to life in Aarhus:

“We see our friends, go to the gym and have a coffee at the local coffee bar. We also go hiking in the mountains and fishing, so our lives aren’t all that different. We’ve always loved the great outdoors, although the scenery is undeniably wilder in Greenland!”

They don’t know when they’re coming home. They want to enjoy the full Greenland experience before returning to Denmark:

“We love it here, and I’ve got loads of friends. So the best answer is that we’ll stay in Greenland as long as we’re having such a great time here.”

Good advice

If you fancy living and working abroad, Stine has some good advice: don’t be afraid to take the plunge, but think carefully about it first.

“It takes time to settle in a new country, and it takes time to find new friends. So be patient – keep working at it, and it will all come right in the end.”

Finding a job abroad

  • You will find plenty of adverts for jobs in Greenland and the rest of the world in AU’s job and project bank.
  • If you think Stine’s job sounds interesting, you can read more about her workplace here.