Where are you from, what’s your background and what do you do?
I’m from Somerset in the UK and have been living in Denmark since the end of 2016. Before that I studied and worked in Southampton and York where I took a Masters in Cultural Heritage. I went traveling for a bit after university and met my girlfriend in the US - when she started her degree at BSS in Aarhus I had no hesitation in moving here.
I work as a copywriter for a company here in Aarhus called WakeupData. It’s my first time working at a startup and I’m really enjoying being with amazing co-workers at a firm which is constantly growing.
What do you like about Aarhus?
I really like the creativity and energy of places like Godsbanen, Lynfabrikken and Filmbyen - Aarhus is a young city and at the moment there are lots of people starting exciting projects. Aarhus is a great place for startups, last year it was in the top 25 startup cities in Europe - so it’s cool to be involved in some way!
Last year I worked part-time at O-space art gallery and as an intern for ‘Aarhus 2017 - European Capital of Culture’ in Dokk1. It was amazing to be involved in so many different cultural projects and meet loads of interesting people. One story that springs to mind is when I was asked to be the guide for some Austrian filmmakers making a documentary about Aarhus and Mid-Jutland. I ended up wearing waders, up to my waist in the (cold) Kattegat for a piece they were filming about harvesting seaweed in Grenaa!
I know a lot of people say this about Aarhus, but I like how it feels like a big city, while at the same time being small enough to find your way around and get to know people and places really well. On Saturdays I work as a tour guide for Aarhus Experience. I love showing people around and telling them the history and interesting stories about the town I live in. I especially like having native-Aarhusianers (it’s a real word- look it up!) on the tour, but I always think it must be weird for them having a British guy tell them about their hometown!
What would you like to improve in Aarhus?
I think Aarhus is a fantastic place to visit for tourists and maybe a lot of people here haven’t realised its potential yet. There were thousands of tourists from across the world who visited last year, and the Rethinkers (Aarhus 2017 volunteers) did a fantastic job in welcoming them, but I think we need a purpose-built tourist office here.
I have heard some internationals complain about the lack of interaction between Danes and non-Danes. I think there are a lot of great groups in Aarhus focused at helping internationals like myself get more integrated with society and engage with native Danes - The International Community and Lærdansk run some useful projects which helped me when I moved here, so perhaps more publicity for them is needed.
Over the next few years what are your plans?
I have never been a person to make very rigid plans about my future, but I would like to continue working in copywriting, proofreading and content creation.
I’ve recently started working as a voluntary journalist for the international online newspaper Jutland Station which I’m also enjoying.
Brexit has sadly left a lot of people (over 1 million British live in Europe and 3 million Europeans in Britain) unsure about their future, but I would love to continue living in Aarhus and to be involved with the kind of work I am doing at the moment!
If you had all the resources and power in the world, what would you do?
Tricky question! I think if I were to really make a change with all the resources and power, the thing to focus on would be education.
If I could provide the means to build schools and colleges and start giving everybody the chance to gain a level of literacy and a chance to help themselves I think we could start seeing long-term positive changes.