Reflections On My Time in Denmark

Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen
Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen

Hans Christian Andersen wrote his famous fairy tales in Denmark including: “Little Mermaid”, “Ugly Duckling”, and ” The Nightingale”.


What a wonderful experience I have had teaching graduate students in Denmark.  My students were so bright, responsive, and enthusiastic.   They are working hard to find ways to develop environments that are both nurturing and appropriate for their young children.

What is their secret to happiness? I believe the answer is “fewer things to worry about”.

  • A major portion of the cost of childcare is covered and viewed as supporting families.
  • Health care, including dentistry, is provided at no cost to anyone.
  • College education is free and a supplement is paid to students to cover their expenses while attending.
  • Seniors are provided care, when needed, with money paid through taxes.
  • People do not have to worry what will happen to them if they cannot care for themselves.

When these important services are provided to everyone there is little to worry about!

One important attitude that I observed while in Denmark is a real concern for other people. Rather than worrying about oneself there is great empathy for others and helping those who need help.  This attitude and practice helps build a supportive network that is beneficial for all who live in Denmark.

Perhaps we can gain from each other as we share information, formulate policies, and discover the possibilities of learning together.

It was a joyful experience to visit in Copenhagen. I hope to return again and again!

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