12 Things Americans Could Learn from Danes

Updated: May 10, 2021

Moving to a foreign country is such a refreshing experience. It allows you to ask questions about your own culture and another. In the last year, I have spent many hours replaying interactions I have had with people in the streets and wondering why they acted in specific ways. Certain things I thought were universal, are not, and others that you wouldn’t expect are.

I am very thankful that we ended up in Denmark. Denmark is “the happiest country on earth,” according to the 2016 UN World Happiness Report. For me, safety is also a big thing. I’m usually extra cautious and maybe even anxious in new countries. But I felt safe here from the moment I stepped off the airplane into Scandinavian paradise.

Danes are sweet people. They almost all speak perfect English, which is very convenient for an ex-pat. Life here is more straightforward and moves slower than it does in the US. Danish people are also very proud people.

Danish flags are flown everywhere, practically on every house, and at every single birthday party. Denmark is a small country of five million people, which is a little bigger than Los Angeles. Danes do a lot of things differently, and these are the things that I think Americans could adopt from Danish culture.

12 Things Americans Could Learn from Danes

Universal Free Healthcare

The healthcare system is probably one of the most recognized characteristics of Denmark. It only took a month or two, and Rasmus and I were assimilated into the Danish system, paying Danish taxes and recipients of Danish healthcare benefits.

On my first doctor visit, I had to call, walk in, and swipe my Danish CPR card (below). The facility was clean, quick, and efficient. No deductible, no nada. So easy and “free” seemingly. I love that the government makes this service available to everyone.

Free Higher Education

As an Ameri