Looking to live and work in a different country? Scandinavia describes a collection of countries in Northern Europe, covering Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
Here are our top seven reasons behind why you should work in Scandinavia.
The World Happiness Report has seen the same four countries at the top of the list – Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and Finland – for the past four years, with Sweden in the top ten. The ranking takes into account income, life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity.
Scandinavian governments prioritise economic and social welfare, and citizens benefit from free healthcare and free University education.
Between the 10thand 13 centuries, Scandinavia underwent radical political change, leading to the establishment of three separate countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
All three countries have rich and lengthy histories. Denmark has the world’s oldest monarchy, dating back to the year 900. Sweden became known as a Great Power in the 17thcentury and played a prominent role in the European Enlightenment period in arts, architecture, science and education. After emerging from the Ice Age as a habitable land in 12,000 BC, Norway built a radical new society following Roman Empire influence in the first century AD and led the world through the Iron Age. Each country has a Viking history of legendary proportions that cover many epic battles across the world.
Each Scandinavian country has a wealth of beauty in the form of natural landscapes and natural phenomena:
· Northern Lights– Aurora Borealis is a wondrous natural light display, caused by a collision between electric particles from the Sun that enter the Earth’s atmosphere, that can only be seen in the Arctic sky at few points in the world. Between September and March, those living in Norway can frequently enjoy the Northern Lights.
· Mount Floyen– Norway’s 399-metre summit overlooks the city of Bergen and its many fjords. Tourists and locals can walk, hike, bike or take an 8-minute train to the top of the mountain.
· Sand Dunes– Denmark is home to breath-taking sand dunes across miles of wild beaches, and North Jutland hosts the largest migrating sand dune in Europe.
· Møns Klint– Gigantic chalk cliffs located on the island of Møn in Denmark represent a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Møns Klint covers 173 square miles and rises 419 feet above sea level.
· Stockholm Archipelago – The Swedish capital offers 30,000 islands across the Baltic Sea. Travellers and locals can forage for berries, catch and cook fish, bike, hike, swim, kayak and go ice yachting for a truly unique experience out in nature.
· Malmö Beaches– Ribersborg Beach stretches over 2.5 kilometres long. Beachgoers can enjoy swimming, sunbathing and soaking up the sunshine at one of the world’s best beaches.
Denmark has the world’s lowest income equality and the lowest poverty rate, and Norway is the world’s second most gender equal country. Women represent 46% of the Swedish parliament and 50% of the cabinet, and Sweden was ranked the world’s best place to live as a woman in 2019. In Scandinavia both parents manage child-rearing and childcare is substituted by the government, enabling families to operate as a unit and obtain the best work-life balance.
LGBT rights are also recognised, with same-sex marriage legal in all three countries, annual Pride parades and protection from discrimination at work and in healthcare. The liberal attitude of Scandinavian countries makes the region one of the world’s most equal, accepting and collaborative societies.
Alongside their progressive and modern culture, Scandinavian countries have a wealth of centuries-old traditions. Christmas is a major holiday across the region, and the Summer solstice is celebrated as a national holiday, with Midsummer rites such as decorating houses with flowers, singing folk songs and dancing at bonfires and visiting water wells stemming from pagan rituals.
Many traditions revolve around food and drink. J-Day is the Danish ‘Christmas Beer Day’ on the first Friday of November, and the Danes’ traditional Halloween Fastelavn sees locals and visitors enjoy Shrovetide buns and classic Danish pastries. Sweden celebrate ‘Cinnamon Bun Day’ and ‘Waffle Day’, and Norwegian Constitution Day involves a lot of alcohol, waffles and cake.
Scandinavia is home to a plethora of museums, art experiences. Historical sites and architectural wonders including:
· Oslo Opera House– The capital city’s magnificent Opera House was designed to mirror a glacier rising out of the fjord. Visitors can watch prestigious ballet and opera performances and walk on the marble roof for amazing views of the city.
· Arctic Cathedral– One of the newest Norwegian cathedrals, the dramatic building was created to look like large blocks of ice. Inside the cathedral reveals sparkling mosaics and an iconic glass façade.
· Amalienborg Palace– The Danish Palace actually four palaces, each constructed for the four noble families of Denmark. The vast structure boasts octagon-shaped courtyards, ornate rooms and spring gardens.
· Tivoli – Denmark’s famous theme park contains Vertigo, voted the best ride in Europe. Also offering a huge variety of rides, games, musicals, ballet performances and music concerts, Tivoli caters to all ages and backgrounds.
· Malmöfestivalen– Scandinavia’s biggest festival provides a range of music, cultural events, art exhibitions, design, sports, food and drink. Running every year since 1985, the free festival has something for everyone.
· Djurgården’s Museum Trio– This island on Stockholm boasts some of Sweden’s most popular museums. The open-air Skansen reveals five centuries of Swedish houses, the Vasa hosts a mammoth 17th-century ship, and the Abba museum takes visitors through pop and folk music history alongside interactive exhibitions.
With a wealth of natural resources and beautiful landscapes, the sustainable culture of Scandinavia involves respecting nature and only taking from land and sea what is truly necessary. The region is leading the world in renewable energy by designing more energy-efficient buildings, greener transport options, better waste management and sustainable food production.
World-leading public transport and an excellent work-life balance make Scandi office and worksite environments some of the world’s best.
Want to live and work in Scandinavia? Take a look at VHR’s latest technical jobs.